Sell Marijuana Online: Everything You Need To Know To Start A Marijuana E-Commerce Store
The online marijuana market is going to be big.
Like… really, really big.
There are now 10 US states (and one district) in which recreational marijuana is legal. For those playing along at home, these are Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
On October 17th a small region just north of the US border called Canada also legalized recreational marijuana. It looks like Mexico will be next. Countries all over Europe are looking to do the same.
This isn’t just a dream come true for 420 fans all over America. It’s also the birth of an entirely new industry – one that is projected to be worth $22 billion by just 2020.
You’re reading this article because you want to start an online marijuana store.
You want to earn yourself a slice of that big green pie.
Well, today we’re going to talk about how to sell – the right way.
1) Choose The Right Platform
There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that building a great online store is easier than ever. The bad news is that there are also more options to choose from than ever before.
We’ll cut to the chase here – we absolutely love Shopify. Founded in 2006, Shopify has grown to become one of the world’s largest e-commerce and retail point-of-sale platforms. We love Shopify because it’s basically got everything you need to sell online. It’s powerful, flexible, and is already used by many of the world’s best e-commerce stores.
Power Integrations To Boost Your Store
Here at Simplr, Shopify was the first online platform we wanted to partner with. In addition, we also provide integrations with Amazon, Facebook, Zendesk, Intercom, ShipStation and a host of others.
Getting the right e-commerce platform is one of the crucial first steps. Take the time to do your research and select a platform that’s best for you.
2) Understand Your Market – And The Legalities Of Selling Marijuana
To succeed and prosper in the exploding US marijuana market, you’ll need to make sure you understand (and stay ahead of) the legal landscape.
…but quickly, our boring legal bit:
We’re here to inform and educate you about starting an online marijuana store. We’re very passionate about e-commerce – but we’re not lawyers. Please use this article for general advice only. If you have any legal questions – you’ll need to talk to your lawyer or a local member of government.
Important Links To Read BEFORE Starting A Marijuana Store
- governing.com (a list of US states with legal and medicinal marijuana)
- smallbusiness.findlaw.com (information about licensing in different US states)
- www.cbc.ca (information about buying and selling weed online in Canada)
- cannabis.ca.gov (how to apply for a Californian marijuana license)
- canada.ca (how to apply for a Canadian marijuana license)
Prior to 2012, recreational marijuana was illegal throughout the US. Just 6 years later, 1 in 5 states in the country now has legal weed. And this number is only going to increase.
Make sure you understand the ramifications of selling weed online, as well as how it works from a fulfilment, shipping and delivery perspective.
Privacy & Discretion Is Essential In The Marijuana Industry
A useful tip from us: make privacy and discretion a big part of what you do!
Have a lawyer or a legal professional read through your website to ensure you’re not missing any important information. Do you need disclaimers? How can you avoid any liability? What specific licenses do you need to sell and ship marijuana?
Getting this correct at the start can save you a lot of time and money later – especially as your store begins to grow.
Talk to the right people and learn the rules of the game.
Get everything 100% straight before you open your online doors and start to sell.
3) Find The Right Voice For Your Marijuana Brand
Every successful store needs a voice – and an online marijuana store is no different.
Aside from someone who wants to buy some green – who is your ideal customer? How old are they, what do they look like, and what else are they into? To succeed in selling anything online, you need to know exactly who you’re talking to.
Your website, social media, emails, podcasts, YouTube videos – anything you are involved in – should speak with one consistent voice.
Even though the marijuana market is very new – niches will inevitably begin to develop.
Whether it’s the first-time smoker or someone who lights up every day – think about this and speak directly to your target customer.
Our advice – carve out a niche early.
It won’t just make your marketing efforts easier – it can also lead to far greater sales.
4) Customer Service Is An Absolute Necessity
Fact #1: Some e-commerce stores require more customer service than others.
Fact #2: If you sell marijuana online, you’re going to get a lot of customer questions.
No matter how informative your online store is, or how detailed your FAQ’s may be – many people still aren’t going to read them. They want to talk to someone and get fast, direct answers before they make their order. They want to feel the love.
“If you make a customer unhappy in the physical world, they will tell five people. Online they can tell 5,000.” – Jeff Bezos
Outstanding customer service will really help to set you apart from your competitors. Whether it’s pre or post-sale, on your website or on social media – make sure nobody falls through the cracks.
Sell Marijuana Online Today With Simplr
At companies just us at Simplr, we make boosting and outsourcing your customer service easy.
Instead of spending your time attending to customer questions – we allow you to focus on growing and improving your business.
Simplr can manage live chat, email and Facebook services – acting as the first point of contact in a fast and reliable way. With Simplr working as your 24/7 sales and support team – you’ll have happier customers and a more successful store.
Selling marijuana online is going to be one of the biggest e-commerce industries in the coming years.
We’re excited to be working with people just like you to build a successful online store!