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The Vault: Using data to drive success in cannabis retail

Mar 8, 2021

Data and technology solutions are used in every retail and CPG industry, and this is no different for the cannabis industry. Managing a retail operation, and exceeding margins, is no easy feat today, especially for a California retailer given the regionalized market dynamics, high city and state taxes, and thriving illicit market. Knowing what products to purchase, how to price those products, and who your consumers are, is critical to serving your customers, and making the most money while doing so. Headset’s Retailer suite of products are built for stores of all sizes and structures to have the best analytics to manage their inventory, vendors, and marketing campaigns.

Headset’s Director of Strategy, Jocelyn Sheltraw, caught up with our friend and partner, Rich Eaton, founder of The Vault Consumption Lounge in Coachella Valley, to learn how data driven decisions have been instrumental in running his dispensary.

Success in cannabis retail: The Vault hosts a data night
The Vault hosted Headset’s pre-pandemic February 2019 ‘Data Night’ in association with CVCAN at the lounge. It was an incredible night for the Coachella Valley cannabis community to get together to network and learn, and we look forward to hosting another at The Vault later this year!

Jocelyn: You have a unique background, tell me about yourself and what drove you to the cannabis industry.

Rich: I retired after 25 years of law enforcement with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department with the full intention of smoking cannabis and enjoying retirement.  Cannabis was never a focus of mine during my law enforcement career, as I had the normal college experience in the 80’s and knew cannabis was not what we were brainwashed to believe.

Jocelyn: You've been a big proponent of data and technology, what is it that excites you so much?

Rich: Data is king and for those that have not realized it yet, you better get on the bus soon. It excites me to see and identify trends, both good and bad and have the ability to adjust and watch the results via the data.

Success in cannabis retail: Rich from The Vault

Jocelyn: What problems were you trying to solve when you decided to use Headset?

Rich: We did not have any problems as we were introduced to Headset soon after opening.  What I did quickly realize is the benefit of using data for inventory management, staffing decisions, pricing products, and understanding if my discounts or vendor days were successful and jumped on board without hesitation.

Jocelyn: How has Retailer helped your business?

Rich: Headset has helped us dial in our product orders, we very rarely have overstocked items. We have been able to sell through most orders within 4-5 weeks of receiving the products. No products are sitting on the shelves unsold, which is a wonderful money-saving thing.

Jocelyn: What are the most used reports and what value do they provide your team?

Rich: For me it is the 'Daily Summary' emails. That is my first email of the day, every day. We are able to compare data from the previous week and also look ahead towards reordering and/or having to move some non-performing stock.

Jocelyn: What is an example of how Headset helped you make a business decision that otherwise you wouldn't make?

Rich: I think the best example is us closing on Sundays. Then closing on Mondays. Sundays became super slow during the initial months of the pandemic. Even though the data showed we should close, I fought the data because we are supposed to be open 7 days! Once we listened to the data, we made the decision to close on Sundays and Mondays. Then quickly saw Tuesday receipt totals jump significantly. That, along with saving thousands of dollars being closed two days definitely helped us survive the lowest of the lows during COVID.

Jocelyn: If someone called you and said “Why should I use Headset”, what would you tell them?

Rich: I would ask how they track their sales and inventory, budtender progress/sales amounts and then explain that the value we have gained from Headset data is undeniable. Then I would tell them to contact someone at Headset to discuss the more specific benefits Headset would add for their business.

Retailer Pulse has helped free up Rich, and his teams time, by providing visibility into the most important store metrics in an easy to read daily email and platform. If you would like to see how our Retailer tools can help your store with inventory management, staffing decisions, pricing strategies, customer segmentation, and more, sign up for a demo of Retailer.