Over the past half-decade, sales of cannabidiol, better known by its acronym CBD, have exploded in popularity, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. The growth in online sales, combined with the growing popularity of CBD in general, presents an exciting opportunity for CBD online businesses, especially those looking to advance further in the e-commerce world. However, for new and growing business owners, selling CBD oil and other CBD-infused products online presents some obstacles that need to be overcome before launching a website and starting the marketing process. A well-informed company can feel confident embarking on a digital journey that is sure to be as lucrative as it is enjoyable, so take some time to learn more about the ins and outs of how to sell CBD online.
Cannabidiol, widely known as CBD, is a popular natural substance that is reportedly used to help with a wide range of conditions. It is added to tinctures, edible foods such as gummies, oils, and body products such as balms and lotions. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main mind-altering substance in cannabis, CBD is not psychotropic. Cannabinoid can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana plants, and industrial hemp plants are the most popular for CBD extraction.
Miraculously, the human body is equipped with something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex system produces its own cannabinoids and is responsible for achieving homeostasis by receiving and transmitting signals sent by cannabinoids, such as CBD. Cannabinoids work by binding to receptors scattered throughout the brain and immune system. Before starting, businesses will need to determine what type of CBD to sell online.
With so many different types of CBD available, deciding on one can be a tricky proposition. CBD isolate is widely considered to be the purest form of CBD, meaning there are no other ingredients present. It is also refined, lacking any discernible taste or smell. Full-spectrum hemp differs from isolated hemp more evidently in that it contains all the compounds of the cannabis plant, including other cannabinoids and essential oils.
All of these compounds work together to improve potency, producing what is called the “entourage effect”. It contains the additional compounds of the full-spectrum cannabis plant, while also having little or no real THC. Like full-spectrum and broad-spectrum hemp, it has the ability to deliver the “entourage” effect. CBD oil is now infused into many different products across the board, especially in the wellness, food, beverage and beauty industries.
Consumers now have a wealth of CBD products to explore, from tinctures and topicals to gummies and even lattes. Marketing in high-risk vertical markets brings challenges. Watch Chris Van Dusen of CBDistillery share tips on how to leverage influencer marketing, brand ambassadors and more to drive success. A quick look at the (digital) shelves of any wellness store will show that you can now buy CBD anything.
Creams and ointments, chews for humans and pets, hemp clothing and accessories When consumer interest is high, entrepreneurs will try to capitalize on the hype. Legality is an important part of marketing CBD, and failure to comply with rules, whether state or federal laws and regulations, could result in significant penalties. The classification of the cannabis plant as a Schedule I narcotic has hampered progress in the legal department. FDA regulations pose a concern for CBD merchants, and if you hope to start selling CBD online, you may be wondering what your options are with regard to advertising and marketing.
The answer to this question depends on what state you live in, if you want to start selling CBD online that has been extracted from a marijuana or hemp plant, and what products you plan to sell. Only CBD products derived from hemp can be sold online. If you sell or plan to sell CBD products online, you must have systems in place to ensure that you are fully compliant with each state's CBD laws. Implementing product-based shipping restrictions in your store will help you stay within safe shipping zones.
When it comes to cannabinoids as a substance, the regulatory question becomes complicated. To date, the FDA has approved only one CBD-based prescription drug, Epidiolex. FDA prohibits making drug or health claims on CBD products. The FDA also prohibits adding cannabinoids to foods or marketing anything with them as dietary supplements.
What about the variety of edible CBD products currently on the shelves? Are they illegal? The answer is that the legal status of CBD products is not consistent across federal and state laws and regulations. Certain CBD products, such as foods and dietary supplements, may be legal under some state laws, while the FDA prohibits these types of products. While the FDA does not allow CBD to be present in food or to be marketed as a dietary supplement, to date, enforcement measures against CBD vendors have been limited to warning letters addressed to vendors who make heinous claims about medicines or health properties about their products. While hemp products with no more than 0.3% THC are no longer considered controlled substances, the FDA prohibits adding CBD to foods or marketing it as a dietary supplement.
However, the application has been limited as long as there are no claims of medicines or health properties on the products. Several states allow the sale of all CBD products, while others may limit the types of products that can be legally sold. Some states ban CBD products with any amount of THC, even if it's below the federal allowable limit of 0.3%. There may also be requirements for product labeling and testing, as well as licensing requirements for retailers and registration requirements for products.
It's best to consult with a local legal specialist if there are any restrictions or requirements regarding the sale of CBD products in each state where you plan to sell. Going into a business without a solid business plan is like driving without a rearview mirror, you can do it, but you may jump over an obstacle in your path. When it comes to the CBD niche, your business plan is also your navigator for keeping abreast of changing regulatory policies, conflicting operational priorities, and new business opportunities, driven by market demand. In addition, it is the document that your financial collaborators and other stakeholders will want to see.
You can also learn more about writing business plans for e-commerce in our previous guide. Arguably, the most critical step of your e-commerce operations is finding a reliable CBD provider. There are several reasons for this. First, you need to make sure you sell CBD derived from hemp plants, not marijuana.
