“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill
A few years ago you could open a vape store and be guaranteed that e-cigs would fly out of your shop.
Covid has changed that. Many shoppers are staying at home and vape shops have to work harder to grow their business.
In addition, marketing regulations will mean that you are limited in ways to promote your business.
But it’s not all bad!
For example, in early 2009 we were alarmed by the fact that Google Advertising of vape products was banned.
But whether e-cigs are advertised or not, people still find and buy them. And with some imagination, you can continue to grow your sales without having to spend huge amounts on out-marketing your competitors!
Even in these times of Covid, I know vape businesses that are thriving.
Armed with these ideas, you’ll be able to not just survive but to grow your vape business!
35 Tips To Grow Your Vape Sales
- Phone in on local radio chat shows, being sure to mention the name of your store.
- Offer comments to local papers and radio stations - and build relationships with journalists. Once you have been cited once you will often find journalists will come back to you as a reliable source.
- Get involved with local charity auctions, offering kits as prizes. It’s a great way to build relationships in the local community.
- Don’t just differentiate on price! Focus on the quality of your products and your ingredients. You’re not going to increase profits by being involved in a price war.
- Utilise social media. Consider starting a Facebook group for vapers in your area - and make sure you are involved with existing vaping groups. This doesn’t have to be direct marketing, but more about building relationships.
- Be an expert - make sure you know as much as possible about the intricacies of vaping. This will help your customers and create a competitive advantage over other shops. You can tighten up your knowledge with this series of vape guides.
- Share your knowledge! Consider creating guides, YouTube videos and free downloads or handouts which can be used to build relationships and promote your business.
- Validate your customer relationships by having photos taken with your regular or loyal customers. It encourages new customers to build their own trust.
- Be relevant with the times by focusing on new and trending stock. This is especially important with vaping as trends can change extremely quickly!
- Have a weekly or monthly theme to maintain your customer’s interest.
- Display customer endorsements in your store to provide proof of your excellent service and products!
- Listen to customer queries and be prompt on coming up with solutions. These solutions can tie into upselling if it benefits the customer too (but never sacrifice customer relations to make a quick buck!)
- Be a part of online forums that have active and involved user groups.
- Personalise the experience for your customers with offers for their next purchase.
- Create bundle offers, especially for high selling products, to create an irresistible offer for your customer.
- Having your local event tied to special dates or holidays gives new customers a chance to visit your store.
- Tying up with other retailers and businesses is another way to get new customers to try your products. For example, you could offer employees at a local call centre a discount code.
- Have a clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that helps the customer identify your brand from other retail shops – either through your unique products or positioning as a premium store.
- Often the best ideas come from observing other retail outlets (even non-vape stores!) and seeing their placement of products. Rearranging items in your shop to make it more accessible and attractive is a sure way to get more customers coming back for more.
- Listing your store on social media is one way to be featured online. Don’t just share products and discounts: photos, videos, positive news stories, tips and tricks and blog posts can also help build loyal followers. Encourage and acknowledge feedback on your channels - satisfied customers through word-of-mouth marketing can enhance your credibility and help build a wider customer base.
- Answering queries on online forums will provide proof of your expertise to potential customers.
- Have graphics/handouts that demonstrate the best way to use the products can increase customer satisfaction, set you apart from your competitors and reduce returns caused by user error.
- Every customer likes a lower price point! Setting low prices on slow-moving products can encourage customers to try them out.
- Focusing on up-selling is a highly effective way to increase profits without the need to increase footfall. Of course, only do this if the upsell suits the customer’s needs.
- Placement is a crucial part of the store. Have the highest-selling/highest margin products at eye level to draw the attention of customers.
- Contests are one way to draw customers towards your store. Holding regular contests creates excitement, giving prospective and existing customers a chance to meet on a common platform.
- Identifying the non-selling SKUs and holding a sale for them during specific hours in the day could get more people to try it out - and turn non-moving stock back into cash!
- Telling your own story and relating to your customers is another way to create a path for customers to come back to your store.
- Many stores focus their branding and marketing on predominantly young male customers. Positioning your brand for a wider audience (and not ignoring women or the older generation!) could give you a significant advantage.
- Identifying your weak marketing areas - whether it is pricing, promotion or placement - and setting clear periodic deadlines can help eliminate the weak areas and build on them.
- Organising weekly or monthly meet-ups give customers a chance to meet other like-minded people and also try out your products. The experience can in turn create long term associations that can boost sales.
- Acknowledging and getting to know loyal customers creates a healthy system of bonding with them, and gives a reason to shop from your store. Learn their names, remember what they have told you before, what they have previously purchased and have a chat with them when they come in (as long as other customers are not waiting!)
- Dedicate an hour a week to evaluate the top 5 reasons that your stock sold and the recurring customers that look for specific items.
- Think carefully about the atmosphere of your shop. For instance, music has a powerful, yet subtle effect on customer behaviour. Mellow music is thought to slow people down causing them to browse more. Something to think about!
- Finally, always provide customer service that goes above and beyond your competitors! You’ll find that not only does it bring people back, word of it also spreads around the community!
Sales are not everything - to be profitable you need to have good margins too. At Orderly you’ll find great products, including new devices and e-liquids, at great prices. . Sign up for an account with Orderly Distro for access to our full product range - and 10% off your first order!