Sell CBD the Simple Way
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Some History on CBD
Nearly four thousand years ago a Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, also known as the Father of Traditional Chinese Medicine, wrote in his The Great Herbal book that hemp can have therapeutic effects on gout issues, rheumatism and absentmindedness, among a variety of other ailments.
Fast forward to present digital-ridden days: you can now purchase a growing lineup of CBD goods both online and in-person, at convenience stores and in luxury celebrity-owned boutiques, all across the US and abroad too.
In order to take advantage of this global movement, you need to know how to properly and legally market and sell your CBD products online. After all, competition is fierce, and with an increasing number of people choosing cannabis as a treatment for common illnesses and ailments, and staying ahead of your competitors is key.
So, if you are contemplating ways to sell CBD online, keep reading.
Selling CBD online is perhaps the easiest way to market the popular product (note CBD is not legal in all 50 US states), which can be transformed into a wide range of products, including:
- Topical balms
While shoppers tend to purchase CBD more often in brick-and-mortar stores, the ease of shopping online is sure to increase the popularity of CBD ecommerce in the future.
Just like with any other online business, selling CBD oil and other CBD-infused products online presents a few obstacles that must be overcome prior to launching a website and kick-starting the marketing process. What are those obstacles? From the legalities and rules that surround the CBD industry to the keyword research, SEO-optimised content and link-building that is required to stand out in this already-saturated market, it is well worth brushing up on your knowledge.
A well-informed marketer can feel confident about embarking on a digital journey that is sure to be as lucrative as it is enjoyable, so allow some time to further enlighten yourself on the ins and outs of how to sell CBD online.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, widely known as CBD, is a popular natural substance reportedly used to help with a wide range of conditions. It is added into tinctures, edible foods like gummies and oils, as well as body products like balms and lotions.
Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the primary mind-altering substance contained in cannabis, CBD is non-psychotropic. The cannabinoid can be extracted from both the hemp and marijuana plants, with industrial hemp plants proving to be the most popular for CBD extraction.
Miraculously, the human body is equipped with something called an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex system produces its very own cannabinoids and is responsible for achieving homeostasis through the receiving and transmitting of signals sent by cannabinoids, like CBD. Cannabinoids work by binding with receptors scattered throughout the brain and immune system.
Numerous scientific studies have successfully demonstrated the way in which the ECS reacts when a dose of cannabinoids like CBD is administered. For example, this study published in the journal Neurotherapeutics suggests that CBD may actually inhibit or activate compounds found in the ECS.
A prime example of the way CBD may benefit the body is through stopping the absorption of anandamide. The plant may also trigger a number of other immune system responses, according to this study on The Profile of Immune Modulation by Cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD Industry by the Numbers
Partially due to the advertised health benefits, partially because of the close affiliation with the cannabis plant, consumer interest around CBD products has been on a steady rise since 2016.
2018, specifically, was named as the “breakout year” for CBD by EAZE, a San Francisco-based cannabis delivery platform.
In 2018, the number of US CBD consumers doubled, from 2.6% to 4.8% with *drumroll*…Baby Boomers leading the pack.
EAZE data suggests that female Boomers were among the most likely CBD users, opting for these products to deal with anxiety, sleep issues and pain relief.
A survey by Consumer Review further states more than a quarter of people in the US say they’ve tried CBD at least once in the past two years.
That makes sense as CBD oil is now infused in loads of products across the board, especially in the wellness, food, beverage and beauty industries. From tinctures and topicals to gummies and even lattes, consumers now have a bevy of CBD products to explore.
So what makes them tick the most? According to Brightfield Group, regular CBD users prefer to use vaping products, followed by the use of high-CBD flower:
Growing interest? Checked. Overall consumer awareness? Rising! What about market growth prospects? Well, these seem to be solid too.
By 2025, the retail market for CBD products in the US is expected to hit $16 billion (£11.75 billion), up from $2 billion (£1.54 billion) in 2018.
