Digital Strategy Informs Ajoya Future Plans

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A robust digital strategy will drive successful cannabis companies as technology products and integrations in the space continue to advance.

Due to the regulatory environment surrounding cannabis, many operations have grown organically as customer needs increased. This includes how businesses approached the digitization of internal operating systems and customer interfaces. Additionally, many technology companies and services hesitate to work with cannabis companies limiting the options for products and integrations with existing products.

This creates a piecemeal tech stack for the majority of participants in the cannabis space. As needs arose, companies found a provider who could offer the desired service and added the product on top of their tech stack. For example, as SMS marketing grew in efficacy, retailers looked for a provider which willingly serviced cannabis companies and started texting customers. This created a gap in integrations, usable outputs, the ability to make data informed decisions and build an effective digital strategy.

Oftentimes when people think about ‘digital strategy’ they go straight to the marketing element.
In the grand scheme, digital tools impact every aspect of a business. Digital strategy focuses on using technology to improve business performance, whether that means creating new products or reimagining current processes. It specifies the direction an organization will take to create new competitive advantages with technology, as well as the tactics it will use to achieve these changes.

At the intersection of preparing for a Series A fundraising round and the rapid onset of COVID related pivots in March 2020, Ajoya completed a quick strike online menu and service update to facilitate touchless ordering. Subsequently, they took a deep dive into their digital footprint and ultimately decided to revamp their company-wide digital strategy.

“Through this digital strategy exercise, we’ve made a commitment to adapting and innovating before feeling the pull of the market or external conditions,” said Joey Gindi, CEO and co-founder of Ajoya.

Ajoya started the review by identifying the risks associated with a lack of or suboptimal digital strategy. Those include inefficient spending, siloed data, constant scurrying to keep up with market evolutions, physical equipment and software ill-equipped to meet business needs, and ultimately a substandard customer experience.

Ajoya wanted to account for: future readying all business units; creating a process to stay abreast of digital evolution in the cannabis space as well as periphery industries; continually streamlining the number of products being utilized by the Ajoya team; integrating and automating as many tools as possible; and most importantly, optimizing customer interactions with the Ajoya brand.

By choosing and continually evaluating high performing digital tools, Ajoya can optimize time, be faster to market, increase return on investment, improve communication, centralize information, enhance the employee experience, and increase customer retention and new sales.

The Ajoya team identified gaps and opportunities based on their unique business needs and created a digital vision statement. Then they selected the first set of platforms and partners for the initial updates. Ajoya expects to have round one of their digital strategy implementation finished by the end of Q1 2021.

About Ajoya: Ajoya aims to bring plant-based wellness to as many people as possible. Through their curated retail experiences, Ajoya offers high quality product assortments, education, and a thoughtful, customer centered shopping experience. Founded in 2009 as Compassionate Pain Management by the Gindi brothers, Ajoya has grown to close to 50 employees operating two retail locations and a cultivation facility. Ajoya continues to be locally owned and operations.

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Kate Heckman
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