Although the vaping industry is relatively new, it has been blowing up mainstream culture. Examining the numbers, vaping is definitely not going away anytime soon. From 2014, the industry was forecasted to reach $3.5 billion by the end of that year. Within the last two years, retail stores popped up everywhere, anywhere and somewhere, with numerous being online stores, and the industry is speculated to hit 10 billion dollars annually by 2017, so there's money in it. But you can't just pop up a shop and be successful, here is a brief guide on how to avoid mistakes vape stores make.
Ignorance of Sales Opportunities
This is one of the biggest mistakes vape store make. When you are in business, you should be looking for every possible sales opportunity, and not just sitting wondering how to increase vape store sales. If you do not, someone else will maximize their revenue and become the next Vaporesso. With the digital age we are in, it is a wise move to list your business on numerous social platforms to attract more clients. Yelp, Google Maps, and Apple Maps are also great platforms that will get your business listed on many widely-used GPS mapping systems. If Dave is looking for a physical vape shop online, he’ll use these mapping apps, so if you are not listed, you basically don’t exist to a large potential customer population.
Stocking Too Much Inventory
The best way to draw clients is by offering the latest, greatest mechanical and vape kits, correct? To a lesser extent! Do not be fooled into hitting high minimum orders just so you can stock the next hot mod. The lifespan of technology in this day and age is infamously short. With no doubt in another 2-4 months, the latest hyped-up mod will be released, and you’ll have a huge inventory of outdated models. This is one of the biggest mistakes vape stores make and it becomes damaging as cash flow is constricted, you have less ability to get newer products faster in future, and you will likely have stock in store that won't sell.
Creating an ‘Island’
One of the biggest formulas to failure is ignoring everyone else in the business. With brand loyalty being extremely important in the industry, vape brands generally take care of their long-term customers. Instead of constantly rotating inventory, it is wise to find a couple of brands in each category you offer or even a distributor and stick to them.
In order to maximize opportunities, it is wise to start networking and making business connections with the e-juice brands you carry. A little stalking will do no harm, find their marketing people on their website or LinkedIn and reach out to introduce yourself as a retailer. This will help solidify your business as part of the larger vape community and increase vape store sales.
Notably, the most successful vape businesses offer world-class customer service. There is always a friendly ‘fella’ online or onsite keen to help, as opposed to some big head with a cool-guy attitude. Do not discriminate, instead be friendly to your customers and treat them with respect. Bringing in new customers through online visibility by implementing a customer retention program will also increase vape sales. The ‘how’ is touched on more below, including how to increase vape store sales.
Not Utilizing Social Media
Social media is more than just a trend. Facebook and Twitter going public pretty much proved that, so DO NOT ignore social media.
Utilize these sites, along with Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, YouTube, and Pinterest to display hi-rez photos, videos, and other marketing materials. Customers and enthusiasts will share these posts to their circles, spreading your reach. In addition, insightful posts on sites like Reddit can turn into huge traffic for your site. Social media is the easiest answer to retailer’s FAQ, how to increase vape store sales.
Retail Space - Missing Marketing Opportunities
Most store owners miss marketing opportunities within their own store. Buy not having brochures, test products, test liquids, knowledge about products and the like, you would make sales a lot harder for those who do come in. To make business better:
Hire brand ambassadors
One of the best ways to promote your vape shop is to hire people who are naturally passionate about the vaping industry. When hiring people for your business, consider turning to your customer base (particular your regular patrons) first, to find people who genuinely like your business and products.
Personalize your marketing campaigns
Avoid one size fits all tactics. Instead, make it a point to personalize your sales and marketing efforts. Segment your customers according to demographic and psychographic information, and create campaigns for each group.
A rookie mistake but major item in the Mistakes That Vape Stores Make ‘bible’ is not being up to date with all things vaping and let the vape legislation. It is more than important to always be aware of vape legislation. For instance as of August the 8th 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented tough new vaping regulations that to some extent are potentially harmful to the industry. Notice how before accessing any vape website there is a disclaimer whether user is 18 years or above. This is due to legislation changes which include:
- vapers now need to be at least 18 years old to purchase products
- the FDA has to approve any new product
- there will no longer be free samples of the juice given out to vapers who wish to try a flavor before they buy
What struggles have you faced on your journey to open a vape store and do you have any tips for us? Do you have any other questions regarding how to open a vape shop? Feel free to drop a comment and join the conversation.