December 2, 2021
Average Read Time: 5 minutes
With the well-reported increase in online sales caused by the pandemic, it comes as no surprise that CBD sales also moved to ecommerce channels last year.
A survey by Brightfield Group from June 2020 found that 45% of CBD consumers and 54% of millennial consumers shifted to purchasing CBD online due to the coronavirus crisis, according to Hemp Benchmarks, a data provider to the North American market. Charlotte’s Web, a market-leading creator of hemp supplements, reported that online sales grew 27% in 2020 and amounted to 67% of the company’s total sales.
If you’re a CBD retailer or distributor and don’t yet offer online sales, it’s time. If you’ve already implemented ecommerce, it’s time to review your website and take it up a notch or two.
Fueled by the ease and convenience of the Amazon experience, customers today expect to see the same fluidity and simplicity with ecommerce. That means you need an online presence that allows them to find what they want, when they want, and enables them to pay how they want. And because a larger number of legitimate payment processors are beginning to serve the industry, the ability for CBD businesses to accept card payments has grown just in time to take advantage of online sales.
Following are 11 strategies to help you make the most of your website for ecommerce – whether you’re just beginning or want to improve what you already have. And as you venture into or increase your ecommerce capabilities, you also need to be aware of payment card fraud, so you’ll find tips here, too, on how to help prevent it.
A foray into ecommerce means merchants need to increase their awareness about online payment fraud and how to prevent it. Online credit and debit card losses come from merchandise shipped and never recovered, refunds to scammed cardholders, and chargeback fees for processing fraudulent purchases. Even worse than the financial losses themselves is the possibility of a merchant ending up on the MATCH (Member Alert to Control High Risk) List, a database of terminated merchants maintained by Mastercard Worldwide.
There are a number of reasons why merchants are named to the list, and data breaches and excessive chargebacks are two of them. Acquiring banks are required to check the MATCH List before signing a processing agreement with a merchant, and most acquirers will reject any merchant on the list.
That means merchants lose their ability to accept payment cards – a major blow to any ecommerce business, but perhaps even more so to CBD merchants, who already have something of an uphill battle to establish merchant accounts and payment processing. At best, a small number of providers will extend processing services at significantly higher rates to sellers on the list.
Once on the list, it takes five years to drop off, so establishing measures to fight fraud is critical. Here are four ways you can do your part:
The brick-and-mortar store isn’t dead, but online sales certainly are here to stay – and grow. Estimates indicate that ecommerce will bring in more than $843 billion in sales this year, up another 8% over last year, IBM said in a recent U.S. retail report.
And the CBD market will continue to grow, too, researchers say. The global CBD market was valued at $2.8 billion in 2020 and could increase to as much as $13.4 billion by 2028, according to a February 2021 report from Grandview Research. Any business serious about CBD sales needs to get serious about ecommerce to attract new customers and get their share of this rapidly growing market.
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