Shopify and CBD: What You Need To Know Before You Start Selling Online
Can You Use Shopify For Selling CBD Products?
Absolutely! Shopify and CBD are a great business match.
Curious to find out why? We’ll explain it all shortly.
But first things first. What is Shopify?
Founded in 2006, Shopify is a Canadian multinational e-commerce platform, geared towards supporting businesses on the Internet. The platform allows anyone to easily set up an online store and sell their products. But Shopify doesn’t just offer you an online space to launch and manage your store. It also supports entrepreneurs through all the hassles of launching a business in areas such as analytics, marketing, shipping options, and payment processors (not online for CBD at this time of this post). It’s an all-in-one e-commerce platform that has outshined its competitors over the years.
So far so good, right?
Let’s see how you can use Shopify to sell CBD products.
Since 2019, Shopify has also allowed the selling of cannabinoid products on its platform. But, and there’s a big BUT here, only as long as they are derived from industrial hemp plants.
What followed after Shopify permitted U.S.-based merchants to sell topical and edible hemp-derived CBD products was an explosion of CBD stores!
And if you look at the numbers it’s not hard to see why. Powering around 500,000 businesses in 175 countries, and with more than 1.2 million active users, Shopify can offer online exposure for any brand. Including CBD shops.
Did you find these statistics exciting and you want to give Shopify a try? Here are some things to consider before selling CBD online.
CBD and Shopify: The Basics
If you are not familiar with operating an e-commerce business and it’s your first time hearing about Shopify, it can all seem a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry, we are here to help you.
Let’s dive into the basic steps you need to take for running your Shopify CBD store, successfully.
Step 1. Setting Up Your Shopify Store
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make once you finish completing your account and setting up your email address is to choose a theme for your shop. And there are hundreds of options to pick from! Many are free, and the paid themes are reasonably priced, too.
Want our advice?
It’s best to keep the design minimal and clean. You don’t want to overcomplicate things and end up with a cluttered look. This can prevent customers from seeing what matters.
Make sure to pick a theme that is mobile responsive, as mobile devices generated 51.5% of global website traffic in Q2 of 2020.
Source: Shopify Themes
Step 2. The Legal Takes
If you want to operate a Shopify CBD store legally, you need to make sure you adheer to Shopify’s guidelines on the industry’s federal and state laws.
Start by completing the Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products. All merchants have to complete this document that wish to sell hemp-derived products. Our advice is that you read everything carefully so that you understand exactly what is expected from you. And if you want to be sure you got everything right, you can also consult a lawyer for more clarity.
One more thing you should take into account is that CBD legal guidelines are continuously changing. It’s your responsibility to keep track of any new market updates that might appear.
As more states change their laws regarding the sale of marijuana-derived CBD products, the landscape for selling CBD online will continue to change as well.
For example, as of August 2020, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, and North Dakota have banned the sale of any form of CBD products. Additionally, Maine, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio have also banned the sale of edibles. To be legally covered, you will need to restrict sales of these products to the states mentioned above.
Step 3. Promoting Your Store
Are you all set and ready to start promoting your new Shopify CBD store?
Not so fast! There are some important things you should know about.
One of them is that some of the largest paid advertising platforms currently (at this time of this post) don’t allow ads for CBD products. We are talking about Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
Other great ways of promoting your CBD store include SEO, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Native Ads.
Second, avoid making medical claims! Whether you promote your products through email, website, or your blog, to keep the FDA off your back, stay clear from any health claims. That’s because CBD is not FDA approved and you can get in serious trouble if you talk about how cannabinoids can cure certain diseases or ailments.
Step 4. Shopify Payments And CBD
Perhaps one of the most annoying issues sellers have to deal with when setting up a Shopify CBD store is using Shopify Payments. That's because the platform doesn't allow merchants to use its payment gateway for selling cannabinoid products.
What are payment gateways?
A payment gateway is used to authorize and process debit and credit card payments on your online store.
But don’t panic, you can still offer your clients many other payment gateways. You just need to complete an attestation form and select a third party payment provider.
Now, when it comes to merchant account providers, there are a few options to choose from. But since many charge high fees and others can block the selling of your products at any time, it's better to have more options available.
We know many of you might be using PayPal for making secured payments. PayPal is one of the biggest online credit card processors out there. But does PayPal also accept payments for CBD products?
Unfortunately at the moment, PayPal does not accept CBD sales or the transaction of any hemp-derived products.
With all these being said, we hope that you found our guidelines helpful and you are ready to give both the industry of CBD and Shopify a chance. And if you are looking for a CBD wholesaler to partner with for your Shopify store, we would be more than happy to discuss our products and discounted rates with you.