Jane vs. Dutchie: The Battle for Dispensary Menu Domination
How do you choose between Jane and Dutchie? First, we'll discuss the key differences and similarities between the platforms.
Digital menu and e-commerce functionality are two of the most critical components of a cannabis dispensary’s tech stack.
But, there are a lot of options, and there is no blanket solution that will be a fit for everyone. So, rather than a straightforward recommendation, we’ll give you a detailed breakdown of the two dominant players offering e-commerce solutions for cannabis dispensaries: Dutchie and Jane.
Both claim to have customers from large MSOs to single-location mom-and-pop dispensaries.
But, the reality is that they offer comparable core solutions. Therefore, what they do outside their core product will be essential to your decision-making. In this article, we’ll provide you with all the unbiased information you need to pick the right e-commerce menu platform for your cannabis dispensary.
Jane was founded in 2015, while Dutchie kicked off in 2017, and the two companies have been competing head-to-head for the last several years. However, Dutchie has made bigger waves publicly with excellent PR and investor attention.
Dutchie claims to have over 6000 dispensaries on their platform, while Jane claims 2300. So despite Jane’s earlier founding, in terms of scale and size, Dutchie is the current industry title holder.
E-commerce functionality is the core solution both Dutchie and Jane provide. If you operate a dispensary, your customers must be able to browse your menu online.
They need to be able to place orders from your menu or get a real-time representation of your available products if they choose to shop in-store.
As dispensary management, your menu must be cleanly and easily integrated into your website. Adding and removing products from your menu needs to be quick and seamless. Additionally, your e-commerce platform must integrate with other essential tools and platforms. Dutchie and Jane accomplish these basics similarly. The consumer probably won’t notice a difference between the two other than a slightly different look and filtering options.
They are both comparatively priced for their bottom-level option ($300/location for Jane, $250/location for Dutchie). So if all you’re after are the basics, then you might as well flip a coin.
And, if that’s all you’re after, then you’d better get in touch with us so that we can talk some sense into you; there’s a LOT more to consider.
Now, let’s dive deeper into the features outside of core functionality that will allow you to make an informed decision.
Here's what Jane and Dutchie both do:
Headless API (Jane Roots or Dutchie +)
While both Jane and Dutchie offer a super-simple iframe menu that you can drop on your website with just a few lines of code, more advanced operators know that this limits the ability to get any SEO benefit.
Does that matter? Maybe.
If you’re in a competitive market and have everything else dialed, it might give you a nudge in search.
But in a less competitive market, it likely won’t make much of a difference. It can be challenging to understand the true impact of an SEO-optimized menu vs. an iframe menu without A/B testing, which is difficult to do in this scenario.
At Hybrid, we typically err on the pro-SEO side, which means we’ll take what we can get. That’s where a “headless API” solution comes in.
It takes Jane or Dutchie’s backend functionality and technology and lets you create a custom menu that sits right on top. You’ll get complete SEO control over everything on the menu with individual products and pages with unique URLs.
But, more importantly, you can create an on-brand menu that seamlessly blends with the rest of your website.
To some degree, colors, buttons, and even functionality are all there for you to customize.
As a marketing agency, we emphasize a frictionless and on-brand customer experience. Because in competitive markets, the details really do matter.
There’s one downside to using a headless API that isn’t plug-and-play like an iframe menu:
You’ll need a web developer that knows what they are doing.
Both Jane and Dutchie offer a headless API option. Jane’s is called “Jane Roots,” while Dutchie calls theirs “Dutchie +.” Check out the Mellow Haverhill menu for an example of a custom-built menu using Dutchie’s headless API.
Notice the icons, categories, picture sizes, colors, buttons, and tiles. It fits perfectly with the rest of the website, rather than a “here is the website, and here is your menu” appearance you get with out-of-the-box solutions from Jane and Dutchie.
So while a headless API isn’t a “must-have,” it’s certainly a “very nice to have” option if you have the resources to take advantage of it.
Note: Dutchie has an offering between a headless API and iframe called a Subdomain Menu. This provides SEO benefits but not the full customization available with a headless API solution.