The latter contains a higher dose of THC, making them legal only in a few states when they are produced and sold in regulated marijuana markets. Federal and state laws require that all hemp grown in the United States be tested for THC concentration. Make sure that any supplier you choose to work with can provide an independent third party certificate of analysis (COA) for each batch of hemp, hemp-derived ingredients, or a finished product that shows a THC concentration of no more than 0.3%. Reputable wholesalers often perform laboratory tests and can provide a COA that details the THC content of a product and demonstrates that the product is free of contaminants.
This is important because several states require that products be tested for various contaminants in addition to the THC content. Not being able to provide a detailed COA is an important red flag. Second, the quality of your product will affect customer satisfaction and the reputation of your CBD brand. After all, 24% of CBD users named the product's ability to generate the desired effect as their main buying driver.
Being able to provide a detailed certificate of analysis for each product sold will increase consumer trust in your brand. Other purchasing priorities include ingredient quality, price, concentration and method of consumption (for example,. Considering that CBD production is still underregulated, some products on the shelves may not have the advertised CBD content; some may not contain cannabidiol at all. In addition to finding a reliable CBD provider, you'll also need to identify the (best) e-commerce platform for your trades.
Like quality products, your technological infrastructure will contribute positively to customer satisfaction with your brand. However, not all e-commerce platforms allow creating an online CBD store due to the regulatory status of CBD. Still, you have some outstanding options. CBD brands and suppliers place their trust in BigCommerce to properly market their products and reach a wider audience, so why not do the same? Our Saas platform combines everything you need to run an online store.
You won't have to worry about arranging payments, and best of all, you can customize your own CBD store. BigCommerce takes the guesswork out of combining everything you could need for an online business to thrive, from branding and design aspects to marketing and optimization. We provide payment gateways for simple online transactions, exceptional support and a mobile-friendly design. In addition, the BigCommerce platform allows CBD sellers to easily manage returns when selling their products, which can appear on numerous websites.
Shopify's proprietary payment method isn't available for CBD products, so you'll need to get approval from a third-party payment processor. However, the backend of your website comes with a learning curve, so 3dcart may not be the optimal choice for beginners who don't program. By opting for an e-commerce platform instead of open source e-commerce tools, or custom development, you reduce website development time. Since the solution provider handles hosting, infrastructure, etc.
Have you ever painted by numbers? The design experience on modern e-commerce platforms is quite similar to that. Instead of starting with a blank canvas, you rely on a website theme, your set of pointers, pre-mapping the final look of the store. However, you can continue to be creative, changing colors, designs, fonts and other visual elements or adding new elements to your online store. Finally, don't write overly complex product descriptions.
Not all store visitors will be connoisseurs of CBD, familiar with industry jargon. So, while you should always provide “technical” product information, avoid specialized chemical terms, industry jargon, and bizarre pop culture references to CBD. For example, 90% of Etsy shoppers said product image quality is a purchase trigger. If you have the budget, hire a professional photographer to take a series of images only of products and lifestyles for your brand.
Those with little money can also take amazing e-commerce photos on a budget. After designing your store design and organizing your product catalog, you need to determine how your products will reach their new owners. The next step is to select compatible shipping and fulfillment software, a tool that helps you set shipping rates, manage logistics, print labels, and automatically send updates to customers. To minimize complications and errors, your application must be integrated directly into your e-commerce platform.
You can discover different shipping and fulfillment apps in the BigCommerce marketplace. Don't forget to check if your selection is also repeated with the carrier you plan to use. CBD Industry Considered 'High Risk' Due to Current Regulatory Debacle. Therefore, many payment processors choose to exclude CBD sellers to minimize their operational risks.
Despite this, you're not completely out of options. To accept payments from customers, you can work with a specialized payment processor who knows how to handle high-risk businesses. For example, BigCommerce allows CBD businesses to choose from 65 payment gateways that can be used to do business in more than 100 countries, employing about 250 local payment methods. Learn more about how payment processing works for CBD businesses.
Once you're up and running, you need to focus on customer acquisition. While the CBD industry is all the rage right now, buyers won't flock to you on autopilot unless you're set up with a solid marketing system. CBD products are still largely misunderstood, often due to suspicious marketing by other brands or false medical claims by self-proclaimed gurus. Build your initial customer base by creating accurate content.
Invite industry experts to create more comprehensive content than the competition. Focus on both your blog and social media, as that's where most younger consumers seek both inspiration and product information. Publishing well-researched content is key to dominating search engine results. Especially with Google's latest update called “indexing passages”.
This SEO change is an excellent opportunity for CBD companies to attract the best customers and convert them with educational content. Since SEO competition around CBD-related keywords is quite intense, pursuing long-tail, less-sought after keywords can help you build initial traffic while working on new optimizations. Much of CBD's current popularity is directly due to patient advocacy. First-hand stories from people, who were helped by CBD to cope with chronic pain and seizures, initially spurred massive interest in the plant, both for therapeutic and wellness purposes.
