SPEC CASE STUDY
Delivery solution for Long Beach dispensary, LB Green Room, to increase customer retention.
Sketch, InVision, Keynote
LB Green Room is a licensed cannabis dispensary in Long Beach for medical patients and adult use consumers.
LB Green Room’s current online ordering process is misleading and outdated; users didn’t know the site’s online ordering process until the end and couldn’t do things its competitors offer like use a card or order delivery. Users struggled to complete their purchases with ease.
LB Green Room’s site needed a more efficient and more clearly defined online ordering experience. I created a site redesign that removes any online ordering confusion and offers more ordering options, like a real-time delivery service, to compete in a crowded market and increase customer retention.
Research & Discovery
Misleading messaging regarding the shop’s ordering services.
Hidden search and filter tools make it difficult to browse.
In conducting a comparative analysis with competitors that included both local dispensaries and emerging delivery apps, I discovered the site is on par with the rest in the fact that it provides the basic functions necessary for online ordering. But most of these sites offer two key things: real-time delivery and credit card payment.
User interviews provided insight into cannabis purchasing habits, particularly how they order products and what they expect to see when ordering online.
Most use delivery services due to its convenience and ease.
Most prefer to pay via card as they rarely have cash on hand.
Some users are actually intimidated by dispensary storefronts, as they have security guards out front.
Several users were not shy in expressing their lack of cannabis knowledge when ordering products online.
There were several points throughout usability tests where users couldn’t complete their order to their satisfaction or just left the site mid-way. Users were, of course, frustrated they couldn’t order delivery or pay with their card. Some just left the site when their current location prevented them from finding what they wanted on the menu page.
Affinity mapping showed me that since people are used to getting whatever they need delivered to their door relatively quickly, they expect their cannabis experiences to be similar, with time and convenience being of high priority. Devoted cannabis users who maybe prefer to speak with budtenders in store want their online experiences to reflect their in-store experiences, with recommendations, deals, and reviews.
From here I prioritized features that expand the site’s online ordering options so they can complete their order with ease.
the site map
Performing an open card sort helped me see that the site’s navigation was okay as is, but decluttering the nav bar and moving less important pages to the global footer would add more hierarchy and prioritization for users. Adding a delivery service meant the site would need a section to introduce the service to users and explain the fine print. It helped at this stage to dive deeper into how other dispensaries with delivery services laid their nav items.
Like I mentioned earlier, customers want buying options that reflect modern purchasing habits. I added payment and delivery to ensure users would get to the end of the checkout flow. Removing the ability for the site to auto-detect a user’s IP address would ensure users could browse all menu items and make it all the way to checkout.
user persona + scenario
Jackie’s a typical cannabis user, focused on using CBD for pain. A common pain point is when she doesn’t plan ahead so when she’s out of CBD and is in pain, she needs something fast. She discovers her local dispensary, LB Green Room, has an online ordering system but finds out only after reaching the checkout page that she can’t actually get her items delivered; they only offer pick up AND are cash only. With no car and no cash, that isn’t going to work.
I sketched out various versions of each page, AB testing along the way to hone in on early design choices. The biggest challenge was incorporating delivery - I felt there should be a page that provides delivery details so users know how the process works, check if they live in the delivery zone, and understand fees and timing. It took some trial and error to get a layout that worked.
Testing at this stage helped me better understand how different types of cannabis users naturally navigated through the site so I could better design for various use cases. For example, some users went straight to the delivery + pickup page vs. the menu, so adding a “shop menu” button right below the text made it easier for users to shop.
Users less familiar with cannabis products were incredibly pleased to find that they could quickly learn more about the various strains right on the homepage, as it gave them more confidence in what they were purchasing since they can’t speak directly to budtenders.
The Final Product
Updating the fonts and colors at this stage helped give the site a more modern look, as one user noted the site “looked like a site from the early ‘00s.” More user tests helped me find more ways to improve the experience, like labeling products by the strain icons I chose to make the menu more scannable.
Next Steps & Reflection
I’m confident these changes provide a significant improvement in the site’s overall user experience. From here, I would continue to test with a more diverse group of cannabis users and explore ways to quickly verify customers’ age and recommendations to speed up the ordering process. Automated verification might not be realistic for a small shop, but is something to consider. I would also further hone in on the delivery service and how that process could be implemented internally.
The biggest thing I learned from this project is how to best manage feature overload. If I did this project again, I would spend more time fine-tuning the end-to-end delivery process over details that users may prefer but were not of utmost priority.