Your e-commerce menu is essentially useless unless it integrates with your POS system.
Both Jane and Dutchie have stable and time-tested integrations with virtually all of the most common POS systems available, including Treez, Leaflogix, Greenbits, Flowhub, Blaze, Cova, and POSaBit. In addition, Jane claims to integrate with an industry-leading 70+ platforms, while Dutchie claims 60+.
Beyond POS integration, you must consider integrations with payment processing, loyalty, and fleet management.
Dutchie and Jane have integrations with AlpineIQ and Springbig, which are by far the largest and most popular loyalty programs.
(FYI, we strongly recommend AlpineIQ over Springbig to our clients).
Dutchie will soon steer their current customers toward their payment processing option, Dutchie Pay (more on below). Until then, they integrate with several industry standard options. Jane offers even more options, including Hypur, Aeropay, CanPay, and Paytender.
Jane and Dutchie integrate fleet management platforms to power your delivery channel. While we don’t have specific experience with fleet management technology, this is an essential consideration if delivery is (or will be) a large part of your business.
Dutchie integrates with Onfleet (notable brands like Drizly and Gap use Onfleet). Jane does as well but has more options available, including Tookan and Getswift. Most interesting to us is their integration with Cannveya. Cannveya is a fleet management and logistics platform custom-built for the cannabis industry and is now a part of Weedmaps.
What Jane offers:
Jane Digital Merchandising
Jane Digital Merchandising is a program dispensaries can opt into that allows brands to advertise on their digital menus.
The simplest explanation is this: If you are a brand, you can pay dispensaries that carry your products to feature them at the top of their e-commerce menu. It doesn’t change the menu’s look or functionality, as the featured products still use the descriptions and images already in the Jane platform.
So this program is an excellent way for new brands to gain traction with customers that have already shown intent to buy (they are browsing a dispensary menu).
A brand can stretch its ad budget further by targeting category or buyer preferences. For example, suppose you are a brand trying to build awareness and sell-through of your infused gummies. In that case, you can target people that have already shown interest or purchased those products. The benefit to the retailer is 2-fold.
First, it’s always nice to expose customers to new products. Second, and more importantly, you get a cut of the brand’s ad spend. That cut to the dispensary has the potential to be significant.
From Alex Jundanian, Manager of Brand Media:
Jane’s per-location cost is $300, so the dispensary’s cut of the ad revenue can cover some or all of the platform’s cost. Additionally, those that have opted into the program are seeing higher average carts and conversion rates because of the targeted nature of the program (for example, the first thing a tincture shopper will see on these menus will be a “sponsored” tincture row of products.)
Customer reviews are the most notable difference in user experience between Dutchie and Jane menus. Jane has them, and Dutchie doesn’t.
We’re not going to take a hard position on whether or not this is an important feature. On the one hand, research shows users are 60% more likely to purchase from a site with user reviews.
But on the other hand, if they prefer an amazon-like marketplace experience, they will probably shop from Weedmaps, Leafly, or even Jane’s own aggregated marketplace.
If they are already on your dispensary’s website, they have shown intent, not only to purchase but to purchase from your business specifically.
We aren’t convinced that a lack of reviews (or their presence) would steer customers toward another retailer. In this context, reviews are more likely to direct a consumer from one product to another within your menu. This means the real benefit of including reviews on your dispensary menu is as a data point to help inform your product and brand mix.
Product-first shopping is a significant feature that can’t be underestimated if you operate a multi-location dispensary. Yet, surprisingly, there is no mention of product-first shopping anywhere on the Jane website. While researching this article, we even thought they had discontinued this feature but verified that it still exists with our contacts at Jane.
If you’ve ever shopped online for in-store pickup or product availability at a big box retailer, you have experienced product-first shopping. We’ll use Target as an example. When you go to the Target website and search for a Paw Patrol toy for your child, the Target website will tell you which nearby stores currently have the product in stock. You can then purchase the product and pickup in-store or drive over to the location noted by the website and pick it up off the shelf yourself.