Compound the above with the fact that, among those who are familiar with CBD, 80% support its usage (even if they are not personally using it) and it becomes clear that CBD is a very promising niche for starting an online business.
9 Steps for Starting a CBD Business Online
Hyped products often have a short shelf life, but Inferring from above, the interest in CBD is here to stay.
So if you are interested in exploring this high-growth niche, here are the main steps for starting an online CBD business:
- Identify your CBD niche and products
- Understand the laws and regulations around CBD
- Generate a thorough CBD business plan
- Get your business documents in order
- Find your CBD supplier
- Discover the perfect ecommerce platform
- Build up your site
- Determine shipping and payment terms
- Market your business
Identify Your CBD Niche and Products
A quick sweep through the (digital) shelves of any wellness store will prove that you can now buy CBD-anything. Creams and ointments, human and pet chewies, hemp clothes and accessories — when the consumer interest is high, loads of entrepreneurs try to capitalise on the hype.
What should you sell then: the trendy stuff or the “classics”? Well, that’s for you to decide. When assessing the overall market prospects, look into the general niches first. Here are the most popular ones:
- CBD-infused foods/beverages
- Supplements/wellness products
- CBD-based cosmetics
- CBD pet products
Next, you should zoom in on your product types. Most of these differ, based on the CBD consumption method:
- Drops and sprays: The key ingredient in both is CBD oil, decarboxylated from hemp/hemp flowers and mixed with a carrier oil. Drops and sprays can also include flavouring agents and other compounds that make them more pleasant to ingest
- Pills and capsules: Wrapping a dose of cannabinoid in gelatin or soft gel capsule makes it more digestible. Also, since many people take CBD as an alternative to over-the-counter medicine, this form may seem more familiar and thus appealing to them
- CBD vapes and cartridges: Inhalation products tend to be popular among recreational MJ users and people who enjoy the social aspect of vaping. Also, this method is often preferred by consumers using CBD for pain relief as it gets absorbed faster to the blood system through inhalations
- Tinctures: Just like medicinal tinctures, CBD-based ones are made by combining cannabinoids with alcohol or another strong solvent. Sometimes CBD tinctures also contain extra herbs. While most don’t have great flavour, tinctures are popular with people who want to feel the effects of CBD quickly
- Topicals and patches: Best suited for targeted action such as joint, back, or menstrual pain, topical ointments and CBD patches appeal to consumers who don’t like hemp flavour or prefer external applications for other reasons
- CBD edibles: Gummies, candy, chocolate, honey sticks, there’s a huge variety of munchable CBD products on the market. Most of them make hemp look less ‘medicinal’ and more of a wellness treat. In 2019, 3 out of 4 chefs identified CBD-infused food as a hot trend
Understand the Laws and Regulations Around CBD
Legality is obviously a big part of CBD marketing and failure to follow the rules could result in significant penalties. Classification of the cannabis plant as a Schedule I narcotic has hindered progress in the legal department. FDA regulations pose a concern for marketers and if you are hoping to start selling CBD online, you may be wondering what your options are in regards to advertising and marketing.
Let’s answer some questions that may be on your mind.
Is CBD Officially Legal Now?
The answer to this question totally depends on the state or country in which you reside, whether you want to start selling CBD online that has been extracted from the marijuana or hemp plant, and what products you intend to sell. Only hemp-derived CBD products may be sold online.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill did not alter or change the FDA’s authority to regulate food, drug, cosmetic, device, pet food, and dietary supplement products. Many US states amended their state drug law to remove hemp from their state-controlled substances act while adopting the FDA’s position on the sale of hemp-derived CBD products. Certain US states prohibit the sale and consumption of CBD. Other states limit the types of CBD products that may be sold in the state or require a specific licence.
If you are selling, or planning to sell, CBD products online you must have systems in place to ensure that you are fully compliant with each state’s laws around CBD. Implementing product-based shipping restriction rules on your store will help you stay within safe shipping zones.
