This article is brought to you by Heritage CBD.
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—As the cannabidiol (CBD) market has exploded, most consumers remain in the dark about the products, their safety, related laws and what CBD products can and can’t do, according to a February 2020 report from the Consumer Brands Association. While more than 6 in 10 survey respondents (62%) have heard about CBD, only one-third have actually purchased a CBD product.
For convenience stores with CBD products, this presents an opportunity to differentiate from the competition by educating the consumer on CBD. “Once you start with quality brands, running a successful CBD program at your store involves training staff and merchandising the product,” said Tim Van Epps, founder of Heritage CBD. He recommended three simple ways to sell the category at convenience stores.
1. Training. Tap your CBD brand partners for staff samples and information to educate employees on the products. “Some chains have had good luck designating a few key staff to be CBD ambassadors,” Van Epps said. “These ambassadors are comfortable speaking to customers in depth about CBD products and can train new workers on the product basics as well.”
2. Merchandising. Don’t make it difficult for customers to find your CBD products. Put it front and center on the counter to entice impulse purchases. “Pump toppers, window clings and signage in the candy aisle letting people know CBD gummies or chocolate are available at the counter can work well,” he said.
3. Promotion. CBD products should be folded into a store’s regular promotional calendar, with special emphasis during the initial launch. “Tying the CBD deals into your existing rewards programs and offering an introductory discount can spark interest in the category,” Van Epps said. “Reputable CBD brands also understand the need for c-store retailers to run promotions and want to support you in these efforts.”
By carrying quality CBD in their stores and implementing a successful sales program, retailers will garner repeat sales in this high-margin category. “Retailers will also help establish convenience stores as a safe and logical place to purchase CBD on the go,” Van Epps said.
This is the second installment of a two-part series about CBD products at convenience stores. Read about how to source CBD in your store in the June 24 edition of NACS Daily.