“Cannabis” and “eCommerce” are currently two of the hottest terms in online business.
Riding the wave of legalization in America, Canada, and further afield, cannabis is fast becoming one of the century’s essential consumer goods. Not only do people enjoy getting high, but they’re also starting to understand the many health benefits associated with the plant.
ECommerce is the name given to businesses that make their sales online. Thanks to the availability of eCommerce technology nowadays, it’s quickly taking over from physical stores as the primary way people buy their goods.
Here, we’ve looked at the intersection of cannabis and eCommerce and how online business is changing the cannabis industry.
Regulations & COVID-19
Even since its decriminalization in many jurisdictions, cannabis has been limited to physical stores by various regulations. Different areas have varied requirements when it comes to delivering cannabis by mail, which has limited the potential for online growth.
However, the coronavirus has changed things in many areas, especially for people who use cannabis for medical reasons. Cannabis prescribed for conditions like insomnia, glaucoma, anxiety, and focus issues is now classed as an essential good in some places, leading to much more favorable treatment by authorities. You can now buy weed online in Canada and in various areas where cannabis is legal.
Ease of Access
The biggest problem in business (no matter what you’re selling) is building a customer base. Finding people to sell to is always a challenge, especially when many areas are following movement restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
ECommerce is providing an effective solution to this problem in a lot of areas. If you have a proper online store set up like Just cannabis, your clients can buy all their cannabis products from you without leaving the comfort of their living room.
This has allowed some cannabis dispensaries to operate at a higher level during the pandemic than ever before. People under lockdown conditions often have little to do to keep boredom away, so they’ll end up ordering more cannabis than normal as they don’t need to leave the house.
Some regions sold as much as 20% of their cannabis online before the pandemic; that percentage is likely to skyrocket this year.
The internet expands your reach in terms of getting products to customers. However, it also extends the reach of your marketing efforts; that is, the number of customers you interact with in the first place.
Online marketing tools allow modern businesses to show themselves to vast numbers of potential buyers for reasonably modest prices. Outlets like social media, blogs, and online videos create the possibility of marketing content going viral, potentially reaching thousands of people.
The best way to bring your content to a lot of people is to pay attention to SEO principles. When you’re writing blog content, for example, be sure to use your keywords correctly and use plenty of external links. You should also make sure to optimize data-heavy content (such as photos and videos) on your webpages to reduce the amount of memory they use, as poor website performance will make your web pages less attractive to search engines.
Interaction With Customers
You might think that doing all your business online would limit your ability to interact appropriately with your customer base. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Online tools give business owners many different ways of communicating with people shopping from their stores.
If you use social media as a marketing platform, you can use messaging apps to reach your customer base. Encourage them to reach out to you if they have a comment or complaint and provide them with effective responses as quickly as possible.
Brands like Trulieve and Green Thumb have succeeded in communicating with customers this way, so there’s no reason you can’t do it.
Traditional cannabis stores were limited, first and foremost, by their “brick-and-mortar” setup. If you’re selling over the counter, you’re only going to be doing business with the people that live in your area.
However, if you can mail products to faraway locations, your scale capacity is instantly multiplied. This means that dispensaries can now be successful even if they’re not situated in major cities.
Rather than growing large quantities of weed only to sell it to retailers at a massive discount, growers can directly bring their product to consumers. This removal of a link in the chain makes the market more efficient and means that those buying the weed can enjoy lower prices.
Getting Ahead With Your Cannabis Business in 2020
2020 is not the ideal year to be starting a new business venture. The COVID-19 pandemic and the movement restrictions that come with it have led to huge uncertainty in almost every market.
However, if you want to start selling cannabis, eCommerce might help you to make a success of your venture even in these daunting circumstances.
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- World Atlas (2020) Countries Where Cannabis Is Legal. Retrieved from: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-where-cannabis-is-legal.html
- Google. (2020). Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide. Retrieved from: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en
- Global News (2019) Why do Canadians hate to buy marijuana online? Retrieved from: https://globalnews.ca/news/5079962/marijuana-online-sales/
- Mention (2020) Social Customer Service: Lessons from 5 of Our Favorite Brands. Retrieved from: https://mention.com/en/blog/social-customer-service/