Choosing the Best Ecommerce Platform for CBD Businesses

Industry:
In a Nutshell

CBD sales are rising, and business owners are looking to take their sales online. The problem arises when you look at the legal implications and platform restrictions. This article wil discuss all these factors as well as what you need to take into consideration when choosing the best ecommerce platform for CBD businesses.

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Table of Contents

CBD or Cannabidiol is a drug extracted from the cannabis plant which is used as a natural remedy for several reasons ranging from pain relief to relaxation. CBD is being extracted and sold online due to its legal status. Currently the global CBD market is stands at a staggering $7.71 billion as of 2023. This number is expected to grow in the coming years as more people are selling online.

In this article we will discuss the legal status of CBD, the best ecommerce platform for CBD online and what to look for when creating an online CBD store.

CBD and Its Legal Implications

Before you start selling CBD online, it is important to take the legal implications into consideration. In the United States, there are Federal laws and state laws that every business owner needs to be up to date with. According to the 2018 Farm Bil, hemp was removed from the list of controlled substances making hemp-derived CBD products legal. This was contingent to the product only being legal if it contained less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This does not include CBD derived from marijuana as that is still considered illegal.

The second layer of these legal implications is the state laws. While some states have accepted CBD products and deemed them legal under comprehensive frameworks, other states have imposed strict restrictions on CBD and its products. While selling online gives you access to all the states, it is important to be well-versed with the state laws pertaining to CBD before you sell.

Things to Consider When Choosing The Best Ecommerce Platform for CBD Businesses

There are several factors to keep in consideration when choosing the best ecommerce platform for CBD businesses. These can range from platform policies, legal implications and functionalities that each platform offers. Let’s delve into each of these factors and how you can make a choice for your CBD online business.

Platform Limitations

Business owners need to be aware that not all ecommerce platforms authorize the sale of CBD or hemp-derived products. Following are the plaforms that prohibit the sale of CBD and hemp-derived products.

It is against the service policies of these platforms to sell any products derived from hemp or marijuana. It restricts service to businesses that are trying to sell CBD products online. While there are platforms that do allow the sale for CBD products, they too have certain limitations that need to be kept into consideration. These are as follows:

  1. Shopify: Shopify permits the sale of topical and consumable hemp-derived CBD products by US merchants. It is important to note that Shopify will restrict any marijuana-derived CBD products.
  2. BigCommerce: BigCommerce does not impose any restrictions for the sale of hemp and hemp-derived products.
  3. Others: Platforms such as Magento, Shift4Shop, WooCommerce, Dukaan, Wix, 3dcart, and Tophatter allow the sale of CBD oil.

Payment Processing

Several payment processing gateways are often hesitant to deal with processing payments related to CBD due to its risky nature. Before integrating a payment gateway for online payments on your store, it is important to check if the service provider deals in CBD product transactions. While traditional service providers have tried to steer clear, the growing acceptance of these products will see an increase in service providers accepting payments for CBD transactions.

Functionality

Once you have evaluated the policies and limitations of the ecommerce platforms, the next step is to make a choice amongst your shortlisted options. This evaluation boils down to the functionality and ease of use of the platform.

If you are creating an online store for your CBD products for the first time, here are some of the aspects you need to take into consideration:

  • Security: The most important aspect to consider when choosing any ecommerce platform is the security. If you are selling your products online, it is important to keep sensitive data secure since customers will be making transactions on your website.
  • Scalability: Every business is aiming to grow and you need a pltform that is easily scalable as your business improves and grows.
  • SEO: You want to be visible to your audience. This is why you need a platform that has SEO capabilities and settings that will allow you to be discoverable for consumers.
  • Budget: Create a comprehensive budget based on requirements and profit marginn to choose your platform.
  • Open source: Opting for an open source platform will allow you to enjoy more customization without the need to stick to a specific vendor.
  • User-friendliness: Customers get extremely frustrated by complicated website layouts. Make sure the platform you choose will allow you to create a user-friendly website.

