We sat down with NewKnow Co-Founders and retail tech aficionados, Jaffray and Steve, to chat about the unique challenges and opportunities set to take the retail space by storm in the advent of the legalization of cannabis in Canada.
What opportunity do you see in the industry?
Put simply, we’re on the cusp of a new gold rush in the retail industry -- and there’s great business to be had in selling pickaxes! With a new industry comes new brands, new products, and new customers needing education.
Cannabis retailers have the unique opportunity to start fresh with their customers and truly educate them with comprehensively trained, qualified staff.
How will we be helping cannabis retailers stay compliant?
At the end of the day, this is still retail -- we have new brands trying to tell their story with their hands tied behind their back.
The big challenge here is that these new brands legally cannot advertise their products to consumers. How do you create brand awareness without advertising!?
The key for these retail brands will be to educate audiences and create brand awareness through their trained frontline sales associates.
What are key challenges to expect?
After almost 90 years of prohibition, and decades-long campaigns of negative misinformation, the cannabis industry has the responsibility to educate their customers about the responsible use of marijuana.
This means training everyone, for both brands and their retail partners, will be paramount to ensure their new customer base receives the knowledgeable experience in store.
These businesses have one shot to make a good first impression in this post-prohibition age where some customers may not be familiar with the expanding range of products now available. The reality is that poor customer experience can set this industry back right at the starting line.
What is your vision?
Our goal is to contribute to this industry in a way that makes the experience as easy as possible for customers to get the products they need, and to, of course, drive sales!
We want customers to be able to walk into a cannabis retail location and ask: “Can you help me?” and have the sales associate be able to effortlessly educate the customer on applications, dosage, use-cases, types of consumables, rules, regulations and beyond.
The challenge comes down to this: if you’re opening 30 doors at once and training 300 employees at once, how do you know your frontline employees are all ready to provide excellent customer service?
Are you exclusively a “Cannabis SaaS” now?
While that kind of has a fun ring to it, the short answer is no.
We built this training & communication tool for retail, and in the end, the cannabis industry is just retail. Quality customer experience via a highly-trained frontline staff still wins the day, regardless of the products you’re selling. We built this tool for retailers and their brand partners before the cannabis industry existed, and continue to work with businesses from every industry!
What are you most excited about?
It’s so rare that a whole new industry just starts. This is definitely not something that you see every day! NewKnow can’t wait to be along for the ride. Look at the end of prohibition -- it launched dynasties, and we’re here to help those forward thinking players in the cannabis space build their own!
Cannabis brands and retailers are ready to take the stage now, but are their frontlines?
Sell Better Together: Exceeding customer expectations through exceptional employee training.
As a company that understands firsthand the challenges retailers and brands face in the ever evolving retail landscape, our mission is to provide technology that enables brick and mortar retailers, and their brand partners, to exceed customer expectations through fast and affordable employee training.
A well-trained network of employees across all areas of your business is the key to delivering the highest standards of customer service and creating memorable customer experiences surrounding your brand.
With this in mind, we created NewKnow to help businesses train, manage and communicate with their customer-facing employees. NewKnow empowers businesses to operate more efficiently, reduce training costs, improve in-store customer experiences, and ultimately increase sales.“We built NewKnow to help brick and mortar retail empower their front-line to sell better together.”