After many years of waiting, the New Zealand vaping industry became fully government regulated when the nation’s Parliament passed a set of proposed regulations in August. The vaping industry in New Zealand officially has the government’s blessing to continue doing business. Vaping businesses understand the rules, and they also understand the key role they’ll play in New Zealand’s quest to eliminate virtually all tobacco use in the country within the next five years.
So, what are the new rules, and how will New Zealand’s vaping industry change as a result of the regulations? Let’s see what the future holds for Premium Vape and other New Zealand vape shops.
What Regulations Has New Zealand Enacted for the Vaping Industry?
We’ll begin this article with a summary of New Zealand’s vaping regulations. These are the main aspects affecting vaping businesses and consumers.
- General-purpose retailers will no longer be allowed to sell vaping products in flavours other than tobacco, menthol and mint. Only specialised vape shops – companies that earn the majority of their money from selling vaping products – will be allowed to sell e-liquid in all flavours.
- It is now illegal to vape in a car in New Zealand when a child is present.
- Retailers will not be allowed to advertise vaping products.
- General-purpose retailers will not be allowed to offer loyalty programs or coupons for vaping products. Those promotional strategies will be allowed for specialised vape shops.
With those things in mind, let’s examine how the regulations are likely to change New Zealand’s vaping industry.
Vape Shops Will Claim Most of the New Zealand Vaping Market
If you vape or know someone else who vapes, you know that flavour is something that vapers take very seriously. It is very unusual, in fact, to find anyone who has vaped for a significant length of time and still uses tobacco-flavoured e-liquids. It’s more common for those who vape to do everything they can to avoid any flavours that remind them of cigarettes.
In enacting laws that prevent everyday retailers like convenience stores from selling most e-liquid flavours, New Zealand has all but ensured that specialised vape shops will claim the biggest slice of the country’s vaping market. That’s probably for the best, as New Zealand’s vaping regulations also specify that only vape shops will be allowed to recommend specific products or even to explain how to set devices up and use them. The convenience stores will introduce smokers to vaping, and those vapers will very quickly visit vape shops in search of better vaping products. Vape shops with the resources to do so should probably begin stocking up on newbie-friendly products now.
New Zealand Will Begin Producing More of Its Own E-Liquid
New Zealand-made e-liquid has been around for a while, but there are probably many other would-be e-liquid entrepreneurs in New Zealand who have been reluctant to invest in launching new vape juice brands for fear that eventual government regulation would either stifle their companies’ growth or ban flavoured vaping products entirely. Now that New Zealand’s vaping regulations have been announced, entrepreneurs know what the rules are and can invest in new vaping-related ventures without fearing that the government will shut the industry down.
Up to now, the lack of many prominent New Zealand-based e-liquid makers has meant that the country’s vape shops have mainly sold vape juice imported from the United Kingdom, the United States and Malaysia. Given the fact that some of the e-liquid makers in those nations have achieved worldwide popularity, it’s likely that much of New Zealand’s e-liquid supply will continue to come from overseas suppliers for the foreseeable future. However, it is equally likely that several new e-liquid makers will launch in New Zealand and gain significant market share over the next year.
Vape Shops Will Need to Be Creative About Their Promotional Strategies
Until now, vaping companies in New Zealand have been free to advertise themselves and have done so via traditional methods such as by purchasing billboards and sponsoring sporting events. The advertising ban in New Zealand’s vaping regulations will remove traditional forms of marketing and will force vaping companies to be more creative about the ways in which they generate brand awareness.
Marketing an Online Vape Shop in New Zealand
For vaping companies that operate online, search engine optimisation and content marketing will be the primary means of generating web traffic. Companies will publish content on their websites that they hope will rank well on Google. People will search Google for information about vaping and will become aware of those companies by discovering their blog posts.
More than ever, online vape shops will need to work hard to ensure that their product pages are well optimised for the highest possible rankings on Google, because it will no longer be possible to send traffic to those pages via traditional advertising methods.
Marketing a Brick-and-Mortar Vape Shop in New Zealand
For New Zealand vaping companies that operate primarily as brick-and-mortar shops and do not sell products online, generating brand awareness will be a little more difficult. People will be able to find those businesses in printed phone books and online business directories, but traditional advertising – such as buying an advertising slot on a radio station – won’t be an option.
If you run a brick-and-mortar vape shop, the best way to maximise foot traffic in the new age of government regulation will be to harness the power of word-of-mouth advertising. That begins with having the best selection and prices and offering customers a top-notch shopping experience. Offering the best customer experience in your city leads to positive reviews on Google and Yelp, and those positive reviews can help to ensure strong rankings on the results pages when people search for the best local vape shops.
Another thing to keep in mind is that New Zealand’s vaping regulations allow vape shops to use discounts and customer loyalty programs. One of the best ways to keep customers coming back is by ensuring that your loyalty program is as fun and engaging as it can be.