Can I Legally Sell CBD?
What is your purpose for selling CBD online? For most marketers, the purpose involves assisting consumers in treating some kind of ailment —however, it is essential that you refrain from making disease claims and health claims.
Since the federal government has not yet legalised marijuana and removed the plant from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), research remains limited. Hemp-derived CBD-containing products, including any food, drug, device, or cosmetic marketed or sold in interstate commerce are subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and must be labeled and marketed in accordance with the FD&C Act, as well as other relevant laws. There are different requirements under the FD&C Act depending on whether the hemp-derived CBD product is a food, cosmetic, device, or dietary supplement.
Regulatory clarity may not emerge for at least five years. However, soaring demand for CBD oil and other cannabis-containing products has prompted the FDA to assess options that will enable a resolution to be met in the near future.
What Rules and Regulations Do I Need To Follow?
The Farm Bill, passed at the end of 2018, legalising the commercial production of hemp in the United States. This means you can grow industrial hemp and then legally sell products containing hemp-derived CBD across the US.
But there are some restrictions too:
- The hemp you are using to produce CBD cannot contain more than 0.3% of THC. Any cannabis plant with a higher concentration of THC is automatically considered a marijuana plant and stronger regulations kick in
- CBD, produced from marijuana plants, is legal in 15 US states for recreational cannabis usage and in 36 US states for medical use
Now when it comes to cannabinoid as a substance, the regulatory matter gets complicated. To date, FDA has approved only one CBD-based prescription drug, Epidiolex, meaning that no other CBD brand can make health claims regarding its CBD products. Also, the FDA prohibits adding cannabinoids into food, or marketing anything with it as dietary supplements.
Wait, but what about an array of edible CBD products that are on the shelves? Are they illegal? It’s a grey area.
Because the stance on CBD legality status isn’t consistent across federal and state regulators in the US. As PBS writes:
Federal provisions have a blindspot whereby a store can sell as much CBD as it wants, as long it doesn’t make any health claims about its products, put it in food nor add it to dietary supplements.
While FDA doesn’t allow CBD in food, it’s not taking any action against CBD sellers either, except for issuing warning letters for falsely-advertised health claims.
Now let’s recap:
1. Selling federally.
Federal laws allow legal CBD sales nationwide. So long as your products contain less than 0.3% THC, you are good to go to market.
2. Selling statewide.
In the US, laws differ. In general, all states should allow sales of hemp-sourced CBD with the right THC threshold, but specific favourable or not-so regulations may kick in in states where recreational marijuana usage isn’t legal. So it’s best to cross-check with a local legal specialist if there are any restrictions regarding CBD product sales in your state.
Create a Thorough CBD Business Plan
Jumping into a business without a solid business plan is like driving without a rearview mirror: you can do it, but you may miss a huge obstacle heading your way.
When it comes to the CBD niche, your business plan is also your navigator for staying on top of changing regulatory policies, conflicting operational priorities and new business opportunities, fueled by market demand. Plus, it’s the document your financial supporters and other stakeholders will want to see.
Here’s what should go into your business plan for eCommerce CBD operations:
- Start with market analysis: The goal of a market analysis is to supply you with sufficient information about your industry size, customers, competitors and other market variables. So that you could make more informed decisions regarding your product positioning, pricing and overall go-to-market strategy
- Pick your brand name and confirm product range: Explain how your brand name, along with other brand assets, differentiates you from the competition. Recap which CBD niche you plan to target and why. briefly describe your product range, focusing on the product quality and competitive parameters
- Determine your financing: Estimate how much cash you’ll need to launch your operations. Break them down as one-time pre-launch investments (e.g. commerce website development, inventory purchase, product design/branding) and ongoing monthly costs ( e.g. inventory restock, handling/packaging, shipping, marketing, taxes, etc.). Always add extra padding for ‘unplanned’ expenses because these will surely happen. Then look into how much time and how many sales you’ll need to make to break even monthly. If you are self-financing, estimate how much of a runway you’ll end up having. If you are planning to secure investment later on, prepare more figures describing your anticipated expenses vs profits, plus set targets for CPA (cost per acquisition), AOV( average order value), sales conversion rates, customer retention rate, customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Include a realistic marketing plan: A marketing plan details your strategy for growing awareness around your CBD brand, acquiring new customers and fostering repeat purchases. It’s a cornerstone document that should be a) data-backed b) realistic c) channel-specific. Yes, writing a solid marketing plan will take a ton of time and research. But this early investment pays off in terms of reduced budget waster and better marketing results later down the road
You can also learn more about business plan writing for ecommerce from our previous guide!
