Indie Retailing 101: An A.I. Cannabis Retailer Lesson
Updated: Jun 13
Generating consistent, informative, helpful, and interesting email articles to support independent retailers can be challenging. We've drawn from our own internal expertise, reached out to industry freelancers, and brought in industry experts to help create ours over the past year.
With AI rapidly picking up general interest and applications, we played around with ChatGPT to see how we could leverage it for our email newsletter. No, we didn't get it to write this newsletter, (or did we), but tasked ChatGPT to write a story about, "a cannabis retailer named Sue and the biggest issues she faces running her store."
What follows is Sue's story as told by ChatGPT.
"Sue had always been passionate about cannabis and its many benefits. So, when the opportunity arose to open her own cannabis retail store, she jumped at the chance. She named her store "High Society" and spent months preparing for the grand opening. She scoured the market for the best products, curated an impressive selection of cannabis strains, edibles, and accessories, and hired a team of knowledgeable and friendly staff.
On opening day, High Society was packed with customers eager to explore Sue's carefully curated selection of products. Business was booming, and Sue was thrilled to be living her dream. But soon, she began to realize that running a cannabis retail store was not as easy as she had imagined.
One of Sue's biggest issues was dealing with the constantly changing legal landscape. As more states legalized cannabis, regulations and laws were constantly evolving. It was difficult for Sue to keep up with all the changes and ensure that her store was always in compliance. She often felt like she was playing a never-ending game of catch-up.
Another major challenge for Sue was the competition. With more and more cannabis retailers opening up, it was getting harder to stand out in the crowded market. Sue struggled to find unique ways to differentiate her store and attract new customers.
Sue also faced difficulties in finding reliable suppliers for her store. With the cannabis industry still in its infancy, it was hard to know who to trust and who to avoid. Sue often had to deal with delays, product shortages, and quality issues.
Despite these challenges, Sue was determined to make High Society a success. She focused on building a loyal customer base by providing excellent customer service and educating her staff on the benefits of cannabis. She also formed relationships with suppliers and industry experts to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the industry.
Despite the challenges, Sue's passion for cannabis and her dedication to providing the best products and service to her customers, High Society continued to grow and flourish. And Sue realized that running her own business wasn't just about living her dream, it was about creating a positive impact on her community as well."
An Important Lesson
Pretty good right? There is even a little fairy-tale happy ending. We actually found this story to be pretty familiar to us and it might even hit pretty close to home for you.
AI works by pulling in content found online. It scours blogs, news articles, websites, and much more to create new content. While an amazing feat, this story is both brand new but is also woefully ubiquitous.
Here is the lesson:
Sue and 'High Society' are highly generic. She could be any owner, and the store could any one across North America (or at least any legal states). Unsurprisingly, and as the industry has experienced again and again, Sue's store took some significant hits once opened.
But there is hope as Sue also experienced. ChatGPT resolved our protagonist's dilemma by scouring the internet for these known solutions:
Focus on building your community
Train staff to know the products intimately
Form great relationships with your suppliers (like Burning Tree)
Stay informed about products and trends that may impact your customers
Our newsletter has been consistently driving the above points home to support your business needs and objectives. While it isn't rocket science, it does feel good to know our communications to you have been substantiated. Or maybe our blog posts also got scoured by ChatGPT...
What's the Toke Away?
(1) BUILD YOUR COMMUNITY - Your neighborhood will be your best customer base. Focus on them and then work on your online outreach
(2) EDUCATE STAFF - Knowledgeable, and passionate staff will be engaged with your products and that will be evident to your customers. That will translate into higher sales.
(3) SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIPS - Work with your suppliers to recommend trending and popular products to stay ahead of the competition.
Interested to Learn More?