By Brad Weissberg/Dec. 10, 2017
Cannabis software company Green Bits and cannabis loyalty program platform springbig have sealed a deal that integrates springbig’s customer-loyalty solution and Green Bits retail management software.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Green Bits to seamlessly bring our platform to their extensive customer base and help these retailers increase customer retention and ROI,” said Jeffrey Harris, co-founder and CEO of springbig.
Springbig’s loyalty program uses SMS, loyalty marketing and other tools to encourage repeat business for cannabis retailers.
Green Bits has been providing POS systems to cannabis retailers since 2014. There are 750 retailers using Green Bits software across seven states and handles over $2 billion in annual sales. The software is subscription-based, paid on an annual basis and subscription costs are based on number of registers and uses.
“We’re the equivalent of an operating system for the cannabis retailer,” said Charlie Wilson, chief revenue officer, Green Bits. “We look for services that can bring valuable capabilities to our retail customers.”
There are two ways for springbig to collect customer data. One way requires a secondary device, such as an iPad, that sits on a dispensary countertop next to a register. The second way is to have the loyalty info stored is to have it fed directly into the POS system.
When Green Bits was looking to integrate a loyalty program they went to their customers for guidance. “The important thing for us is what we hear from our clients and we got a lot of positive feedback on springbig,” said Wilson. “After we studued the field we felt like springbig’s loyalty solution was the best fit and would bring our customers increased sales, greater volume, and increased repeat customer visits.”
Conversations started in June and integration started last month. “The game changing part about our partnership with Green Bits is that we eliminated the need to have a tablet capture the information,” explained Harris. “Instead of the budtender having to do the transaction on the POS and then put the loyalty information into the tablet it’s done seamlessly.”
Once springbig gets the info their system calculates the points earned by a customer and then alerts the customer to have many points they have via text message or email. All the redemption takes place on the springbig platform.
“Our mission is to get the retailer into the smartphone of their customer; along the way we are helping the retailer build their marketable database,” said Harris.
Compiling cell phone numbers is the key. “We collect cell phone numbers, which allows the retailers to target particular customers. The power of the program is not as much the ability to earn rewards but the ability of the retailers to grow their database in a smart way and market to the customer effectively.”
According to Harris, customers like getting the text messages. “Not only do they get to see their point status; they also get deals sent to them,” he said.
The reward that seems to be the most powerful in the cannabis retail shops is a free pre-roll. “It’s not very expensive for the retailers but is a high-value reward for the customer,” he said. “It also gets the customer into the store. We’re seeing customers using the platform multiple times a week, some everyday.”
The software is free for springbig clients and there is no minimum or contracts. The business-model relies on charging for the text messages they send out. On a pre-purchased basis, the rates are currently run from 1.5 cents to 3 cents per text sent based on number of texts sent. The messages never expire. springbig pays a “referral fee” and shares revenue with their POS system partners.
Springbig is also integrating with POS systems MJ Freeeway, Flowhub, and “more we will be announcing in the future,” he said. “We hope to be on every POS system eventually.” Green Bits’ Wilson said that platform works with multiple loyalty programs. “We want our users to use whatever loyalty system they want to use. The integration with springbig is just one option.”
Active for three years, springbig has focused exclusively on the cannabis loyalty programs only since January and currently has 250 customers and 300,000 cannabis consumers in its data. “The integration with Green Bits has already produced new customers and we expect that number to climb as Green Bits clients are made aware that the springbig platform is at their fingertips.”
“We started the company to service the Mom & Pop retail market,” said. “We took notice quickly that the cannabis loyalty customers were much more active than then any other retail space. Based on the opportunity we saw in the cannabis space we pivoted fully into the cannabis vertical.”
Green Bits is making great headway into new markets and recently announced that the company’s POS system is running in roughly 20 percent of all the retail outlets in newly created Maryland cannabis retail industry.