Get Your Business Documents in Order
To sell CBD online you need to obtain two types of licences:
- A regular business license: get incorporated and register a business with your state to start operations. Also, request an EIN/TIN for your newly created company from the IRS
- Reseller license: If you plan to purchase CBD from wholesalers, you may also need to get a Reseller’s license (certificate) from your state. This document is hugely important because it allows you to buy products wholesale without paying sales tax. The license also lets you collect sales tax from your customers afterwards
Find Your CBD Supplier
Arguably, the most important step of your ecommerce operations is finding a reliable CBD supplier. There are a few reasons for that.
First, if you are selling nationwide, you need to ensure that you are selling CBD, derived from hemp plants, not marijuana ones. The latter contains a higher THC dosage, making them legal only in a handful of US states. The wrinkle, however, is that there’s no affordable testing for determining the levels of THC in the plant. This can make purchasing raw materials from a farmer challenging if neither you nor they have the capabilities to test the crop.
Reputable wholesalers, on the other hand, typically do lab testing and can provide certificates of analysis (COA), detailing the product content. Not being able to provide one is a major red flag.
Apart from the general product contents, you should also ask to see the results of:
- Pesticide testing (you’ll want to have a ‘clean’ product)
- Microbiological testing (showing there’s no bacteria or mold inside the sample)
- Residual solvents testing (prompts if there any stray chemicals remaining from the extraction process)
Secondly, your product quality will impact customer satisfaction and your CBD brand reputation. After all, 24% of CBD users named the ability of the product to generate the “desired effect” as their primary purchase driver. When your product fails to deliver on the ‘effects’ promise due to poor content, you’d struggle to win repeat business. Other buying priorities include ingredients quality, price, concentration and consumption method (e.g. oil, edible, vape).
Considering that CBD production remains underregulated, many ‘fake’ products end up on the shelves: ones containing no cannabidiol inside.
Such sham brands and manufacturers, speculating on CBD’s sweeping popularity, are making it harder for the honest CBD companies to break into the industry. As The New York Times feature on the origins of CDB popularity sums it up:
“As a result, the compound is often caricatured as snake oil, a scam, even as promising research into the full potential of CBD is starting to pick up.”
As a new CBD brand, you don’t want to end up on the sham side. Again, this is another reason why you should do careful due diligence when assessing different CBD manufacturers. Beyond requesting or performing an independent certification of analysis, also evaluate a potential wholesaler based on the following criteria:
- Hemp sourcing method and origin
- Extraction method
- Reviews from other entrepreneurs
- Extra services (e.g. labeling, dropshipping)
Build Up Your CBD Website
By opting for an ecommerce platform, over open-source ecommerce tools, or custom development, you reduce the website development timeline. Since the solution provider handles hosting, infrastructure and all that jazz, all you have to do to get your CBD operations off the ground is work on your store design and list products.
1. Customise your design
Have you ever painted by numbers? Design experience on modern ecommerce platforms is pretty similar to that. Instead of starting with a blank canvas, you rely on a website theme — your set of pointers, pre-mapping the final store look.
You can still be creative though, changing colours, layouts, fonts and other visual elements or even adding new elements to your online store.
