Advanced POS Systems


In this Growers Spotlight, we interview Jeremy Jacobs, CEO of Eyeconic.tv and EYECHRONIC about their services that improve customer loyalty, hover time, and retention.

Jeremy Jacobs

The following is an interview with industry experts. Growers Network does not endorse nor evaluate the claims of our interviewees, nor do they influence our editorial process. We thank our interviewees for their time and effort so we can continue our exclusive Growers Spotlight service.

As a disclaimer, this Growers Spotlight is focused on new sales technology in the cannabis space. We reached out to clients of the company for their opinions.


Abbreviated Article


Editor’s Note: Growers Network appreciates its readers! If you are limited on time, we are now offering abbreviated versions of our articles. Click below to view.



The Technology



How do you track customer behavior and responses?

We install special technology alongside the TV screens. This technology detects when customers enter the store, when they leave the store, and how long they spend in the store. It also detects return customers and provides statistical information that retailers will find useful.

It works by detecting people’s cell phone signal. Cell phones regularly send out “pings” to test the quality of their connection. The pings are also embedded with information about the cell phone. Our system detects these pings and logs how long the cell phone owner lingers in the store. The system then anonymizes the data.

As a result, store owners can see how many new and return visitors they get without breaching people’s privacy. Because we collect lots of data, we see ourselves as stewards of people’s privacy, and try to act in the general public’s interest.

There are limitations to this technology of course. If somebody isn’t carrying a cell phone, they aren’t picked up by our system. There are other means of circumvention as well.



What have you learned from your data?

We have found that 62% of the customers that appear in the EYECHRONIC network are return visitors. As our data set has grown, we’ve been able to examine what sales really looks like for stores and advertisers. We can estimate how successful an ad campaign will be or what the ROI will be for stores joining our network.



What software is provided with the hardware?

Statistical information tracks traffic during the week, allowing a manager to optimize their staffing. It also tells you what the best time of day for sales is. The software also allows business owners to add their own slides that will appear on the TV.



Are there any downsides to this technology?

There is a potential for abuse out there. Any system that logs and records customer information can interfere with privacy. We do our best to anonymize customer information. Additionally, a retail manager might misuse the information they glean from the technology about their employee performance. That’s a line we don’t want to cross, as it is not our intent with the software package.



Point-of-Sale Systems



If I were a business owner, why would I want a platform like EYECHRONIC?

It depends on where you’re coming from in the industry. The platform can serve almost every company in the industry:

If you’re a content provider, you can syndicate your content on our network to increase your viewership. Most TV networks won’t touch cannabis entertainment, but we will.

If you’re a cannabis retailer:

  1. We’re offering the entire platform for free to any cannabis retailer. It comes with an HDTV, a computer, the statistical software package, and a few sensors.
  2. You can add your own advertisements and content to the screen.
  3. Customers will perceive a decrease in wait time if they’re in line or waiting.

If you’re an advertiser:

  1. We explicitly work with cannabis products.
  2. Advertisements are targeted, increasing your overall ROI for marketing.
  3. Results are measurable. Our tracking system allows advertisers to run A/B tests.


Is the platform useful for businesses other than retailers?

The platform is versatile, and can serve more than just retailers. Smoking lounges and social lounges are great places, as cannabis customers linger for longer periods of time, which is perfect for ad placement.



What results have dispensaries seen from this technology?

One of our clients experienced such success with us that she decided to become one of our product ambassadors. She’s seen an average 25% increase of product sales for whatever product she promotes.


Feedback from Rocky Mountain Blaze

RMB customers are experiencing a whole new world of information since our new EYECHRONIC TV was installed last month. Thank you EYECHRONIC for such a great opportunity to inform our customer base.


Feedback from The Marijuana Company

EYECHRONIC Network is a great tool to have in the store. We can educate our customers on in-house sales using our free ad slots. There’s great education and entertainment content provided by EYECHRONIC, as well, and it even gets updated weekly. Our customers love to see what’s new and will often just sit in the lobby and watch for a while.


Feedback from Standing Akimbo

Upsides:

  1. Entertains waiting customers.
  2. Clock/temp are nice features, although sometimes incorrect.

Downsides

  1. Doesn’t have ads relevant to the vendors we carry at our shop.
  2. Repetitive ads


About EYECHRONIC



Tell me EYECHRONIC’s story.

A friend of mine wanted me to help him install a digital menu system in his restaurant. I pulled a TV out of my living room and installed it in his restaurant, using a laptop to control the images. That’s how Eyeconic, the parent company of EYECHRONIC, started.

A few years ago, Dank and Euflora reached out to us. They were interested in a digital media system. I lept at the chance; restaurant technology fits dispensaries almost perfectly. It proved to be a successful venture, and we started EYECHRONIC in full.

If you like the abbreviated article, let us know in the survey at the bottom of the article! We’re always interested in hearing your feedback.

If you want to read more, you can read the full article below.


The Technology


To answer your question, first we should talk about the technology we install alongside the TV screens. This technology is capable of detecting when customers enter the store, when they leave the store, and how long they spend in the store. It also detects return customers and provides statistical information that retailers will find useful.

