The CBD market is surrounded with an unprecedented amount of buzz right now. According to the latest report, CBD sales are predicted to exceed 20 billion dollars by 2024. With that kind of growth, it’s a great time to consider tapping into the CBD market, but there are many nuances to grapple with before taking the first step. Luckily, BigCommerce has invested hugely in CBD, and even produced a comprehensive guide to empower merchants with the right information to sell CBD online.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural substance that is popularly used to help consumers with a range of ailments and conditions. The substance is extracted from either hemp or marijuana plants, and is made available to consumers in the form of oils, supplements, sprays, topical balms, drinks and even unexpected products such as dog treats. The biggest difference between CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is that THC is psychoactive, while CBD is not.
What’s the CBD Hype?
There is an increasing interest in CBD — it has a huge range of reported use cases, such as relieving ailments like muscle pain, anxiety and even acne. Consumers are flocking to CBD as a solution for their physical and mental conditions. This makes CBD an extremely versatile product, that provides value to many different lifestyles. One consumer might buy a tin of CBD cream to soothe a muscle they pulled while playing a sport, while another consumer might be administering CBD to their pet to calm them down during a thunderstorm or before a long road trip. It is the plethora of use cases that makes CBD so desirable and marketable to consumers.
BigCommerce & CBD
In case you haven’t heard, BigCommerce was the first full feature e-commerce platform to fully support CBD and hemp businesses online. Since August of 2019, they have invested a lot into empowering merchants of this industry, and have created resources to simplify the process. BigCommerce’s goal is to make selling CBD online as seamless of an experience as they can, given the nuanced nature of this industry. In addition to the in-depth guide that they produced, they are also running a CBD offer to get CBD businesses up and running while keeping some extra cash in their customers’ pockets. “BigCommerce for Hemp & CBD is not only giving merchants selling these legal products access to a full-featured ecommerce platform that grows alongside them, but we also back them up with incredible customer service and self-support resources.” – Meghan Stabler, Vice President of Global Product Marketing at BigCommerce.
Things to Consider
There are many nuances to consider when setting up an online CBD business. Here are some of the biggest aspects that CBD businesses should be aware of, before setting up shop.
- Legality: It is important to note that CBD products are only legal to sell online if they are hemp-derived, not marijuana-derived. CBD is also not legal in all US states currently, so it is imperative to ensure compliance with each state’s laws. One solution to this is having product-based shipping restriction rules.
- Health Claims: As mentioned previously in this article, many consumers use CBD for health issues. However, it is extremely important that you do not make any disease or health claims if they cannot be backed up by a notable source. Products must be labeled in compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).
- Advertising: The advertising of CBD products on many popular ad platforms, such as social media platforms and Google Ads, is restricted. As CBD becomes legalized in more states, and more publicly accepted — CBD businesses will need to stay on top of industry trends to know what is allowed, and what is not.
- Payment Processing: CBD requires high-risk payment processors. Many payment companies are not offering their services due to the in-flux regulations and risky nature of this industry. Merchants need to beware of fraudulent companies that are trying to capitalize on this need. Luckily, BigCommerce makes finding the right payment processor for your CBD business an easy feat.
BigCommerce’s CBD Marketing Recommendations
With the current restrictions, advertising CBD digitally on popular platforms is a bit of a headache. However, there are still many other ways to build a presence with consumers. Before losing hope, check out the marketing methods below that can be highly effective for CBD businesses. These are just a few of the ways that CBD businesses can create a brand presence.
BigCommerce recommends building a robust CBD marketing strategy through employing SEO, creating compelling content, utilizing email marketing, and establishing a network of affiliates and influencers that drive traffic, awareness and ultimately more sales. It is pertinent to focus on these areas in order for a CBD brand to grow and be successful online.
A brand’s offline presence is also very important — face to face interactions are a meaningful way to engage with potential customers and partners. Attending trade show events builds a brand’s credibility and presence in their industry. It’s also a great space for building relationships that could later turn into vital partnerships for a CBD business. On a smaller scale, attending local events is a wonderful way to build a brand’s local presence. Whether it be a CBD Meetup or farmers’ market, these smaller scale events can allow for a more intimate, organic conversation with prospects.
For those considering starting a CBD business, there is no better time than now, and an ecommerce store is the best way to get started. There will be nuances to work through along the way, but no worries — BigCommerce is there to help through every step of the journey.