MJBizMagazine September 2021 - 68

BestPracticesInRetail | Solomon Israel
Even with in-store shopping opening
up, Farris said a lot of consumers are
still placing delivery orders because of
the convenience. " They don't want to
buy cannabis any other way anymore. "
Focus on Drivers
Hiring a third-party delivery service was
never possible for Nice Guys Delivery
because of California regulations
that require deliveries to be made by
workers directly employed by licensed
retailers.
Nice Guys had 20 employees at the
start of 2020, with its staff growing
to about 55 this past June as a direct
result of the pandemic. About 30 of
those employees are drivers.
Clean driving records and
background checks are an obvious
starting point when hiring delivery
drivers. Beyond that, customer-service
skills are critical, Nice Guys' Gray said.
" They're the actual face that is going to
be at the customer's doorstep. "
Most of all, said Blackbird's Ballard,
drivers should be consistent and
reliable, ready to show up and deliver
the goods.
" The first thing I look for is someone
who's going to show up five days
a week, " said Ballard, adding that
Blackbird experiences better results
with full-time drivers rather than parttime
ones.
Dependable, friendly drivers also can
reap benefits in the form of tips.
" Our delivery drivers do very well, "
Gray said. " I joke all the time that I'm
going to quit my job and just start to
drive. "
Keeping Drivers Safe
Since drivers deliver high-value
inventory, their safety is paramount.
Blackbird puts tracking units on
all its delivery vehicles for safety
purposes, but they also offer an
operational benefit. " We can move
deliveries around if we need to,
because we know exactly where
everyone is at all times, " Ballard said.
68 MJBizMagazine | September 2021
David
Farris
Planet 13 in Las Vegas
created an in-house delivery
service to serve customers.
Courtesy Photo
Fees or no Fees?
Blackbird charges cannabis retailers
a flat delivery fee of around $10, plus
a per-mile rate. Ballard said most of
Blackbirdʼs delivery clients donʼt pass
on the full fee to customers.
Charging fees is one way to recoup
the costs of a delivery service, but
some delivery operators simply require
a minimum-order value to qualify for
free delivery.
Planet 13, for example, requires an
order of at least $50, Farris said.
" We do want to offer these services
Blackbird also has an exact-change
policy, so that drivers aren't carrying
large amounts of cash in order to
make change.
Gray of Nice Guys Delivery said
her customer-service team doubleconfirms
the details of every delivery
location to make sure it's legitimate.
" If there are any red flags-like an
address being in a parking lot-we
won't do the delivery, " she said. The
company also monitors local police
and fire activity to steer drivers away
from trouble.
Planet 13's security team trains
its drivers to improve their situational
awareness and help them make safe
decisions, Farris said.
for free, " he said, adding that free
delivery promotes customer loyalty.
" If you're ordering a $40 product and
paying $15 in fees just to drive it to
your house, why not just spend $50? "
he said.
In California, Nice Guys Delivery
doesn't charge fees, either. The
company requires a $50 minimum
order for deliveries in its home area of
Marin County and a $100 minimum for
deliveries to San Francisco.
" I feel a minimum (required) order
structure is more transparent, " Gray
said.
" No one likes to see additional fees
at checkout, despite you even saying
that you have a delivery fee upfront.
People get disappointed when they go

MJBizMagazine September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMagazine September 2021

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