Cova is a leading point of sale (POS) solution in the cannabis industry. Cova helps retailers to simplify compliance, reduce operational cost and increase revenue through automated compliance and inventory management, mobile reporting dashboards and Cova’s Express Checkout app.
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With a growing network of cannabis industry partners, including Baker, I Heart Jane, greenRush, springbig, Bud Bytes and Budvue, a seamless tech ecosystem gives retailers access to the best tools available to run their business. Cova’s headquarters are in Denver and Vancouver, BC, and the company has a location in Regina, SK. Strain Insider spoke with Faai Steuer, CMO of Cova, about payment systems in the cannabis industry.
Strain Insider: Please give us a bit of background on your company.
Cova is where expertise meets passion. We’re relentlessly pursuing our goal of creating cannabis retail experiences which are built upon expertly-tailored software. Cova designed the industry’s first lovable POS — but we’re not stopping there. Our full retail suite, coupled with our dedication to being a strategic partner, rather than simply a software provider, is an excellent recipe for the growth of our clients.
Strain Insider: What exactly is your product?
We provide a POS and inventory management system with a built-in, customizable mobile dashboard, a loyalty program and an express checkout app. Our goal at Cova is not only to create great experiences for our clients and their staff but also for their customers. The essential features are centered around automated compliance, such as looping alerts, ID scanners and purchase limits.
Strain Insider: Why is there a need for Cova and who might be interested in your product?
Complicated tax calculations, tracking requirements and compliance rules make operating a cannabis retail store a far more elaborate endeavor than running a business in a traditional retail environment. As such, entrepreneurs who want to open a dispensary or a cannabis retail or delivery business need software that is built specifically to handle the complexities and nuances of this industry. A reliable POS system that is integrated into the state or provincial tracking system improves productivity and allows staff to do their job without putting licenses at risk.
Strain Insider: How long did it take to develop the product? Who was involved in it? Why is it secure?
It took four years to develop the products that we have today. However, due to the unpredictable nature of the market and the constant changes in the industry, we are constantly improving them and adding new features to them. We take a collaborative approach to building our products and work with our design and product teams, customers, partners and consultants to bring the most lovable POS to the space. In addition to leaning on industry experts to help us create a robust product, we share our retail platform with Cova’s parent company IQMETRIX, which powers 20,000 retail locations and hosts all its data on Microsoft Azure. With Cova, retailers can be sure that their data is secure and that we have the infrastructure to grow with them.
Strain Insider: What are your most important achievements so far?
With more than 350 contracted locations in just one year, we’re proud to be the fastest growing POS company in the history of the cannabis industry. We achieved this with a superior product and a focus on compliance. Today we have 90 plus integrations and we plan to continue to grow our ecosystem. This year we launched express check out and pre-order online, giving cannabis retail customers the freedom to shop however they want. In addition to our product advances, we believe that thought leadership through strong content and educational seminars have set us apart from the rest.
Strain Insider: What industry trends do you see coming up?
We foresee retail consolidation in mature markets, like Colorado and Washington. We also think that we will see stores in metro areas begin to specialize and address customer needs based on the demographics and socioeconomics of their surrounding communities. We also believe that we will witness the rise of the wellness consumer category, in addition to recreational and medicinal consumers.
Strain Insider: What’s next for your business?
There are too many evolving markets and opportunities in the United States and Canada for Cova to expand to other countries at this time. We do have plans to expand vertically through our partner network, which will increase the reach of our platform through online, eCommerce, business services (payroll, HR, training), CRM and more.