As a vaper yourself you may have already noticed the great business potential that exists in this industry. Vaping is taking off at a blistering rate all over the world and there’s ample room for any budding marketer to make a success in this trade. The useful tips contained in this guide will help add clear direction to your brilliant ideas so you can make your own online vape shop a reality.
Learn About Your Market With Clever Research
Even though you’re going to be operating online, where you could literally cater to customers from all over the world, it still makes good business sense to check out the local scene beforehand. For instance, if you find a steady growth of vapers in your area but there’s no physical store where they can buy their supplies, an online shop targeting these locals will do particularly well.
In any business, you want to first establish if your endeavours are going to be financially feasible or not. This is based on the basic principle of supply and demand. Looking at your specific location try to dig out as much information as you can. A ready demand in your specific area tells you your online vape shop has ample room for progress.
You could also consider sticking to a particular region if you fancy, and then scale up to a national service along the way. Set up your milestones as you envision them and then take down one step at a time.
What About Dealing With Competition?
This will always be a factor to worry about especially when it comes to conducting business online. But don’t let the competition deter you from aiming for your well-deserved piece of the pie. Your goal should be to define and live up to your unique selling proposition, or USP for short. What makes your vape shop different to what’s already out there? Do you have an area of specialisation you wish to base your business on? This will prove very useful for vapers to identify with your company.
For example, you could supply particular brands of vaping devices as well as the accessories your customers will need over time. Or what about focusing exclusively on imported and hard to find e-liquids? The sky’s the limit with personalising your vape shop but let it stand out distinguishing you from other players in the market.
Also, remember vapers are typically quite tech-savvy and have certain expectations. So you should educate yourself accordingly by drawing on as much knowledge about vaping as you can. These are people who are probably already familiar with online shopping as many of them must have purchased their first vaping device online.
Apart from the shopping experience which may include features like free shipping, you will want to meet their peculiar requirements. Connect with vapers using social media and try to learn about their specific needs. Armed with this information aim to meet customer needs head-on. With this approach, you can build a powerful online vape shop that your competitors will envy.
What Items You’re Going To Sell
It’s very tempting to want to build the latest greatest online vape shop that sells virtually everything a vaper could wish for. Remember however, you’re not trying to be Amazon, and you will have to consider your finances if you choose to keep items in stock. The last thing you want when laying out cash is to have to sit with stock that gathers dust and burns a permanent hole in your budget.
Trying to cover the entire broad array of vaping products means you’re not concentrating on identifying those that are fast and regular sellers. This is where your focus should be – on selling more, more often, rather than selling a little bit of everything.
Keeping this in mind you will soon find that it may be trickier to sell vaping devices and lots of different types of mods. These also tend to cost a fair amount to stock and as mentioned you don’t want to end up with expensive devices becoming outdated and sitting in your shelf forever. Keep yourself informed about vaping devices and step up to products that are proven sellers.
Selling e-liquids will always be a healthy component of any online vape shop. They are the obvious bread and butter staple of all vapers. So you can’t really go wrong with stocking them. But bear in mind they do come with an expiration date. Hence you should always be particular about the freshness of e-liquids you’re supplying.
Try to carve out your own little niche in the market by sticking to either devices or e-liquids when starting out. Stick with and become an expert with the specialisation and you’ll grow exponentially. Exclusivity turns customers into regular ones and does wonders for word mouth advertising.
You can still decide to expand your product offering later on to include other niches within the vaping market, but that will depend heavily on what your finances allow.
How to fulfill online orders
The most important aspect of running an online vape shop is making sure your customers receive their purchases without hassle. There are several fulfillment companies which can help you ensure your service and delivery is executed in a timely manner. It’s also less cumbersome than trying to handle fulfillment all by yourself, and it adds to the professional image of your online vape store. Partner with a logistics company that has a proven track record. Fulfillment companies that are experienced in international ordering usually offer very competitive rates.
Your Website Your Shop
For your online vape shop to make an impact your website needs to be professionally designed and marketed. This will no doubt cost quite a bit if you’re inexperienced in the areas of web development and internet marketing. You’re also going to need a logo and content for your website to grow. If you’re limited with your budget you can involve family and friends who may have some knowledge in these areas. Or if you’re the serious bootstrapper you can spend some time learning the tricks of the trade and then do it yourself. There’s certainly no shortage of learning resources on the web. Be encouraged that many successful online business were started as a ‘one man’ or ‘one woman’ show. Now it’s your turn.