Most of the time I get two questions from business owners when they hear about this technology:

  1. How does it work?
  2. Isn’t it really creepy to track that sort of information?

As to the original question, our technology actually detects people’s cell phones, since almost everyone today carries a cell phone. Cell phones rely on a consistent signal from cell towers in order to work properly, so they’re always sending out “pings” to test the quality of their connection. Our system detects these pings and logs how long the cell phone owner lingers in the store.

Cell phones are always pinging signals.

In response to the second question, the pings that cell phones send out are also embedded with information about the cell phone. The information contained in each ping identifies each cell phone’s unique ID and information about the phone and its service carrier. When our system logs a new phone entering a store, it logs it internally, but anonymizes the data. As a result, store owners can see how many new and return visitors they get without breaching people’s privacy. Because we collect lots of data, we see ourselves as stewards of people’s privacy, and try to act in the general public’s interest.

There are limitations to this technology of course. If somebody isn’t carrying a cell phone, they aren’t picked up by our system. Additionally, technologically savvy consumers can make their phone “spoof” the system, causing it to perceive a new customer instead of a return customer.

The amount of data we have access to grows almost exponentially, and can be really useful to both store owners and advertisers. For example, we have found that 62% of the customers that appear in the EYECHRONIC network are return visitors. These customers have returned at least twice to EYECHRONIC network stores.

As our data set has grown, we’ve been able to examine what sales really looks like for stores and advertisers. We can estimate how successful an ad campaign will be or what the ROI will be for stores joining our network.

One of the best parts of the platform is the useful statistical information it provides to a manager. For example, by tracking peak sales hours during the week, a manager can optimize their staffing to make the best use of their budtenders or sales reps. It also will tell you what the best time of day for sales is, allowing you to coordinate with outside vendors who are partnering with your store.

Additionally, the software also allows business owners to add their own slides that will appear on the TV. Want to advertise your weekly specials or promote your customer loyalty program? You can do so easily.

There is a potential for abuse out there. With any system that logs and records customer information, there is definitely a concern regarding privacy. We do our best to anonymize customer information and prevent targeting of individual customers.

Customer privacy is important.

Additionally, a retail manager might abuse the information they glean from the technology. A manager could use the software to correlate sales representatives and their sales performance, but this would be a misuse of the software’s purpose. That’s a line we don’t want to cross, as it is not our intent with the software package.


Point-of-Sale Systems


This is a great question, and it depends on where you’re coming from in the industry. The platform can serve almost every company in the industry:

If you’re a content provider such as a multimedia company, you can syndicate your content on our network to increase your viewership. We love to partner with content providers, as they keep our network fresh and interesting while improving our network’s quality. Most TV networks won’t touch cannabis entertainment, but we will. We’ll help get your content out there!

If you’re a cannabis retailer, the system is practically a no-brainer:

  1. We’re offering the entire platform for free to any cannabis retailer who wants it. The system comes with a 48″ HDTV, enterprise-grade media player, analytics software and hardware. This network typically costs $5,000 up front. In our case, the only cost is an internet connection and the physical space.
  2. 2.5% of the revenue generated from advertisements displayed on our network gets directed back to dispensaries as our way of saying thanks.
  3. You can add your own in-house advertisements and content to the screen!
  4. Customers will perceive a decrease in wait time if they’re in line or waiting. This improves overall service satisfaction.
  5. We have an optional add-on texting system available for marketing as well.

If you’re an advertiser, the system is also a no-brainer:

  1. Most large venues and networks won’t touch cannabis products for advertisement. We explicitly work with cannabis products.
  2. Advertisements are targeted to a specific audience (cannabis consumers), increasing your overall ROI for marketing. They’re also right at the point of purchase, where all the buying decisions happen.
  3. New, engaging content is provided regularly like any major television network.
  4. Results are measurable. Our tracking system allows advertisers to see how well their campaigns are running and perform A/B tests.
  5. Last month, we had over 5.8 million network minutes watched by customers, and over 725,000 unique impressions during that time.
The platform is versatile, and can serve more than just retailers. Smoking lounges and social lounges are also great places for our platform, as they’re places where cannabis customers linger for long periods of time, which is perfect for ad placement.

Social lounges provide plenty of linger time, perfect for a media network.

We’re also considering adding a streaming service to the platform for online retailers and delivery services. We realize that certain states (IE Florida) may only allow for cannabis eCommerce and delivery, so we’re looking into that possibility.

We’re also open to other ideas! We want to form partnerships, so don’t hesitate to contact us below if you have an idea.

Well… one of our clients experienced such success with us that she decided to become one of our product ambassadors. That’s always a point of pride for me. She’s seen an average 25% increase of product sales for whatever product she promotes.

Some of the customers have told us that they love the content, and will visit their local dispensary just to watch the new content every week.



