We have helped 10+ CBD clients get their businesses up an running and we have seen a pattern among the challenges they face and the challenges they cause for themselves. This short blog is intended to help those thinking of opening a CBD eCommerce store avoid common issues we see with our CBD clients.
Get Your Ducks in a Row
We know you are excited to get your business started and we know that you want to move while the market is hot but take the time to plan.
- Where are you going to bank?
- This is a huge issue with all of our clients. Get your bank account opened early.
- Exactly what category of product are you going to sell and how much inventory are you going to carry.
- If you are selling product with higher levels of THC, you will have more trouble getting bank accounts and merchant processing.
- Inventory cost can ruin your business.
- The name of the game in retail is INVENTORY TURN. The more times you turn you inventory, the more money you make. Inventory that does not turn is money lost.
- Find out what the best sellers are from your competitors or go to a local store. Don’t trust your wholesaler.
- Only stock the best sellers to start. Having your cash tied up in inventory that never sells will sink your business when you need to replenish stock that sells.
- CBD Merchant Services
- Before you start your business, get a list of all the requirements to take credit cards. We an introduce to a company that has gotten everyone approved. Just because Square says they accept CBD applications does not mean you will be approved or even evaluated. We see clients waiting 20 days to be told they need to start over.
- Once you have a list of all your requirement to get approved, get your documentation in order ASAP. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you can be selling. We will add an appendix with most of the things you will need, but this can vary by processor.
- Be ready for delays.
- Shipping products
- Pick a shipping partner like Ship Stream that will help you with buying postage and printing labels right from your eCommerce platform.
- Find the right shipping boxes. Boxes are not cheap, so use the smallest box you can per order. Plan ahead for 2-3 box sizes.
- Add marketing material to your outbound orders.
- Samples are great
- Tiny brochures about what’s new
- Or a little blurb about what makes you company special.
Building Your Website Challenges
One of the biggest challenges we see with all clients but especially with CBD businesses is that they don’t have product photography or the photos they do have are just of the product.
Take the time or spend the money to get romance shots of your products. People using the product, the product in a nice setting, the product on a table next to happy people, or whatever you can come up with. Have photos of your product in the real world will give you credibility and will reduce the amount of overused stock photography on your website.
Good luck in your new CBD venture, may you be happy and make a nice living.