Building Palmer Jane, a digital marketplace for cannabis-based products
The world is changing quickly and Palmer Jane’s digital marketplace for cannabis-based products geared towards women is here to prove it. Located in Colorado, the state that pioneered the legalization of adult use cannabis six years ago, Palmer Jane desires to connect local dispensaries with a new niche of customers. It aims to make cannabis as socially acceptable as having a glass of wine and is promoting the numerous reported health, wellness and beauty benefits of cannabis. Their vision instantly clicked with VTEX’s collaborative commerce approach, therefore setting the foundation for a unique and fruitful technological partnership.
The safe haven of Palmer Jane
Palmer Jane founders Holly Prohs and Katharine Leonard have both discovered the medicinal properties of cannabis through personal experience. As a result, they became aware of the wide range of the substance’s applications – chronic pain, anxiety, nausea, PTSD, insomnia, just to name a few – and implicitly started promoting it. But what they also realized is that information on products and treatment was highly inaccessible in the digital space.
“There are so many health and wellness benefits to cannabis, often more effective than your traditional pharmaceutical drug. However, there is not enough information out there unless you go into a dispensary and ask very personal questions, which plenty of people are uncomfortable doing.”Holly Prohs, Co-Founder, Palmer Jane
Palmer Jane hopes to recreate that in-house dispensary experience online, complete with live assistance, personalized expert advice, a local shopping vibe, and a welcoming brand identity. That way, through a digital safe haven that encourages discussion yet leaves room for discretion, stigma is slowly but surely overcome, liberating all types of American women to improve their physical and mental wellness.
“Palmer Jane portrays a hip and urbanite persona that you want to talk to about personal things. It’s a fictitious character that people look to for answers, because she’s got them all. And she talks to everybody.”Katharine Leonard, Co-Founder, Palmer Jane
Additionally, Palmer Jane recognizes that their target audience needs the proper guidance to safely navigate this new realm of benefits – and that they need it from the get-go. Thus, curating the marketplace’s products with the help of brands and dispensaries, and organizing the content in an intuitive way that reinstates the company’s deep commitment to a customer-centric attitude. The content on Palmer Jane is not intended to replace any recommendations from your physician or healthcare provider, and recognizes that you always seek advice from a medical professional when looking for treatment for a medical condition.
“We know our audience may not have a tolerance for all cannabis-based products. The first time I ordered one online, for instance, it turned out to be too strong. So our platform is about curating products without putting our consumer into a precarious position.”Katharine Leonard, Co-Founder, Palmer Jane
The power of Collaborative Commerce
Worthy of note is that the attention paid to customers is only one half of the Palmer Jane story. Equally important is caring for the dispensaries supplying the products. Indeed, Palmer Jane views their marketplace as a space to easily connect vendors and consumers, thereby helping all parties involved. The project comes to the dispensaries’ aid by expanding their customer base, diversifying their revenue streams, and upgrading their logistics operations, amongst others. What is more, orders on Palmer Jane will be able to support online payments, partly sidestepping the fact that credit card payments are not allowed for cannabis-related acquisitions. And that is the power of collaborative commerce.
“Dispensaries are very excited to onboard this project. They know they’re missing out on a big niche of customers that may otherwise not walk into their store. Moreover, with COVID-19, some of them are too small to even let people inside their premises, so the only thing that’s keeping their business alive is online orders with pickup options. Palmer Jane can mitigate that impact by bringing them customers that may not know to go directly to their website.”Katharine Leonard, Co-Founder, Palmer Jane
Bold project, bold partner
The innovative and progressive idea behind Palmer Jane requires partners mature enough to support it. With native marketplace capabilities, continuous trust from investors, and the prior vote of confidence of giants like AB InBev, VTEX fit the bill.
“With our extensive background in technology, we could have opted to build our own solution, but it would have taken us several more years and a lot more money. Finding a good technological partner was the better option – yet incredibly difficult. We were thrilled when we found VTEX, as we were looking for a solution that could accommodate a marketplace that works with unaffiliated stores.”Holly Prohs, Co-Founder, Palmer Jane
VTEX offers Palmer Jane great Master Data capabilities, customizations, geolocation features, and control over the content management system, all incredibly important for their digital commerce operations and subsequent plans for marketing strategies: capturing search engine traffic, setting up referral programs, leveraging social media, and partnering with pharmacies and doctors. Most importantly, however, VTEX brings business insights and know-how to the table, ready to help Palmer Jane prosper.
“VTEX is an amazing team to work with, everyone is so diligent by explaining the specifics of how the solution fits our use case. This collaboration helped evolve the Palmer Jane concept and solidify our business model. It was, and still is, a great experience.”Holly Prohs, Co-Founder, Palmer Jane
VTEX’s fully-scalable architecture will power that prosperity. The young company is anticipating to take the entire nation by storm as cannabis is gradually legalized. VTEX will thus provide the necessary flexibility for the expansion they envision and ensure business growth.
Until then, save the date: Palmer Jane is launching in Colorado on January 16th.