For whatever reason, this standard retailer feature is not common in the cannabis industry. Jane is the only e-commerce platform we know of that offers it. If you are a multi-location dispensary, users can go to your website, search for the product they want, and then see which locations have it in stock. On most dispensary websites, you have to do the opposite. You pick which location you’d like to shop at and then search that location’s menu to see if they carry the product.
Reducing friction (and clicks) is essential for the success of any e-commerce business. A smoother and easier customer journey equates to higher conversion rates. So while Jane seems to understate their location-first shopping feature, we do not. This is important and is one point Jane has over Dutchie that should not be overlooked.
What Dutchie offers:
Dutchie's End-to-End Solution
Dutchie isn’t just an e-commerce platform, and this is by far its most significant differentiator.
In March of 2021, Dutchie purchased Leaflogix and Greenbits, two of the more common dispensary POS platforms.
And at the time of this writing, Dutchie’s payment processing platform, Dutchie Pay, is in beta and soon to be released.
That means that a single platform could handle the three most essential components of a retail cannabis dispensary’s tech stack (POS, e-commerce, payments). However, their payment module has yet to be battle-tested. Will it be perfect on launch? Probably not.
But considering this is Dutchie’s most significant differentiator and value proposition, they are all-in. The idea of a single unified platform is appealing for several reasons. When you have multiple platforms connected by integrations, there is always a chance for issues, errors, data loss, or syncing delays.
One of our clients, High Country Healing Vail, has experienced some of these issues. They currently use Dutchie as their e-commerce platform and Biotrack as their POS.
According to their GM, Carrington Pinner, “what gets rung in is not the actual number that is cashed out due to various types of discounts, including locals-only discounts, that we offer in-house. So it only goes off the retail price, which is not always accurate. That means the Dutchie numbers are off.”
HCH Vail is now moving to Dutchie Leaflogix over the next month to help solve this problem, which he expects will save them four hours of data input every time they do inventory. Of course, that time saved equates to money saved, but accurate and up-to-date data is essential for decision-making.
To be clear, we are not saying the issues experienced by Carrington at HCH Vail are reflective of Jane’s offering or the stability of their integrations.
(As we said, HCH Vail is already using Dutchie e-commerce.)
An end-to-end solution like Dutchie’s is not the right fit for everyone. Jane has been around longer than Dutchie (by two years), and their integrations are rock solid.
Assembling the tech stack that fits the use-cases and needs of your retail dispensary can be powerful. There is flexibility you don’t get with Dutchie’s complete solution. But, for many, having a single vendor and one unified platform without any potential integration hiccups is attractive.
While Jane and Dutchie are the dominant players, several other challengers are worth noting.
Olla – A relatively new platform, Olla is taking direct aim at Jane and Dutchie. They make some big claims on their website, including: “retailers experience 30% month-over-month sales volume growth when switching from Dutchie or Jane.”
They also claim dispensaries average a 32% conversation rate, which would be the industry’s best. Unfortunately, we don’t have clients using Olla, so I can’t speak directly about its performance. But, if their claims are accurate, Olla is worthy of consideration.
Tymber – Tymber’s key differentiator is its integration with Klaviyo, an e-commerce-focused email platform.
In our opinion, Klaviyo is the best email platform available for D2C e-commerce retailers, making Tymber a viable challenger.
There is no one-size-fits-all e-commerce solution for cannabis dispensaries. However, Dutchie and Jane have key differences that may make them more or less attractive to the particular use-case of your retail dispensary.
And now that you understand those differences, we strongly recommend you set up demos with both. Choosing the right e-commerce platform is essential and has genuine implications for your business’s operational efficiency and overall success.
Don’t take it lightly!
Thankfully, you don’t have to make this decision alone; Hybrid is here to help. So get in touch with us, and we’ll help you through this process.
Authors note: This piece was written based on interviews with Dutchie Director of Partnerships Jon Bond, Jane’s Director of Business Development Tim Zielinski, and numerous Dutchie and Jane customers. And, of course, this article is also informed by our extensive experience with both platforms. (We have dispensary clients throughout the US, some are on Dutchie, some are on Jane).