When it comes to CBD ecommerce store design make sure that:
- Key product information has a prominent spot: Most of your customers will want to know the key product specs: dosage/strength, hemp origin, extraction method, and possible benefits. Make sure all of this information is displayed in a digestible manner for each type of product. CBDistillery goes straight to business and highlights product ingredients and suggested use:
- Mind the navigation: Since CBD is still a somewhat new niche, expect to see an influx of first-time buyers. These folks will need some extra hand-holding, unlike regular users. Design your on-site navigation to accommodate their customer journey. Create descriptive product categories and sub-categories, organizing your products by consumption method, strengths, use cases. You can also create a quick self-assessment quiz and place it in the header area, to make more personalized product recommendations
2. Add products and descriptions
In the CBD space, your product descriptions should be more than just convincing. They also need to be:
- Accurate and fact-based
- Devoid of any health claims
- Cliché- and jargon-free
When it comes to CBD marketing, FDA does not allow businesses to suggest that any of their CBD products can “diagnose”, “cure”, “treat”, or “prevent” any type of medical condition. Even if it’s tempting, don’t go making any big claims.
What you can do though is reference actual medical research done around CBD usage. Also, you can leverage the voice of customer data — public/private reviews, first-hand accounts/stories, general feedback — in your product listings.
Lastly, don’t write overly complex product descriptions. Not every store visitor will be a CBD connoisseur, familiar with the industry lingo. So while you should always provide ‘technical’ product information, avoid niche chemical terms, industry jargon and odd CBD pop culture references.
3. Shoot and upload product photos
Ecommerce photos do two important things:
- Act as an extension of your brand
- Help sway customers’ purchase decisions
For example, 90% of Etsy shoppers said that product image quality is a purchase trigger for them. If you have the budget, hire a professional photographer to shoot a series of product-only and lifestyle images for your brand. Those short on cash can also snap amazing ecommerce pictures on a budget.
Determine Shipping and Payment Terms
After you’ve designed your store layout and organised your product catalogue, you need to sort out how your products will reach their new owners.
1. Determine your shipping policy
Shipping is important to ecommerce consumers. So you don’t want to let them down in that department. To work out the optimal shipping policy for your CBD business ask yourself these questions:
- What’s the threshold I set for “free shipping”? For 79% of US consumers “free shipping” is a strong prompt to buy online more, but do people get upset when there isn’t such an option? In general, yes, over a third of consumers will be upset if there’s no complimentary shipping for an order valued above $150 (£110). Determine a reasonable threshold for your brand based on anticipated average order value
- Do you plan to offer a variable fee? Destination-based or weight-based shipping fees can help a smaller retailer reduce logistics costs. But they may alienate some customers too: 50% of abandonments happen when the shipping/tax costs are too high. The fix? Provide estimated shipping costs or a delivery calculator option pre-checkout if you plan to use variable fees
- What delivery timeline is feasible? Most people are spoiled by Amazon Prime next-day deliveries, but few smaller brands can pull off the same levels of service nationwide. So choose your battles. Limit same-day delivery to your region only. Set the right expectations regarding priority/express delivery if you plan to offer such
- Which logistics carrier works best? Not all carriers have straight policies regarding CBD shipments. Do your research carefully. For example, while UPS allows shipping hemp and CBD-infused products, they also state that “[we] reserve the right to dispose of any shipment containing Marijuana, Hemp or Hemp products tendered for shipment which Shippers are prohibited from shipping, which UPS is not authorised to accept, which UPS states that it will not accept, or which UPS has a right to refuse.” That’s not very reassuring
2. Select an ecommerce shipping solution
Your next step is to select supporting shipping and fulfilment software — a tool that will help you set shipping rates, manage logistics, print labels and auto-dispatch updates to customers. To minimise hassle and mistakes, your app should integrate directly into your ecommerce platform. You can discover different shipping and fulfilment apps on the BigCommerce marketplace. Don’t forget to check if your pick also integrates with the carrier you plan to use!
