Cannabis brands are looking for alternatives to LeafLink, but why? LeafLink, the cannabis industry’s largest marketplace, has become a staple in the wholesale supply chain. They were one of the first to market providing wholesale brands and retailers the ability to connect and transact through an open marketplace. In the early days, when cannabis sold itself, the marketplace was a great place to get discovered and receive repeat orders.
Challenges with LeafLink
However, as state markets mature, and competition heats up, it becomes incredibly hard to stand out in a saturated marketplace. Even more so, brands with deeper pockets can pay to be seen first on the marketplace. As buyer’s login to order (required), they are seeing competitors rather than your products, ultimately leading towards potential lost sales.
Recently, LeafLink has even started selling individual brand sales data to that brand’s competitors. This allows for price undercutting and some feel are unethical practices, all for the sake of the $. Not only do larger companies benefit from economies of scale, but they can now pay to be front a center with buyers as well as gaining access to a competing brand’s data to use against them. This has many cannabis producers searching for a LeafLink alternative.
When considering alternatives to LeafLink, aside from the drawback of the marketplace and having your data available to the highest bidder, it’s also important to consider what tools they truly provide. Within LeafLink’s inventory management system, as orders are placed inventory doesn’t not deduct in real-time. Instead, a user must manually accept an order, which results in time lags and the ability to oversell or undersell inventory as well as having to manually reconcile records throughout the week.
As a marketplace who wants to own every buyer interaction, there is very little functionality given to the brand to go out and prospect or retain clients such as email campaigns, branded storefronts, or a robust CRM. In today’s industry where relationships reign supreme, it’s critical that cannabis brands are provided with the tools that put the relationship with the buyer first.
Lastly, in 2023 LeafLink increased subscription prices 2-3x without providing any new features or functionality. Some markets have even reported receiving less services with the price increase. In today’s environment where wholesale margins are slim, increasing costs without delivering more value isn’t palatable to many operators and hence, they search for LeafLink alternatives.
Apex Trading – An Alternative to LeafLink
If you’re currently looking to explore alternative options to LeafLink, we encourage you to check out Apex Trading along with other wholesale platform providers in the space. We have developed tools that put a brand’s relationship with their buyer first such as custom storefronts, email campaigns, a CRM and much more. For internal inventory and fulfillment we are integrated with seed-to-sale and accounting systems while providing features and functionality that are adapted to your individual company needs rather than trying to fit you into a box.
To learn more about alternatives to LeafLink or to request an Apex Trading demo click here.