Dispense vs. Dutchie: Which is better for your dispensary?

Choosing your cannabis dispensary tech stack is a crucial piece in setting up your online store for success. From point-of-sale to loyalty, you want to provide customers with a premium experience while minimizing any potential hurdles so you can focus on what you do best: selling cannabis.

In researching SaaS ecommerce platforms, there are dozens of players in the cannabis industry. And you shouldn’t commit to any service at first glance or initial sales pitch. Always do your research. Here’s what we found…

Dispense vs. Dutchie: Which is better for your dispensary?

Winner: Dispense

Reasoning: Powerful SEO and customer data ownership

When it comes to cannabis eCommerce, Dispense beats out Dutchie across the board. Of course we are biased, but hear us out.


Selling cannabis online via eCommerce is non-negotiable for dispensaries. In this tech-based world, solely focusing on a brick-and-mortar store is no longer enough – you have to be online. The convenience of online shopping combined with the popularity of loyalty programs makes eCommerce a no-brainer. When searching for providers, there are 3 types of menus: native, iFrame (aka embedded), and custom build.

Dispense Menu

Dispense’s eCommerce solution equips retailers with a native menu, meaning it lives on your website domain. The Dispense menu is SEO optimized to give retailers ideal product content, metadata, and URL structures – all readable by search engines.

Dispense has the most performant menus in cannabis. The highest eCommerce conversion rates occur on pages with 0-2s load times – Dispense averages page load speeds of less than 2 seconds. Faster site speed gives you higher search engine rankings, and higher rankings mean more organic search traffic for your business.

Dutchie Menu

Dutchie provides both native and iFrame menu options, as well as a custom build. 

Dutchie Embedded menu (iFrame)

Though pitched as a simple quickstart option, embedded iFrame menus have their downsides. Firstly, iFrames have less SEO benefit. This is because they operate as a webpage within a webpage, and search engines can’t index the content inside the iFrame menu, so the content won’t appear in search results.

iFrame loading speeds are incredibly slow. When a website has to load an iFrame menu, it’s loading twice – once for the website, and again for the iFrame; iFrames require a significant amount of bandwidth in order to load all of their subresources, and slower speeds result in a lower rank on search engines. So it’s not a question of if iFrame menus will hurt your business, but just how much.

Dutchie Subdomain menu

This newer offering from Dutchie is a step up from the embedded menu option. You'll get some SEO benefits from a subdomain option, but it will be from your subdomain and not from your main domain: Google treats subdomains as different sites, separate from the main domain. So this gets you part of the way there because it's better SEO than an iFrame, but it's not as good as the Dispense SEO Menu option that sits on your main domain to drive search traffic to it.

Dutchie eCommerce Plus+

This menu allows for customization using Dutchie’s API, but it’s not without its flaws. These builds aren’t cheap, likely costing you $100,000 or more, plus additional monthly fees to host the website and maintain the integration. Even once the site is built, each new feature introduced will need to be custom-built, adding to the already mounting cost.

Data Ownership


With Dispense, retailers always have 100% control of their customer data. When you own your data, you can use it to gain key customer insights and track order analytics. These numbers can be used to plan, strategize, and market your store. Dispense will never market to or share your customers' information. 


When you use an iFrame menu hosted by a marketplace like Dutchie, there is a fundamental conflict of interest because you are sharing all customer and transaction data with a 3rd party whose sole goal is to sell cannabis – regardless of which retailer it comes from. When you aren’t given explicit ownership, it’s impossible to know what exactly a provider is doing with your valuable customer data.

SEO benefits

Search engine optimization is the process of driving free, organic traffic to your website to improve your site’s position in search results. To learn more about the importance of SEO for your business, check out the Beginner’s Guide to Dispensary SEO. 


SEO is one of the things Dispense does best. Every product, brand, and category using Dispense's SEO menu is searchable and can land your business in search results for the most searched cannabis keywords. Dispense generates dedicated URLs that are built to drive organic traffic and maximize search engine visibility.

The best part? Once you select your settings, the SEO optimization for hundreds – even thousands – of product pages is totally automatic.


iFrames have their uses and benefits, but SEO isn’t one of them. If you want your website pages to rank high in search engines, forgo the embedded iFrame menu for your eCommerce site. Opting for the Dutchie Subdomain or custom build, however, will open up your website to search engine optimization (if your development team knows how).


Dispense supports dozens of integrations to seamlessly blend into an existing tech stack. From POS to analytics, payments, and delivery, Dispense already works with your favorite partners.

Dutchie, on the other hand, blocks certain providers from integrating; namely, digital payment partners like Aeropay, KindTap, and TreezPay. Understandably, they don’t want to welcome competitors to their DutchiePay service. But, it does limit choices for retailers who may want to go in a different direction.

Dispense Team

Dispense is ecommerce software for cannabis dispensaries. We give dispensaries the tools they need to list and sell products on their own website, leverage their menus and data to drive SEO traffic, build direct relationships with their customers, and scale their businesses.

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