3. Choose a payment processor, fit for CBD
The CBD industry is deemed as “high risk” due to ongoing regulatory developments and changes. Thus, many payment processors choose to exclude CBD sellers to minimise their operational risks, but you are not completely out of options. To accept payments from customers, you can work with a specialised payment processor who knows how to handle high-risk business.
BigCommerce, for example, lets CBD businesses choose from 65 payment gateways that can be used to do business in over 100 countries, using some 250 local payment methods. Get to know more about how payment processing works for CBD companies
Market Your CBD Company
Now that you are up and operational, you need to focus on customer acquisition. While the CBD industry is trendy right now, shoppers won’t flock to you on autopilot unless you set yourself up with a solid marketing system.
1. Focus on content
CBD products are still largely misunderstood, often due to shady marketing from other brands or bogus medical claims made by self-proclaimed gurus. Build your initial customer base by seeding accurate content. Educate the interested, but cautious, buyers about:
- Different product types
- CBD extraction methods
- Possible benefits and results
- Potential side-effects
- Correct usage/dosage
- The hemp industry as a whole.
Invite industry experts and use claims from verified sources to create more comprehensive content than your competition. Focus both on your blog and social media especially, as that’s where most younger consumers go looking for both product inspo and info.
2. Leverage SEO
Publishing well-researched content is key to dominating the search engine results. Especially with the latest Google update called passage indexing. By honing its AI algorithms, Google now indexes individual passages from a web page (rather than just the entire page) to help users find needle-in-a-haystack info.
So for instance, if I’m googling something like “What’s the best strength of CBD oil?”, I’m redirected to a highlighted result on the page:
For CBD businesses this SEO change is a great opportunity to attract top-of-the-funnel customers and convert them with educational content.
Since SEO-competition around CBD-related keywords is pretty intense, going after long-tail, less-searched keywords can help you build the initial traffic, while you work on further optimisations.
3. Partner with influencers
Much of CBD’s current popularity comes as a direct result of patients’ advocacy and evangelism. First-hand stories from people, whom CBD helped to cope with chronic pain and seizures, initially spurred the mass-interest in the plant both for therapeutic and wellness purposes.
Today, a ton of celebs are outspoken fans of CBD. Some of them even launched their CBD businesses. So finding credible advocates for your brand shouldn’t be an issue. Just ensure that you are partnering with people who share your brand beliefs and can speak about CBD with authority. Also, don’t forget about mandatory FTS disclosures.
Lastly, keep close tabs on the latest FDA regulations (as these change as we speak) to make sure your communication stays in line with the requirements. Also, individual states have different regulations when it comes to CBD advertising, be sure to verify local rules too.
4 Evergreen Issues CBD Businesses Are Facing
While entrepreneurs in the CBD industry can capitalise on the industry’s rapid boom, they should also brace themselves for a set of unique challenges. With a lack of FDA guidelines and differences in CBD regulations on the state level, running a CBD business can feel particularly gruesome at times. Especially when it comes to:
1. Banking and financing
Sadly, CBD businesses are considered ‘high-risk’ by many financial service providers due to the aforementioned gaps in state laws and regulations. So prepare to do some walking and negotiating when opening a merchant account. Securing extra financing via business loans can be challenging too, again thanks to the bad rep the cannabis industry has among certain FIs. Don’t despair, though, as there are some hemp-friendly banks and investors in the field too.
2. Payment processing
Payment processors aren’t making life easier for CBD sellers either. Most wrongly stigmatise such companies, unlike BigCommerce. Since 2019, we’ve offered our customers access to an array of hemp-friendly payment processors, along with other essential tools for building an ecommerce store.
3. Business insurance
Insurers are slow to act on the recent legalisation of hemp and hemp-derived products. Just like conservative banks, they are often barring CBD companies altogether or burden them with crazy-high premiums. However, having a solid insurance plan is crucial for your company’s liability. So don’t skimp on getting a good plan from a CBD-friendly insurer.
