There’s serious money to be made in the CBD industry, which now has a projected worth of $80 billion by 2030. Better yet, it’s a young market, which means that even budding CBD sellers have a chance to win big. The best part is that CBD can be sold online without requiring serious capital.
If you’re wondering how to sell CBD, the answer is simple: start a Shopify store and use all its features to your advantage. Not sure where to begin? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explain step by step how to open a CBD shop on Shopify and how to make it thrive with the help of a digital marketing agency.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the 60+ cannabinoids found in cannabis. It’s becoming increasingly popular thanks to the numerous health benefits of hemp-derived cannabidiol.
CBD products come from hemp, which means it doesn’t produce intoxicating effects. This distinction is important: hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states, while other types of cannabis and related products are not (depending on the state).
Are CBD and Marijuana the Same?
No, they’re completely different things. CBD products don’t have psychoactive effects, which means that you won’t feel high or stoned if you take them. Marijuana, on the other hand, is rich in THC, which is what gets people intoxicated when they consume weed.
What Kind of Hemp-Derived CBD Products Can I Sell On Shopify?
There isn’t a single answer to this question. Your choice will depend on what your customers want and how much work you’re willing to put into your CBD shop. Some of the most popular products include:
- CBD Edibles (e.g. gummies)
- CBD Concentrates
- CBD for Pets and Dogs
- CBD for Vaping
- CBD Topicals and Ointments
Is It Legal to Sell CBD on Shopify?
Yes, it generally is. However, you’ll need to check your local state laws to make sure that you’re following all the rules and regulations related to CBD sales in your area. For example, some areas might require you to hold a permit for selling health products like CBD oil.
In addition, you’ll need to check whether CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. While some states allow both varieties, others might not – it all depends on what’s allowed in your region.
CBD is legal to sell online in most parts of the world but some jurisdictions have stricter regulations. Be sure to do your research and check whether CBD can be sold in your area before opening a shop.
The Benefits of Selling CBD on Shopify
There are several benefits to selling CBD products on Shopify. First and foremost, you won’t need a ton of CBD products or an inventory to get started: products like CBD oils, tinctures, capsules, and dog treats require little-to-no storage space.
You can also start selling CBD online in as little as 24 hours: there’s no need to deal with the headache of CBD wholesale, and you won’t have to invest in packaging or marketing materials.
Lastly, Shopify is a powerful eCommerce platform that gives you access to several useful tools: from abandoned cart notifications to integrations with MailChimp and Facebook, there’s no end to what your store can achieve.
In other words, CBD + Shopify = massive profit, if you do it right.
Shopify’s CBD Policy
Before you start selling CBD on Shopify, it’s important to go over Shopify’s policies.
First, read their Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products. This document explains Shopify’s CBD policy and requires merchants to agree that they’re only selling hemp-derived CBD. Additionally, Shopify requires merchants to confirm that the CBD products are legal in their region.
Shopify also recommends that you consult with a lawyer or legal counsel to make sure you’re following all the rules in your area. This includes updates from the FDA, especially if you plan on selling edible CBD products for medical use.
If you don’t follow these rules, your store might get shut down. For a full list of policies and for more in-depth information, check out Shopify’s CBD Policy page.
Shopify CBD Payment Processors
Note that you can’t use Shopify Payments, the platform’s in-house payment processor, to accept CBD payments from customers who purchase from CBD stores. PayPal is currently not accepting Shopify CBD payment as well.
The reason is that banking laws are still evolving when it comes to CBD payment, and many banks are still wary of processing any CBD payment because they can’t tell the difference between the sale of hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD.
Because of this, Shopify will ask you to “select and apply for third-party CBD payment gateways” through DigiPay or Pinwheel. It’s best to read Shopify’s CBD Products Page to make sure you choose an appropriate payment processor for your CBD sales and Shopify payments.
How to Set Up a Hemp and CBD Store on Shopify
This is the easiest part of selling hemp and CBD on Shopify!
First, go to Shopify’s homepage and select “Start your own store.” Next, you’ll have to choose a name for your CBD business. Try to use something specific so that consumers can locate it easily.
Also, make sure this is an appropriate brand name for selling CBD products – no offensive words or phrases are allowed! After entering your desired CBD shop name, you’ll need to select a design (if you don’t already have one) and then customize Shopify’s theme to fit the style of your store.
Finally, add products and hit “save + publish” to launch your online CBD shop!
Never created a Shopify store before? Spend a few minutes brushing up on this handy Intro to Shopify.
Digital Marketing Strategies for Your Shopify CBD Store
Earlier, we mentioned how CBD and hemp-derived products have become a multi-billion dollar industry.
This means that you’re not the only one who’s trying to take a slice of that CBD profit pie. You’ve got competition – A LOT OF IT.
In other words, you can’t just set up your Shopify CBD store and expect sales to start flooding in. You need to do what most successful businesses do – lean hard on digital marketing.
Below are some of our top tips:
1. Create a memorable Shopify CBD brand.
Remember: there are now hundreds (even thousands) of people that sell CBD on Shopify and all of them are your competition. That’s why it’s important that your brand is easily recognizable and stands out from the crowd.
