Building a centralized e-commerce platform to manage distributed cannabis storefronts

Harvest House of Cannabis

Consumer Goods

Challenge

Harvest is defining and standardizing a quality user experience in the cannabis industry, but state regulations make it difficult to manage numerous stakeholder needs at scale.

Solution

We developed a custom headless CMS and static site generator that allows Harvest’s team to manage many different properties from a single location, while displaying different store and menu content based on a user’s geographic location.

Result

Harvest House of Cannabis can comply with local regulations and user needs while still providing a holistic experience of quality.

Harvest House of Cannabis is working to set the standard for quality across the entire cannabis industry, from visiting a storefront to using products at home. Since 2013 they’ve expanded their footprint by purchasing dispensaries and manufacturing companies across the United States, but they struggled to overcome the inconsistencies of their fragmented market. 

Harvest needed a simpler way to manage all of the unique qualities and constraints across their current properties, while maintaining a sustainable workflow as they continued to scale. Throughout this transition, they also needed to be mindful about sunsetting old properties in a way that retains customers that were loyal to the previous brand experience.

Crafting A Single Platform That Responds To Users

8th Light’s team began the engagement by hosting and facilitating discovery sessions to fully understand Harvest’s business and marketing priorities, while gaining input from subject matter experts. They used the inputs from these sessions to design, develop, and deploy a new marketing website that includes virtual storefronts and online menus for all Harvest locations. The React-based static site generator leverages a single headless content management system where administrators can update all of their various storefronts, including editing content and managing third-party integrations such as iheartjane.com.

8th Light’s consultants also set up an entirely new technical infrastructure that is better designed to work at national scale. We configured custom state-specific rules in the code to ensure that stores followed state-specific regulations, and that when new stores were added they would automatically be configured with the parent state’s regulations.

To ensure they retained all of the loyal customers of the dispensaries Harvest purchased, we also set up page-level redirects so that loyal customers could continue to visit the pages they’d bookmarked and be sent to the most sensible location on the new site.

We also partnered with strategic third-party companies for design and SEO optimizations. co/LAB provided feedback on our application of the brand to site design, and Arcalea made recommendations on optimizing the site for SEO.

Managing a Growing Cannabis Brand

After deploying the updated website, our team has continued to help maintain the site with lightweight support and feature development.

Harvest’s marketing team can now more easily update and manage the content for their various stores, responding to local regulations and market needs with a standardized brand and experience.

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