By Brad Weissberg/Oct. 17, 2017
Headset calls itself “business Intelligence for cannabis companies, from dispensaries and retailers to product manufacturers and growers.” Founder Cy Scott, along with partners Brian Wansolich and Scott Vickers, started the company in 2015. The trio’s last venture was the highly successful Leafly website.
Cy Scott, founder, Headset.
“Data is critical,” said Scott. “We heard time-after-time that people were looking for analytics and data on the industry but there wasn’t a product that met their needs. With Headset the problem we are solving is taking the assumption and guesswork out of building a cannabis business.”
Scott said that developing a business in the early days of the ever-growing cannabis industry someone could just put to market an edible or a vaping pen or a pre-roll and it would sell. “But these days it’s getting highly competitive; prices are depressed and shelf space is limited,” he explained. “Businesses now need all the information they can get to make important decisions and determine where the opportunities are.”
What does the competitive landscape look like? What is my brand positioning in the market? These are the questions that Headset hopes to answer.
Data is so important, and critical, said Scott.
“It’s an emerging market and a rapidly developing market and getting more and more sophisticated everyday,” he said. “Any edge a company can get will give them a leg-up. Data is a great way to provide that edge.”
Headset provides a variety of products. The first is called ‘Insight’ and it gives a company a comprehensive understanding of their own operation. “It can tell you what is going on with your sales; if there are any trends; what their inventory looks like and whether they are over or under indexed on certain brands or categories; what the budtenders are selling and promoting and how they benchmark against other budtenders in the organization,” he shared.
Insight works on a monthly subscription model. “The pricing depends on the number of categories you want to see,” said Scott. “If you only sell pre-rolls, you probably only want to see the pre-roll data. If you sell a variety of products like edibles, concentrates and pens, you want to see more.” There are nine categories.
The product works seamlessly in the background by connecting to a variety of Point of Sales (POS) systems. Currently, Headset works with nine different POS systems. “All the data is obtained through sales transaction,” said Scott.
Another product Headset delivers is ‘Bridge’ and is for retailers and vendors and provides direct data between them. “The vendor can see their products at the retail level,” said Scott. Retailers need to approve the data-share. “It’s a great way to help forecast demand and get a handle on not just the sell-in to a retailer, but the actual sell-through.” Subscriptions depend on “the number of platforms you want to connect to.” The first tier allows up to 10 retailers to share data back to the vendor, for $250 a month. Additional tiers drive the price of the platform. Market data is updated instantly.
Headset’s ‘Retailer’ product is for an individual store. The premium platform gives the store access to a limited number of dashboards. Add-ons include a “designer mode” where they can create their own dashboards and start at $500 a month.
Demographics of end users is another piece of data Headset offers its customers. “We only know gender and date-of-birth; nothing identifiable,” stressed Scott. “We take privacy very seriously.” The company uses the gender and age data to aggregate transactions. “It helps a business to understand the ratio of men vs. women who are purchasing and the ages of the purchasers; this data helps the marketers.”
Currently, Headset has 150 customers. “The cannabis industry has been growing by leaps and bounds and people need information,” said Scott. “We’re giving operators the information they need to be more successful.”