4. Differentiation from the competition
With a slew of businesses touting ‘cannabis’ as a customer attractor, it may be difficult to stand out even when you sell genuine, high-quality cannabis products. A 2017 Penn University study found that 70% of cannabinoid products sold online had issues with labeling. Over 42% of CBD products were under-labeled, meaning that they contained more CBD than stated. Some 26% were over-labeled — they had a lower concentration of cannabinoid than stated.
Such happenings, along with misleading marketing and grossly overstated claims regarding CBD’s effectiveness, are making new customers sceptical towards recent market entrants. Gain their trust by being positively different when it comes to:
- Transparency: From saying where your hemp plants grow to displaying proper certification of analysis, explain to your customers what they are about to purchase and munch
- Accuracy: Avoid unverified scientific statements (even if they look promising for marketing). Check your sources, invite known experts to help you create content and educational brochures. Make honest, no-nonsense claims to set yourself apart from the sleazier types
- Storytelling: Some of the most successful CBD businesses were launched by long-term CBD evangelists and regular folks, whose chronic health condition was majorly alleviated by CBD. Your unique story, cementing your brand mission and values, can help you build a stronger emotional connection with your target audience. For example, CBD for Life tells the story of how its founder concocted a CBD cream to help her alleviate her back pain
3 Core Tips for Nurturing Your CBD Business
New ecommerce companies are very tender. If you want your CBD business to grow, evolve and always be ripe, here are three things you should consider doing.
1. Ask for help
Between murky regulations and operational issues, new CBD business owners will have a lot on their platter. While everything is googleable these days, you shouldn’t underestimate the value of a mentor. AKA someone who already walked the same walk before you.
As Andre Bourque said on Forbes:
“That’s the rub of excelling in the cannabis industry: there’s no model of excellence right now. It’s a fluid and shifting industry that didn’t really exist just a few years ago.”
That makes finding a good industry mentor somewhat challenging. Yet, not impossible. Non-profit organisations such as CBD Alliance, National Hemp Association and Vote Hemp are great places to find new industry connections and support.
2. Have patience
Fast traction is often viewed as a given in the ecommerce industry. You’ll almost certainly have heard literally overnight success stories where some “$500 Instagram ad drove $50,000 in sales in a day”.
In the CBD industry, paid ecommerce ads are not an option. Clickbait marketing can cause compliance issues, while content marketing and SEO both take time to work. So take a deep breath and prep several buckets of mental patients to methodically work through the different kinks of running CBD operations.
3. Understand the industry
Despite (or because of) slow FDA response, the CBD industry keeps evolving in somewhat contradictory directions. While some states, such as Texas, removed the ban on selling edible CBD products in 2019, others banned CBD-infused foods and beverages last year.
Subsequently, market trends and consumer trends change from week to week too. Especially, when some celebrity like Gwyneth Paltrow announces her involvement in a new CBD venture or throws a CBD-themed baby shower as Kim K did.
For sure, no CBD business can or should stay on top of all the latest trends and fads, but they do need to keep close tabs on emerging tendencies among their clients, changes in compliance requirements, along with other major industry happenings.
CBD is an interesting product to trade. On one hand, you can make a genuine difference by supplying your customers with life-improving goods. On the other, you need to constantly educate the general public (along with some B2B partners and other stakeholders) about your products’ actual benefits, their legality status and lack of connection with THC-dominant marijuana.
That can be a tough battle, but it’s well worth it when you look at the CBD industry sales prospects again. Grandview Research estimates that the CBD market will swell by a compound annual growth rate of 22.2% between 2019 and 2025.
You can be part of that revenue pool too if you launch your online CBD business today!
This material does not constitute legal, professional or financial advice and CBD SOUTHWEST disclaims any liability with respect to this material. Please consult your attorney or professional advisor on specific legal, professional or financial matters.