Vapes Vs Tobacco – What Should A Store Offer?

The world of smokables is vast and often complicated for those just starting out. With an extensive range of pipes, consumables, vapes, flavors, and almost anything imaginable, choosing something that fits your customers’ desires can become tricky. Moreover, as the smoke shop landscape continues to evolve, more retailers are finding themselves at a crossroads – catering to both traditional tobacco users as well as the rapidly growing market of vape-curious customers. Nevertheless, this post will explore the primary things that any store should offer to their customers regardless of preference. From product selection to staff training, you will need to get creative if you want to satisfy the growing demands of your clientele.

The Primary Focus Of Any Respectable Store Must Be Its Product Selection

When it comes to drawing in both vape and traditional tobacco customers, one area that owners cannot afford to scrimp on is product selection. Getting the right mix of merchandise is crucial to satisfy the diverse preferences that the modern smoker calls for. Additionally, as seen from NEPA wholesale, you could set up a wholesale section of your site that caters to those selling your products to the end user and let them figure out which items align best with their customers. If you choose this option, you can offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount. Not only will this build trust with your buyers, but it could also convince them to purchase more of an item to gain free shipping! 

Nonetheless, regardless of whether you go down that route or not, you need to have enough things to tantalize potential customers with. Vapers especially demand a wide variety of options, from high-powered mods to discreet disposable inhalers…all of which come in an array of flavors and strengths. In the end, it takes an eclectic assortment of products married with a customer-first approach to keep both camps under one roof and the cash registers ringing.

You Need To Understand Your Market And Focus On What Will Bring In The Most Revenue

Although the temptation may be to try and please all patrons, you must focus on what really brings in the money. Of course, you need to have an array of products that appeal to your market, but once you tie down who are the main drivers of income, you should place a focus on them. In practice, this means truly understanding the demographics and purchasing habits of your core customer base. By analyzing sales data and customer profiles, smart retailers can pinpoint which products, brands, and price points are driving the bulk of their business. Catering primarily to their preferences ensures your shop capitalizes on a particular segment that is thriving and isn’t afraid to reach for their wallets. Although this is most likely to be e-cigarette users nowadays, longtime tobacco loyalists shouldn’t be left out in the cold as they are still a viable market, and the specialists can undoubtedly spend money with the best. 

Nevertheless, if you are juggling these two disparate markets, it might be wise to take a step back and see if focusing on one or the other will yield better results with less work, a la the famous Pareto Principle. Those who perfect their category of choice will find the most success in the hazy landscape of smokables. The bottom line ultimately remains the same for any business; find what works and push it.

Take Into Account The Regulatory Considerations In Your Jurisdiction

While everything discussed thus far is vital for a shop’s success, you should also not lose sight of the critical regulatory backdrop governing your business. With laws around both tobacco and vape products changing rapidly (particularly concerning vaping), strictly adhering to local statutes is a must. Age restriction might differ by product category and will depend on where you are located. In most cases, e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine devices like heated tobacco often face fewer restrictions than conventional smoking. However, don’t let this current laissez-faire attitude fool you; things can and do change. 

Consequently, you need to keep your ear to the ground and move with the landscape, and it shifts around you. This means checking IDs for validity to ensure you display the proper signage pertaining to what your products contain. Even the most diminutive regulatory tweaks can result in costly fines or worse if not followed. Licensing requirements also vary significantly between states and cities. For instance, some jurisdictions mandate separate permits for vape-centric shops versus tobacco retailers. Carrying unauthorized products risks the revocation of hard-earned licenses.

Consider What Ancillary Items Or Accessories You Might Want To Offer

Both the tobacco and vape sectors have huge ancillary markets that you should try to tap into if you are serious about boosting revenue. While tobacco has a considerable range of accessories like pipes and cleaning utensils, vaping is where you can find some weird and wacky additions. Some must-have companion items you might want to stock include replacement coils, batteries, and chargers. This is not to mention the mind-boggling array of flavored oils you can sell for an additional income stream, turning one-time buyers into repeat customers. Those who are attuned to such complementary items will find themselves as the place to go rather than simply another generic smokable emporium. 

Customer Service Will Always Win Out

Excellent customer service is vital in all facets of business, not least of which in the demanding world of inhalable products. You will likely see a range of customers, from those who are new and need a helping hand to choose the perfect product to those who might class themselves as pro tokers and will demand a certain level of service for their patronage. While almost all businesses have some focus on customer service, you can really set yourself apart by going above and beyond. This could involve setting up plenty of channels to speak directly with people and having a seamless return or replacement policy. You will get what you put in, and when people feel valued, they will eventually buy more. This might come in the form of a larger initial purchase, or it could result in them becoming lifelong customers.

There is plenty to think about when running a store that caters to this market segment. But as you have read, many of the key considerations are similar to any other form of business and simply revolve around making your customers happy.