Here’s What Florida’s Vape Shops Are Doing to Thrive in a Slow Economy
By Space Coast Daily // July 1, 2022
You might think that owning a vape shop would be the perfect career to have during difficult economic times. People who use nicotine, after all, will continue buying it regardless of their current financial situation; they’ll make cuts in other areas instead.
Nicotine use today, however, isn’t what it used to be. In the past, a cigarette smoker didn’t really have any options except to buy cigarettes. Buying a cheaper brand was the only way to save money without compromising one’s satisfaction level.
Vapers, on the other hand, have plenty of options if they want to save money. A vaper who uses a powerful device and goes through bottles of low-nicotine e-liquid rapidly can switch to a lower-power device and use higher-nicotine e-liquid, achieving the same level of satisfaction while spending significantly less. A vaper can also switch to alternative nicotine products such as nicotine pouches or nicotine-infused toothpicks. In either case, vape shops lose revenue.
When the economy suffers, vape shops suffer as well. Here’s what Florida’s vape shops are doing to thrive in a slow economy.
Finding More Competitive Suppliers
One of the best things that a vape shop can do to maintain profitability under poor economic conditions is finding a new vape juice supplier. Seeking out a new wholesale provider has two benefits. The first benefit is that a vape shop can potentially secure better wholesale prices for the e-liquids that it already carries. That can increase the vape shop’s profitability, and it can also give the shop a bit of breathing room for holding promotions that might help to stimulate customer interest.
Another benefit of finding a new wholesale source for e-liquid is that vape juice wholesalers often have a few of their own house brands that aren’t available anywhere else. Vapers are always on the hunt for new products. Offering a new range of appealing vape juice flavors can be a great way to rekindle excitement among vapers who have moved on to other products.
Exploring New Revenue Streams
Although vape kits and e-liquid can certainly be very profitable products to sell, Florida vape shop owners have found that identifying new revenue streams can be an excellent way to keep a store running under difficult economic conditions. That’s especially true in light of the increased regulatory scrutiny that the vaping industry has experienced over the past couple of years. Here are just a few of the new products that you’re likely to see at a well-stocked vape shop these days.
■ CBD: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that’s extracted from industrial hemp plants. It’s most commonly sold as an oil-based tincture that’s taken sublingually, although it’s also available in many other forms such as gummies, capsules and even e-liquid. People are finding that CBD seems to be helpful for a wide variety of health goals, so it’s become an extremely popular herbal supplement. The fact that CBD vaping products are available also makes it a natural fit for vape shops.
■ Other Cannabinoid Products: Although CBD is probably the best-known cannabinoid in the supplement world, other cannabinoids – many of which are converted from CBD under a process called isomerization – are rapidly increasing in popularity as well. Those cannabinoids include Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, HHC and THC-O. Although these cannabinoids are molecularly similar to Delta-9 THC – which is a federally controlled substance – they aren’t strictly the same and are thus permitted under federal law and Florida state law for the time being.
■ Dry Herb Vaporizers: Vaping isn’t just for nicotine; there are also millions of cannabis users in the world who are happy to find an alternative to smoking their favorite herb. Dry herb vaporizers heat cannabis to the point of vaporization, releasing its active compounds without causing combustion. As an added bonus, dry herb vaporizers can also be used to vaporize loose-leaf tobacco.
■ Alternative Nicotine Products: Vaping isn’t the only smoke-free way to satisfy your nicotine addiction. Laboratories around the world have pioneered affordable new methods of creating synthetic tobacco-free nicotine, and that’s paved the way for a new generation of flavored nicotine products such as pouches, gums and even toothpicks. These products are just as satisfying as e-liquid in their own way, and they’re often cheaper as well.
Finding New Ways to Keep Customers Engaged
One of the best ways for any small business to maintain profitability during an economic downturn is by keeping its existing customer base engaged. Vape shops in Florida are doing everything possible to reach out to their customers across multiple channels and keep them informed about promotions and new product releases.
Consumers are already very accustomed to the marketing techniques used by e-commerce businesses, and local vape shops have begun to utilize those techniques for their own marketing efforts. The most popular method that a brick-and-mortar vape shop uses to collect customers’ contact information is by launching a reward program.
To join the reward program, a customer must provide an email address, a phone number or both – and by doing so, the customer consents to receive periodic marketing messages. Reaching and engaging customers wherever they are has helped astute vape shop owners keep customers interested and discourage them from visiting other vape shops.
Offering New Order Fulfillment Options
Consumers’ buying habits have changed dramatically in the age of COVID. While people were once content to do most of their shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, many have tried to avoid close contact with strangers as much as possible during the pandemic. For those who want to practice social distancing as much as possible, shopping online is the usual solution – but not everyone wants to do that when they buy vaping products because of the waiting and high shipping costs involved.
To alleviate customers’ safety concerns – and to win back a portion of the business lost when some customers shifted to online shopping – many vape shops in Florida have begun offering new order fulfillment options such as local courier delivery and curbside pickup. People who take advantage of those options can receive their products on the same day without setting foot in the store. That helps customers feel safe, and it helps to prevent them from taking their business elsewhere.