Earlier this summer, Apple updated the App Store terms to allow cannabis apps onto the marketplace. There are still several specific rules they must follow including being submitted for review by a legal team rather than an individual developer and being geo-restricted to states where recreational cannabis is legal. But even with those limits, this is a win for the cannabis industry and an indicator of the path towards further legalization.
For companies considering releasing an app, there are likely some things they are pondering on how to make it in their best interest. Here are some of the things we are talking about with clients:
What tech stack to use?
We are choosing to use React Native for a couple of reasons. First, it has many good open-source UI components. Secondly, while only Apple has allowed cannabis apps so far, it is likely that Google will follow at some point. Using a tech stack that works on both saves work in the long run.
It is going to be important to get things out quickly as other companies also rush to market. A way of making a better product faster would be to release smaller pieces as they get made – just a component or a couple of components at a time even, to get user feedback as you continue developing.
eCommerce + Mobile App
The mentality shouldn’t be either an eCommerce website or a mobile app, and yet these products shouldn’t be exact mirrors of each other either. Consider them each as unique pieces of the grand puzzle to attract loyal customers and serve them best.
Reducing ordering friction
Both the mobile app and eCommerce site should seek to make placing an order as easy as possible. Some unique ways a mobile app can be involved in that are by linking to things like your location and apple pay. This can also be connected to dynamic delivery options to get customers their desired products ASAP.
Another customer touchpoint
Mobile apps offer a great marketing strategy by allowing companies to directly connect with users easily and efficiently. Push notifications, for example, are more likely to be seen than online advertisement or email marketing and offer customers simple ways to interact with the application.
Building customer relationships
Hopefully, both your eCommerce site and mobile app are part of building strong customer relationships, but they can be viewed in different ways. Mobile apps are more likely downloaded by customers who are interested in developing or maintaining brand loyalty. This can be built into a rewards system, tools that make shopping easier for return customers, or by offering helpful personalized messaging.
The market will likely be seeing a large uptick in cannabis apps on the app store in the next few months, but these things follow a bell-curve type trajectory as companies find their balance between mobile apps and websites and other strategies. It is likely that companies that get apps out sooner and get more user feedback will have more success in the long run though. If you would like to talk further about making a good app to get out there, our team of experts would love to work with you!
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