Nowadays, many celebrities and public figures are open fans of CBD, some of them have even launched their CBD businesses. So finding credible advocates for your brand shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure you partner with people who share your brand's beliefs and can talk about CBD with authority. Also, make sure there are no health or drug claims made about your products and don't forget about mandatory FTS disclosures.
Finally, keep abreast of the latest federal laws and regulations, as well as the laws and regulations of individual state and local governments, to ensure that your communication conforms to any requirements. While entrepreneurs in the CBD industry can capitalize on the industry's rapid boom, they must also prepare for unique challenges. With the lack of FDA regulation and differences in CBD laws and regulations at the state level, running a CBD business can be particularly daunting at times. Unfortunately, many financial service providers consider CBD companies to be “high risk” due to the aforementioned gaps in state laws and regulations.
Get ready to walk around and do a bit of trading when opening a merchant account. Obtaining additional financing through business loans can be challenging, once again, thanks to the cannabis industry's poor reputation among certain financial institutions. There are still some hemp-friendly banks and investors in the field as well. CBD Industry Considered High-Risk Due to Ongoing Regulatory Debacle.
Therefore, many payment processors, including major credit cards and Paypal, choose to exclude CBD sellers to minimize their operational risks. That doesn't mean you're completely out of options. To accept payments from customers, you can work with specialized payment processors who know how to handle high-risk businesses. BigCommerce allows CBD businesses to choose from 55 payment gateways that can be used to conduct business in more than 100 countries, employing about 250 local payment methods.
Insurers Slow to Act on Recent Legalization of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products. Like conservative banks, they often exclude CBD companies altogether or burden them with premiums. A solid insurance plan is crucial to your company's liability, so don't skimp on getting a good plan from a CBD-friendly insurer. With a large number of companies promoting “cannabis” as a customer draw, it can be difficult to stand out even when you sell genuine, high-quality cannabis products.
Ecommerce startups are very tender. If you want your CBD business to grow, evolve and always be mature, here are three things you should consider doing. New CBD business owners will have a lot on their plate amid shady regulations and operational issues. While everything is available on Google today, the information you find may not be accurate.
You shouldn't underestimate the value of a mentor, also known as someone who has walked the same path before you. Market trends and consumer trends also change from week to week. Subsequently, it can be difficult for any CBD company to keep up with the latest trends and fashions. But they need to keep a close eye on emerging trends among their customers, changes in compliance requirements, and other important industry developments.
Fortunately, there are websites that can help you keep up to date with the latest news from the CBD industry. These sites include more CBD-based options, such as Way of Leaf, or traditional commodities such as Forbes. As your CBD business grows, make sure you continue to listen to the voice of your customers. Build your brand around what your customers like by asking them for comments and paying attention to social networks to see what users of your products and the industry itself like or dislike.
The CBD industry is growing rapidly and is rapidly becoming a crowded market. Shoppers are getting smarter as their options increase. If you want to stand out from the crowd and achieve success, the best way to do that is to create a reliable, quality brand that customers can trust. Download The Complete Guide to CBD Ecommerce to learn about industry trends, the challenges faced by online CBD merchants, and how to overcome them.
CBD is an exciting product to trade. On the one hand, you can make a real difference by supplying your customers with life-enhancing products. On the other hand, you also need to constantly educate the general public, along with some B2B partners and other stakeholders, about the legal status of your products and the lack of connection to THC-dominant marijuana. You can also be part of that revenue fund if you launch your CBD business online today.
This material does not constitute legal, professional, or financial advice and BigCommerce disclaims any liability with respect to this material. Consult your lawyer or professional advisor regarding specific legal, professional, or financial matters. CBD regulations depend on the state in which you live, if you want to start selling CBD extracted from the marijuana or hemp plant online, and what products you plan to sell. Only CBD products derived from hemp can be sold online if all other state requirements are met.
CBD can be transformed into a wide range of products, including oils, supplements, sprays, topical balms, capsules and much more. As the CBD industry continues to grow, the potential for business opportunities will increase along with it. See how you can ride the wave with different products and solutions. The answer depends on the states in which you sell.
There are many states in the U.S. UU. that now require a license to sell CBD, including Texas. These licenses are often necessary even if you only sell online to customers located in that area and have no physical presence in the state.
Familiarize yourself with local and state regulations before selling CBD. If you are also planning to purchase your product from a wholesaler, be sure to check if your state requires a resale license. CBD brands and suppliers rely on BigCommerce to market their products and reach a wider audience, so why not do the same? Our platform is SaaS (Software as a Service) and combines everything you need to manage an online store. BigCommerce takes the guesswork out of combining everything you could need for an online business to thrive, from branding and design to marketing and optimization.
Find out how e-commerce has evolved over the years and where it's heading in the future. Square may be removing some restrictions on CBD sales, but there are other options you can also try. Some options include USAEPay, PayKings, Easy Pay Direct and PayWize. Determine the pros and cons of each option to help you process payments safely and easily without risk.