Google Maps Cannabis

How Google Maps Transforms Cannabis Business Visibility

Ever felt lost trying to elevate your cannabis business across multiple marketing channels? You might have the best products, a fantastic team, and even a killer social media strategy. But there’s one tool that might just be slipping through your fingers: Google Maps. 

The cannabis industry, booming and buzzing as it is, demands smart marketing strategies. So, here’s everything you need to know about getting your physical store on Google Maps.

Regional Disparities in Cannabis Retail

Canada’s cannabis market is a tapestry of contrasting strategies. Alberta, with its open stance on private-sector retail, boasted a whopping 14.3 cannabis stores for every 100,000 folks by 2021 (and this number is only growing). 

Meanwhile, Quebec went down a different route. Opting for a government-owned retail monopoly, they clocked in with just 0.6 stores per 100,000 Quebecois

These differing approaches showcase how regional policies can shape the accessibility and presence of cannabis retailers.

The Direct Correlation between Proximity and Purchase

Think about your buying habits for a second. If there’s a store close by, are you more likely to walk in? The cannabis market isn’t immune to this trend. 

Recent research clearly indicates that proximity plays a massive role in influencing consumer purchase behaviours. Specifically, when you’re closer to government-regulated cannabis stores, the chances of you making a purchase there go up. And this isn’t just a vague hypothesis — data backs this up.

In 2019, respondents were, on average, living at a distance of 6.8 km from the nearest legal retail store. Fast forward to 2021, and this gap shrunk to just 1.5 km. 

What happened? The number of retail cannabis stores went up, and with this expansion, more folks in 2020 and 2021 started leaning towards legal sources for their cannabis needs.

The message is clear: convenience is king

So, if you’re in the cannabis business, understanding and leveraging this proximity effect can give you a real edge. Time to put that pin on the map and get close to your consumers!

The Influence of Google Maps on Local Business

People are turning to Google Maps in droves to find the nearest spot to grab a bite, get a haircut, or, yeah, buy some cannabis. 

In places like the Greater Toronto area, where cannabis stores (over 300 of them!) have outnumbered popular joints like Tim Horton’s (just 171), having a bold presence on Google Maps isn’t a luxury—it’s a must. 

Google Maps has evolved far beyond its original function. Today, it’s an indispensable tool for businesses aiming for heightened visibility. A prominent listing for a cannabis business on this platform ensures that potential customers can discover your products with ease.

Strategies to Optimize Google Maps Listing

Having a listing is just the beginning. Think of your Google Maps profile as a fusion of your business card and your brand’s reputation — it requires meticulous attention to detail and consistent updates. You need to optimize and ensure accuracy if you want to see any success. Here’s how to do it:

  • Use Google Business Profile: Formerly known as Google My Business, fully utilize your Google Business Profile to manage and optimize your business listing. It’s like the control center for your Google Maps presence.
  • Add Operating Hours: In addition to location, one of the top things people search for on Google maps is when a business is open. So, make your store hours are regularly updated to help your customers get the information they need.
  • Frequent Updates: Keep your business information fresh because an outdated phone number or incorrect address can lead to missed opportunities.
  • Customer Reviews: Encourage your patrons to leave honest feedback since authentic reviews provide valuable insights to potential consumers and position your brand as trustworthy.
  • Engage with Reviews: Responding to both positive and negative reviews show you’re engaged and value customer feedback. 
  • Quality Imagery: Showcase your establishment’s exterior, interior design, or any non-restricted products through high-resolution photos. This offers potential customers an inviting glimpse into the ambiance and aesthetics of your store.
  • Insights and Analytics: Pay attention to the metrics. Understand how people find you, and tailor your strategy accordingly.
  • Local Engagement: Partner with local events or collaborate with neighbouring businesses. It enhances community presence and makes you a recognizable face in the local scene.
  • Google My Business Chat: Enable real-time conversations with customers via Google My Business. Add a “Message” button to your listing, allowing the opportunity for immediate engagement and skyrocketing customer loyalty.

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