Did you know that the value of this CBD market in the USA in 2022 was at a whopping $18 billion. In fact, within the next 10 years, it’s expected to triple to well over $50 billion annually. This is quite likely because somewhere around 64% of adults in the USA have tried a CBD product at least once, with more than half of those people doing so at the recommendation of a doctor.
With all of that being said, it is therefore quite obvious that joining the CBD industry could be quite profitable. If you’re thinking of starting your own little CBD business, but you haven’t already done so, we recommend moving quickly. As the space grows, so does the competition, which means that the longer you wait, the harder it gets.
That said, if you plan on starting a CBD business in the United States, although opening up your own retail location or storefront is an option, this can make things relatively difficult. There are a variety of laws and regulations that you must adhere to when opening stair fronts, not to mention opening storefronts and physical locations in general can be extremely expensive, more expensive than most people can manage.
Therefore, the only other good option left is to open a retail website. To open a retail website and to sell CBD online legally, it’s a good e-commerce platform that you need.
A good ecommerce platform can help streamline operations, create good looking websites, help customers find your products much easier, and more. However, the issue is that there aren’t all that many e-commerce platforms out there that are willing to deal with CBD businesses, although there are a select few. These select few e-commerce platforms for CBD businesses are exactly what we are here to look at today.
However, before we start talking about the best ecommerce platform for CBD businesses, we first want to figure out what exactly you need to look out for when choosing an ecommerce platform. Once we know exactly what all of the main benefits and features of ecommerce platforms are, it will make choosing the best ecommerce platform for your CBD business much easier.
The Legality of CBD in the USA
Something that we first need to discuss before we can start talking about the best e-commerce platforms for CBD businesses is what the legal status of CBD in the USA is like. So, first and foremost, according to the 2018 farm bill, CBD should be legal in the USA, particularly if it is derived from the hemp plant. As you can guess, there are caveats to consider here.
First and foremost, one has to consider the difference between hemp and marijuana, both of which are types of cannabis plants. The reality here is that as far as the federal government is concerned, only CBD that derived from the hemp plant is considered legal, whereas CBD derived from the marijuana plant is not.
The big difference here is that hemp plants are defined by their THC content, which is under 0.3%. If a plant has over 0.3% THC, then it is officially considered a marijuana plant, which is not legal in the USA. Therefore, any CBD product that you decide to sell in the USA has to come from a hemp plant.
Furthermore, the final CBD product itself also has to contain less than 0.3% delta 9 THC. As long as these requirements are met, then the CBD product in question should be legal. However, what you then also need to think about is that CBD products may not be 100% legal in individual states.
The problem in the United States of America is of course that the federal government can have conflicting laws with state governments. This means that although the federal government says that hemp derived CBD is 100% legal, there may be states which are not in agreement with this.
Therefore, before you start any CBD based business in the USA, you need to make sure that the products you are selling are 100% legal in the states that you plan on selling in. If you fail to do this, you may land yourself in some extremely hot water.
How to Choose an Ecommerce Platform
Before we start talking about the best specific ecommerce platforms for cannabis businesses, particularly CBD businesses, we first need to talk about some of the main features that you should always pay attention to when choosing an ecommerce platform for any reason.
There are actually many different factors to look out for, and this will make there are no less than ten factors that you need to take into account when choosing an ecommerce platform, so this is going to be by far the most important section of this article today.
1. Platform Ownership and Hosting
One of the most important things to consider here is if you want a platform that is hosted on the cloud or is self-hosted. If we are talking about a self-hosted e-commerce platform, it means that you have to deal with the hosting, you have to take care of the installation, and you need to deal with updates as well.
This can be very cumbersome and expensive as well, although the advantage is that it provides you with greater control over the platform.
With a cloud managed platform on the other hand, you get better customer support, the costs are lower, and you have to put less work in as well. However, the downside with cloud ownership is that you don’t have nearly as much control over the servers.
2. The Cost of Ownership
When you are choosing an ecommerce platform, you then also need to consider the price. Of course, the whole point here is to operate a business that makes you money, not to use an ecommerce platform that costs you more money than you’re making. If you’re just a small business, this is more important than you could possibly imagine.
Yes, there are processing costs and monthly fees to consider, and we strongly recommend going for the better features for higher prices. You should never sacrifice valuable features for a lower price. You definitely want to compare the different players out there to see which one has the best cost and which one works best for you.
A very important aspect of any ecommerce platform is that it features integrations. Plugins and integrations are crucial for providing you with maximum functionality. Not all ecommerce platforms offer all integrations, so you need to be sure to know what your business needs before choosing an ecommerce platform.
For instance, you might need email marketing, accounting, payment and shipping, customer loyalty programs, third party digital tools, and more. You need to consider exactly what your website needs before you get started, particularly in terms of these integrations.
Although it might not be quite as important as some of the other factors we are talking about here today, the simple reality is that you should think about the themes and appearances that the ecommerce platforms in question allow for. Customers are much more engaged when websites and platforms look the part.
People don’t just want to buy products, but they want to shop in immersive and engaging environments. Therefore, you should choose an ecommerce platform that offers you with many different design options and themes.
Remember, some ecommerce platforms will offer a lot of themes for free, whereas others might have you paying significant amounts. Therefore, this is something you want to compare between different e-commerce platforms.