Top Platforms To Sell CBD Online

There are number of features to keep in consideration when choosing the best platform. Here are our top 4 picks on the platforms you can choose to improve your online CBD store.

Feature 

Shopify 

WooCommerce 

BigCommerce 

Squarespace 

Ease of Use 

Easy to set up and use with intuitive interface 

Requires WordPress familiarity but offers flexibility 

User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop editor 

User-friendly platform with simple setup 

Payment Integration 

Supports multiple payment gateways 

Various payment gateways available 

Seamless integration with multiple payment options 

Supports Stripe and PayPal 

Scalability 

Scales well with growing businesses 

Scalable with WordPress infrastructure 

Designed for scalability as business expands 

Offers scalability for growing businesses 

Customization Options 

Extensive theme and app store for customization 

Highly customizable with WordPress ecosystem 

Provides customization options with themes 

Limited customization compared to others 

SEO Friendliness 

SEO features built-in with ability to optimize 

Optimized for SEO with WordPress plugins 

Offers SEO-friendly features out of the box 

Provides basic SEO tools for optimization 

Security 

Hosted solution with robust security measures 

Security depends on hosting provider and plugins 

Secure platform with built-in security features 

Offers secure hosting with SSL encryption 

Compliance Support 

Provides guidance on legal compliance 

Compliance dependent on WordPress plugins 

Supports compliance with various regulations 

Offers basic compliance support 

App Ecosystem 

Extensive app ecosystem for additional features 

Access to WordPress plugins for additional functionality 

Offers app marketplace for extended functionality 

Limited app ecosystem compared to others 

Take Your CBD Online Store To The Next Level

A platform is not enough to get people to buy from you. In order to have a successful online business, you need a strong website or application that can appeal to your audience and encourage them to make a sale with you.

The first step is to create a functional website. You can either hire website development services or work with an ecommerce development company that will help create a strong and functional website.

Whether you are looking for WooCommerce developers or a Shopify agencies, getting the help of an expert can help you improve your visibility to your target audience and in turn improve the bottom line for your business.

Once you have a website in place, you can then start expanding towards applications. Apps have the highest penetration rate amongst all other channels and custom mobile app development can make a substantial difference when it comes to improving sales.

The better the visual representation of your brand, the higher the chance you have of gaining a loyal customer base.

Conclusion

The CBD product market is rapidly growing and online sellers are looking for ways to improve their revenue through the sale of these products. That being said, selling CBD products is a lot different than any other product due to the legal implications and platfrom restrictions. If you are looking for a way to sell online you need to choose the best ecommerce platform for CBD businesses.

Furthermore, businesses need to consider hiring a web and application developer or agency to properly display their products and attract audiences. If you are looking for a tech partner for all your enterprise technology solutions, FuturByte has got you covered. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Frequebtly Asked Questions

The legality of selling CBD products varies by jurisdiction. In many regions, CBD products derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) are legal, but regulations may differ by country, state, or locality. It’s essential to research and comply with relevant laws and regulations before selling CBD products online.

What types of CBD products can be sold online?

Ecommerce platforms typically allow the sale of various CBD products, including oils, capsules, edibles, beverages, topicals (creams, lotions, balms), vape products, pet products, and more. However, restrictions may apply based on platform policies and legal requirements.

How can I ensure the quality and safety of CBD products sold online?

When sourcing CBD products for your online store, it’s crucial to partner with reputable suppliers or manufacturers who adhere to industry standards and regulations. Look for products that have undergone third-party lab testing to verify potency, purity, and safety. Providing detailed product information and certificates of analysis (COAs) can help build trust with customers.

What are the key considerations for launching an e-commerce store selling CBD products?

Key considerations for launching an e-commerce store selling CBD products include product sourcing, legal compliance, payment processing, marketing strategies, shipping logistics, customer service, and ongoing regulatory monitoring. It’s essential to develop a robust business plan and seek legal and regulatory guidance to navigate the complexities of the CBD industry successfully.

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