First, develop a brand strategy. What do you want your CBD shop to be known for? How can you differentiate yourself from the other CBD sellers on Shopify? Try coming up with several logos that convey different points of difference between your eCommerce shop and others.
Once you’ve got the perfect logo and theme, it’s time to develop your Shopify CBD brand voice.
What is your tone of voice? This is essentially the personality that you want your brand messaging to convey. You could go for a serious or professional image, or maybe play up humor and wit. Finding the right mix takes practice, so don’t be afraid to experiment with a few different styles.
Want to learn how Shopify buyers choose CBD sellers? Let’s talk about your ideal customers and how you can attract them through the perfect CBD branding.
2. Optimize Your Shopify CBD Store for SEO
Yes, you also need SEO on Shopify. Why? Because think of the Shopify search bar as a mini Google search. If you don’t have Shopify optimized for search engines, your store will drown in the search results.
Keep these tips in mind when optimizing your CBD storefront:
Keywords are super important to Shopify SEO, so make sure that every product and post has a specific keyword or phrase. This isn’t just making something up – try researching the search volume for keywords and create content that people are searching for.
Get familiar with your target demographic’s online behavior, studying the words they use to search for products like yours. If you can build Shopify SEO around it, there’s a better chance of ranking higher on the results page (and more customers clicking on your page).
Don’t overstuff your keywords. More than this is unnecessary and will only look spammy to search engines – plus, it’s a bad user experience anyway!
Never stop optimizing your Shopify storefront for search. Make sure that every aspect of your eCommerce store is continuously optimized, including product descriptions, blog posts, and more!
It’s next to impossible to find success on Shopify without social media. Promoting your brand on social media is an ongoing process, but it all starts with one important step: building a following.
When you launch your CBD store on Shopify, start building up followers on every platform that you can! This includes Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, and other social channels.
Ready to really boost your Shopify CBD store with social media? Here’s some advice:
Facebook currently allows ads for your CBD online store, BUT remember that this is without any explicit reference to the CBD product, or to sell hemp directly, especially the ingestible ones. The CBD market is a sensitive issue as far as FB is concerned, so focus more on promoting the brand or getting signups to a newsletter for more information.
Create a content calendar and curate some original, high-quality posts that will resonate with your target audience. You want them to see you as a leader in the industry – not just another business trying to sell them something.
Don’t just share your own content – be social! Share related posts from other industry leaders and reputable sources, because it will give you exposure to their audiences as well. Just don’t go spamming people’s feeds with your stuff!
Also, use hashtags to help people find your products. The right hashtags can be a great way to promote your Shopify CBD shop.
Related post: Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing
4. Get Your CBD Shopify Store Reviewed
Do you know what one of the best ways to improve your Shopify CBD store is? Getting reviews.
Think of reviews as a way to introduce your shop to new customers, as well as provide feedback to past buyers. More importantly, buyers seriously trust reviews: 9 out of 10 consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal.
Not only are reviews a way for you to earn more sales, but the Shopify platform also rewards stores with higher review ratings. This means an improved position in search results, which can lead to even more sales – it’s a win-win!
Another tip is to create a social media post about your new products blog posts and have followers share it if they leave a review. You can even reach out to past buyers personally!
However, it’s best practice to encourage honest and genuine reviews. Stay away from aggressively incentivizing reviews, because it could get your store in trouble with the Shopify platform.
5. Give Influencer Marketing a Try
Want to get your CBD storefront the exposure it needs- FAST? Try influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is when you partner with someone who has a large following (an “influencer”) to promote your brand, product, or service. This can be done in several ways – for example:
Collaborating on social posts that feature your product
Sharing a discount code to their email subscribers
Including a branded call-to-action on every blog post or video they create about you
There are lots of benefits to working with an influencer, but the best part is that they promote your store by adding their own flair and personal touches. It’s a great way to make sure your brand voice shines through!
The good news is you don’t have to find big-name influencers right away. You can focus on finding micro-influencers (people with smaller, more focused followings) who are already talking about your niche. This is a great way to work with people who are more affordable without sacrificing the exposure you’ll gain by working with them.
6. Create Awesome Content About CBD
Content marketing is one of the best – and most affordable – ways to increase your Shopify CBD store’s visibility.
One of the most popular types of content is blog posts. Creating interesting, informative blogs about CBD – whether they’re related to health & wellness or fashion & accessories – helps you rank in search engines for keywords that potential customers might search.
This is a great way to gain an audience of people who have expressed interest in your products, but it also helps you earn trust and establish authority with your niche – a good mix for a strong Shopify CBD shop!
Make Your Mark on the Shopify CBD Landscape
At Digital Delane, we know that marketing is more than just buying ads. To be successful online, you need a strong understanding of customer psychology and the power of digital advertising. Our team has both in spades, and we use proven practices to help our clients’ Shopify CBD stores increase their sales with less effort.
If you want your CBD business to grow but don’t have time for all the details or feel like it’s too complicated to do these things on your own, let our Shopify experts do it for you!