Feedback from Rocky Mountain Blaze


RMB customers are experiencing a whole new world of information since our new EYECHRONIC TV was installed last month. We are excited to learn more about the system while optimizing its full potential in the coming months. Thank you EYECHRONIC for such a great opportunity to inform our customer base.



Feedback from The Marijuana Company


EYECHRONIC Network is a great tool to have in the store. We can educate our customers on in-house sales using our free ad slots. There’s great education and entertainment content provided by EYECHRONIC, as well, and it even gets updated weekly. Our customers love to see what’s new and will often just sit in the lobby and watch for a while. We still can’t believe we got it for free!



Feedback from Standing Akimbo


Upsides:

  1. Entertains waiting customers.
  2. Clock/temp are nice features, although sometimes incorrect.

Downsides

  1. Doesn’t have ads relevant to the vendors we carry at our shop.
  2. Repetitive ads
So the neat part about the EYECHRONIC network is that at the same time we’re building a network, we’re also building infrastructure. While we’re not certain exactly where this infrastructure is headed, it will allow us to provide more features and usability to both the end consumer and the business owner. In the near future, we’re planning to add a customer loyalty program that gives return customers bonuses when they return to a store.

About EyeChronic and Jeremy Jacobs


I went to college straight out of high school and got a degree in economics. I ended up working in the investment banking industry for many years and I made a lot of of money during that time. I primarily focused on the emerging technology sectors, investing in small businesses looking to expand their operations. I became intimately familiar with how many of the businesses operated and I spent a lot of time focused on entrepreneurship.

Then the “Great Recession” rolled around in 2008. Investment bankers were dropping like flies, and the companies I was investing in started to dry up. I realized I needed to change my tune.

How I picture Wall Street.

Right around this time, a friend of mine was asking for help with his restaurant. He wanted a digital menu system and entertainment for his patrons, which was uncommon back then. I ended up pulling a TV out of my own living room and installing it in his restaurant where customers sat for long periods of times. I used a laptop to control the images, and I sold ads to local businesses. That’s how Eyeconic, the parent company of EYECHRONIC, started.

As for my experience with cannabis, it began as it does for many American children: in high school. I experienced the recreational side of cannabis in my youth thanks to a few acquaintances. This opened my eyes to the backwards nature of drug laws in the US, and I’ve since been an advocate for legalization.

Eyeconic is the parent company of EYECHRONIC and was founded about 10 years ago. Eyeconic mainly serves the restaurant and food industry, and has partnered with Sysco foods, which serves thousands upon thousands of clients in the food industry.

One day a few years ago, one of our representatives in Colorado mentioned that Colorado was ready to legalize recreational cannabis, and they had a few associates at a dispensary named Dank who were interested in a digital media system. At almost the same time, another dispensary, Euflora, also reached out to us inquiring about our software. I lept at the chance; restaurant technology fits dispensaries almost perfectly.

So we started a pilot program to assess the viability of the digital menu space in dispensaries. Sure enough, it proved to be a successful venture, and we started EYECHRONIC in full. We originally intended EYECHRONIC to just be a digital menu system, but as time went on we realized that there was no TV network for cannabis media, so we decided to build our own.

As I previously mentioned, Dank and Euflora were our first two large customers. As time has gone on, we’ve expanded our network to include many large and small dispensaries. We don’t want to leave anybody out, but a few names you might recognize are:

Oregon

  1. Green Mart
  2. Sweet Tree Farms
  3. HiCascade

Colorado

  1. Faragosi Farms
  2. Today’s Health Care
  3. Colorado Wellness

New Mexico

  1. Budding Hope

And many, many more! The list keeps growing, and we’re happy to serve each and every one.

We have some big public goals! We want to see no less than 500 EYECHRONIC frameworks set up in dispensaries around the country by the end of the year. We have a goal of 1000 screens or more on the walls of dispensaries by August of 2018. This would make EYECHRONIC the largest network seen by cannabis viewers per week.

We’d also like to increase the amount of content we put on the EYECHRONIC network too. Currently we run about a 10 minute loop of new content once a week, but we’re hoping to expand that to several hours with unique shows. A former producer for the Howard-Stern show is starting a podcast with us soon.

As for what else we have in store… you’ll just have to find out. We’re always going to be improving service for our dispensary clients as well as their customers. The data we’re receiving from our framework is invaluable.

If you have an idea that you’d like to pitch to us, we’re open to new ideas! We’re always looking for useful partnerships. You can find our contact information below. You won’t find a more professional company in the space.



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Want to get in touch with EYECHRONIC?

You can reach them via the following methods:

  1. Website: http://www.eyechronic.net/
  2. Phone: 1-866-777-4467 ext. 420
  3. Email: [email protected]

Resources:

  1. Want to protect your cannabis business? Learn how in our article on Cannabis Business Security.
  2. Learn how Oregon protects it’s consumers with the OLCC.
  3. LivWell uses EYECHRONIC’s services. Check them out!

Do you have any questions or comments?

Feel free to post below!


About the Author

Hunter Wilson is a community builder with Growers Network. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2011 with a Masters in Teaching and in 2007 with a Bachelors in Biology.