5. Speed and Scalability
Something else to consider here is that people are generally quite impatient. This means that whatever ecommerce platform you choose, it should allow for a lightning fast surfing experience. Not only should the ecommerce platform in question allow for a very fast functioning website, but it should maintain this speed no matter how large the business gets.
This is what is meant by scalability, the ability to maintain a high performance even when the website becomes much larger. You don’t want frozen pages, 404 errors, slow low times, or anything else of the sort.
Therefore, you need to know how many customers an ecommerce platform can handle before problems start to occur, which is especially crucial during peak traffic times. Going with a cloud hosted and scalable option with great functionalities and out-of-the-box features might be your best bet, especially if you are a new and upcoming cannabis business.
6. Ease of Use
OK, the fact of the matter is that we aren’t all coders and computer experts. This means that most of us need something that is very user friendly and simple. We don’t want to have to deal with coding, HTML, or anything else of this sort.
We also don’t want to have to deal with plugins and applications that are complicated to use.
What it really comes down to is that you want a super easy to navigate and user friendly ecommerce platform that allows you to make changes to your website within seconds, instead of having to spend hours on coding and other such things.
7. Security Features
The next thing that you need to pay attention to when choosing an ecommerce platform for your CBD business is website security. A security breach not only causes a loss of information and possible financial security, but also causes customers to lose trust in you.
If customers find out that there was a security breach on your website, especially in terms of financials, nobody will ever come back to you. Identity theft and e-commerce fraud are very common.
Therefore, you absolutely need to take a look at all of the different security credentials of the ecommerce platform in question, such as secure data backups, SSL, PCI compliance, monitoring for DDoS attacks, and much more.
Generally speaking, you want any ecommerce provider that you consider to have the maximum possible level of security.
8. Payment Gateways
Perhaps one of the most important aspects as far as an online CBD business is concerned, is that it has an acceptable payment gateway.
Remember that major credit card providers for instance generally don’t work with cannabis businesses, so this is something that you’ll have to take into account.
Whatever the case may be, you need to ensure that the ecommerce system in question has a usable payment gateway so people can pay for their CBD products.
9. Mobile Friendliness
A good majority of shopping happens through mobile devices. Worldwide in 2023, mobile ecommerce sales accounted for $2.2 trillion. Therefore, you need to make sure that your ecommerce site is mobile friendly.
It needs to look good on mobile devices, it needs to load quickly, and all of the features need to function properly. Unfortunately, this is a problem that many e-commerce platforms have, that they work well on web-based platforms such as Internet browsers on computers, but don’t necessarily function properly on mobile devices.
10. SEO Friendliness
The other factor that you need to consider here is SEO or search engine optimization. As far as the Internet is concerned, this is an absolutely critical factor in terms of your success. Organic search engine optimization, although it takes a long time to build, is a crucial aspect for driving traffic to your website.
The simple reality is that not all ecommerce platforms are designed equally as far as SEO is concerned. Some are much better than others. We strongly recommend doing a bit of research on this front to see which ecommerce platform has the best possible search engine optimization features for your new DVD business.
The Best CBD Ecommerce Platforms
Now that you know what all of the most important factors are to pay attention to when selecting an ecommerce platform for your CBD business, let’s take a look at some of the best options that you have at your disposal.
BigCommerce is by far one of the best CBD e-commerce platforms available. It’s extremely adaptable and user friendly so that beginners can make the most out of it. It has many important tools and pieces of software that you can use to conduct a smooth CBD business. It comes with quite literally everything that you need for both a B2B and B2C business. It’s also a fantastic platform to use to create a digital marketing campaign.
Shopify is of course one of the world’s leading ecommerce platforms. It also happens to be a market leader in CBD products.
What you need to be aware of is that the main payment gateway that Shopify uses, Stripe, does not accept CBD related payments, but you can always install another third party payment gateway system that is supported by Shopify, which will allow for CBD payments.
Other than that however, what you need to be aware of is that Shopify comes with quite literally every single tool you could ever need to create a functional and great looking ecommerce website.
We then have Dukaan, Which is a fully integrated solution that makes selling CBD products online about as easy as possible. You can easily change the look of your online store, optimize online payments, add a plethora of new features, and much more.
If you need an extremely simple solution that will allow you to launch your online CBD store within the same day as you get started, then this is it. It’s also important to note that this is also one of the best e-commerce platforms in terms of friendliness and mobile friendliness.
Shift4Shop It comes complete with a plethora of tools designed specifically to allow e-commerce stores to flourish. There are high risk payment processors and age verification systems in place here, therefore making it perfect for selling hemp and CBD products.
You can also easily create categories, change the themes, and much more. As far as creating a great looking site is concerned, this is one of the best options that you have at your disposal.
What we have here is a totally free of cost WordPress plugin that allows you to change a self-hosted website into an effective ecommerce store. It comes complete with all the features and tools that you need to run your own ecommerce website for CBD products.
When all has been said and done, the simple reality is that CBD is turning out to be one of the most profitable industries in the USA, and in the whole world.
Projected to grow by billions of dollars every year for the foreseeable future, it offers people of all sorts the opportunity to make some very handsome profits.
To make these profits however, you need a good e-commerce store, and that means that you need a good ecommerce platform to get started.
All of the above options that we discussed today are fantastic ecommerce platforms for a CBD store. Remember, the best ecommerce platform for CBD is the one that provides you with all the features and functions that you need to make sales and profits.
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