Best E-Commerce Platforms to use for your CBD Store

15 September 2020

Do you find it a little confusing deciding which e-commerce platform to utilise for your CBD business? There’s been an enormous increase in the number of online CBD stores in the last couple of years. The growth has been fuelled by a few factors, for instance, the marketing about CBD’s health benefits. The health and wellness industry is espousing the benefits of the product. Also, there is a deluge of scientific studies being done that prove its efficacy for various uses. From a marketing perspective, big high-end shops began marketing campaigns and started stocking CBD products.

The change in attitude towards these products happened quite suddenly, most likely because of an adjustment in perceptions about cannabis and its products. Worldwide, people are pushing to have cannabis legalized. Of course, CBD doesn’t have the effects that marijuana does but the public seems to put the two together. What does all this mean for you as the owner of an online CBD store? Simply that it’s a great time to be in the CBD business – you should make the most of it!

We can advise you on the best way to set up your online business to take advantage of this opportunity. Your main options for your e-commerce platform for CBD are to either self-host or to use SaaS. We’ll outline the features of both here so that you can decide for yourself. Of course, there are many other options, but they’re smaller and won’t be dealt with here.

Remember that your website is your shop window, your shop floor, your advertisement, and your public education portal. In the competitive e-commerce environment, there’s no room for amateur, outdated websites. You cannot cut corners in your e-commerce platform for CBD. So, let’s examine your options.

Self-Hosting with WordPress or WooCommerce

Pro’s:

– WordPress has been around for a long time, and for good reason. It’s user-friendly and anybody with a little knowledge can set up a basic website with this software.
– Its software is opensource, so you keep full control of your site. Just remember, you can’t sell CBD products with WordPress.com (because it’s hosted) but you can useWordPress.org (because it’s self-hosted).
WooCommerce is one of the principal platforms and was put together especially for WordPress. It’s easily customizable with plenty of design choices.

Together, this pair is our top recommendation. WooCommerce comes highly recommended on many customer reviews.

Cons:

– If it’s not in the hands of expert designers, using WordPress for your site can make it look too simple and nonprofessional. It is better to leave the complex site setup phase in the hands of the professionals. Of course, you can try doing the SEO, design and speed optimization of the website yourself but these elements are vital to the success of your e-commerce platform for CBD.
– WooCommerce’s main negative points are like those of WordPress – to get the most out of the software, you need skills.
– Their client support is minimal too and you may find that you often need to keep adding other plug-ins.

So, a combination of WooCommerce and WordPress can work extremely well for your e-commerce platform for CBD but you will probably need skilled professionals to help you with your website creation.

You Might Want to Consider SaaS

This is your next big alternative for your e-commerce platform for CBD. This centrally hosted “on-demand” software is available on a subscription basis. Software as a Service is a cloud-based software that has rapidly become mainstream. It is used by large corporations and small online businesses alike. It’s great for nearly every type of business tech for many good reasons.

Pro’s:

– There are no difficult installations required and you can outsource all the IT issues instead of having to handle them yourself.
– You won’t be tied up with rigid controls.
– Subscriptions can be paid for long-term instead of all at the beginning which is a relief for smaller businesses. These usually include the software license, support, and most of the other charges.
– You’ll save on the maintenance and support fees that on-premise users pay.
– It’s highly customizable to the specific business and individual users.

Cons

– You need a good internet connection. This will really only be an issue if you live in a remote place. Under most normal circumstances, your connection will be more than adequate.
– While it’s compatible with most operating systems, you may need to download a different web browser for your particular SaaS system.
– If any of the platforms suddenly goes out of business, which is very unlikely to happen, you would have to transfer your website to a different service. This is because you don’t actually own the software.

The two SaaS platforms that come highly recommended are Shopify and BigCommerce.
BigCommerce is, despite the name, also suitable for small businesses and is a good e-commerce platform for CBD. They also focus on branding and marketing. It is great for those who have fewer tech skills. This platform makes it simple to set up, customize, and grow your own e-commerce CBD store. There are lots of templates to make setup easy and fast. This speed is vital if you want to make your site live quickly to take advantage of the current growth in interest in CBD products.

To summarize then, we suggest WordPress and WooCommerce if you have more advanced tech skills or can hire website designers. If your skills and funds are limited, we’d recommend you go with Saas.

If you need further information regarding setting up your online CBD business or need help in choosing a web hosting for a cannabis website, feel free to talk with one of our experienced team members. They can help you decide what suits your requirements best.

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