No niche, market, or industry will survive in this era without having a strong presence in the e-commerce business. Whether a firm functions as a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C), e-commerce is a vital part of the modern marketing strategy. And yes, that includes the cannabis industry.
The Cannabis Industry
On the onset, it can seem that cannabis and e-commerce is a definite mismatch. But since legalization has begun in Colorado last 2010, the sales of marijuana and the potential for the entire market has thrived. In fact, in 2016, Colorado cannabis retailers have reported a billion dollars worth of sales in a single year.
In a report by Retail Dive, the global market was said to reach sales of 150 billion dollars, and the estimate is that 166 billion dollars will be its worth in 2025.
Another significant part of the industry is the sales of cannabis “things”. This category of "things" can be defined as personal use items like pipes, vaporizers, bongs, storage containers, and many more. There are also growing systems, irrigation, lights, piping, hydroponics, fertilizers, and oil extraction tools.
Allowing cannabis retailers to open e-commerce platforms can definitely be beneficial. So, what's stopping them from doing it?
The Freedom in Cannabis Things on E-commerce
If you are a cannabis things seller that markets consumption tools, you can definitely benefit from e-commerce. If these things are legal, you can readily purchase them from significant e-commerce retailers. Of course, the cannabis industry is not just made of top quality weed strains, and there are many accessories and equipment, including sales materials, ventilation, security systems, and other related objects.
If you are a supplier of one of these things, here's how you can maximize e-commerce:
- Create a beautiful website design and web management.
- Educate yourself on inbound and outbound marketing.
- Make the most out of content copywriting and being a great information source.
- Master the art of Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing and Pay Per Click Advertising.
Challenges In The E-commerce Industry
- Except for hemp products, cannabis products and most of its derivatives cannot be sold online without restrictions. It is possible to purchase in Canada and in the United States, but it is not legal everywhere.
- There are many discreet ways and workarounds to help business owners sell the products, but this can put the buyer and seller at risk for penalty and prosecution.
- There can also be a big problem in having payment options as some third-party services that are commonly used in e-commerce are reluctant to partner with cannabis firms.
- Most legal cannabis e-commerce websites in the United States are obliged to require a valid doctor's recommendation and a medical marijuana patient ID so that they will be granted access to the checkout process.
- The current cannabis industry makes it very difficult for new entrepreneurs to get into the business because of barriers in legislation, difficulty in sourcing bank loans, and the inability to deduct some expenses from taxes.
- Cannabis retailers also have to prove to government agencies that they screen their buyers carefully and that they limit selling to be equivalent to the amounts as regulated by state law.
Looking At Everything As An Opportunity
These challenges can be seen as an increasing problem in business survival, but entrepreneurs must only look at this as a great opportunity. This process can be made easier by working with the leading cannabis marketing agency.
Cannabis retailers must still stick in this industry that comes with great potential for high earnings, a broad consumer demographic, and very little competition. Cannabis enthusiasts must look at things this way: startups can choose their specific niches to involve high-quality seeds, strains, buds, paraphernalia, accessories, edibles, rolling kits, supplies, grinders, and growing equipment.
More importantly, because the market is consistently heating up, investors are turning their attention to cannabis-related businesses that are committed to the entire industry.