Do you want to run a CBD business as a distributor or retailer? If YES, here are 10 best platforms online you can sell CBD oil without restriction.
Cannabidiol, or as it’s more commonly known, CBD, has been enjoying a surge in popularity over the last few months. Although CBD oil was initially limited to the healthcare industry, mainly for the seriously ill, but more and more people are looking to improve their wellness with CBD. CBD is one of the many chemical elements found within cannabis. CBD is not psychoactive, it is all about the health benefits.
The legality of CBD was caught in limbo for many years, but with the growing amount of evidence and supporters as to its medical benefits, combined with the lack of psychoactive effects, many countries are legalizing it, and it’s now legal to open an e-commerce store that sells CBD.
According to reports, the CBD industry is expected to be worth $20 billion by 2024. When it comes to opening up your own online CBD e-commerce store, which e-commerce platform should you be using? There’s two major options out there: self-hosted and SaaS.
Unless you’re willing to undertake the daunting and lengthy process of self-hosting and building your own site yourself, SaaS can make for an extremely effective and speedy solution. In terms of catching a trending wave, it’s important to get your site live as quickly as possible. If you are interested in launching an online CBD store, below are the top platforms you should consider.
10 Best Platforms to Sell CBD Oil Online Without Restriction
The majority of cannabis websites designed recently get built on WordPress for two key reasons: Availability of themes and extensions. WordPress is known as one of the most popular website platforms in the world. Due to this popularity, there are lots of both free and paid themes and plugins available. These increase functionality and help you build a website that looks unique. This platform is easy for non-technical people to be comfortable with.
This means clients can write blog articles and make minor content changes once a site goes live. But if you are using lots of plugins to expand functionality, it can be rather resource intensive. This is why it is so important to keep your site fast with a service like Cloudflare or a Content Delivery Network such as Max CDN.
- Pure CBD Vapors
This site has been a leading online CBD retailer since 2014. During this time, they claim to have processed over 270,000 orders. In a marketplace full of new players and products, they vet each new vendor product for authenticity and legitimacy. All in-house customer service team responds to each phone call and email.
Every order is shipped in discreet packaging for peace-of-mind delivery. CBD demand is driving companies to emerge and innovate new products and delivery methods at a fascinating rate. As the marketplace surges, so should the demand for online retailers to rigorously vet these new products.
Joomla, although similar to WordPress, is more or less not as easy to use for non-developers. Expect a bit of a learning curve with the platform, so hiring a developer might be necessary. That said, Joomla can be a good platform to create a social network or e-commerce cannabis website.
A major downside is that unlike WordPress, Joomla has less SEO functionality out of the box. If you are familiar with Joomla websites you can fix some of the SEO shortfalls, but it can take a lot of effort. Joomla is also less popular than WordPress or Drupal, meaning fewer themes and plugins are available.
Note that Shopify itself does not outrightly prohibit CBD related products, but the Shopify Payments portion is powered by Stripe, which will not process CBD related payments at all. This forces users to look for a 3rd party payment processor that Shopify supports – which would result in additional redirects at checkout and reduce conversion rates. However, Shopify does notify store owners that if their stores are selling high-risk products, they will be closed without warning.
This is a very lightweight platform, and like WordPress and Joomla is free and open source. One of the biggest upsides to Drupal is the platform’s focus on performance. Websites built on Drupal tend to load faster out of the box than sites built on other platforms.
Some of the more notable websites built on Drupal are The Weather Channel and Whitehouse.gov. Drupal sites are mainly difficult to use and is far more complex than WordPress or Joomla. That means you will need to hire a developer with Drupal experience to build your website.
It also means that when you want changes made, it will be more difficult to go in and do it on your own. Drupal is the second most popular CMS platform, but only 8% of websites built on a CMS platform are Drupal sites. That’s compared to the 30% built on WordPress. This means there are fewer themes and extensions available for Drupal.
Although WooCommerce’s parent company Automaticc doesn’t officially support CBD-related products due to the some regulations, WooCommerce is an open-source platform, and thus holds no restrictions on what can be sold on your WooCommerce store, or how you choose to build it.
Meanwhile, Automattic’s limitation on supporting CBD-related products simply means that Woocommerce.com services (Jetpack), plugins and employees are unable to support a WooCommerce store selling CBD.
It simply means that you can take advantage of the main benefit WooCommerce brings to your business – owning your platform. Building your CBD store using WooCommerce means it can never be shut down or otherwise regulated due to a decision made by your e-commerce platform or partners – much unlike Shopify.
WooCommerce is generally an e-commerce platform that allows you to “own” your store, meaning that you are subject to fewer regulations than with Shopify (where you basically “rent” your store). If you use WooCommerce, you have control over the tools that will enable and enhance your store.
Wix.com is a leading cloud-based development platform with millions of users worldwide. They make it easy for everyone to create a beautiful, professional web presence. Wix encourages businesses and entrepreneurs to promote their business, showcase their art, set up an online shop or just test out new ideas.
The Wix website builder has everything you need to create a fully personalized, high-quality free website. Although Wix is required to review and verify the information and the site content of anyone opening a Wix Payments account, CBD is not restricted.
The company complies with authorities, regulators, payment processor and financial partners to create a transparent environment to help prevent any illegal activities or activities prohibited by their payment processor or other financial partners from being conducted.
- Big Commerce
CBD and hemp sales are allowed on this site to help entrepreneurs create a beautiful, intuitive ecommerce site that enhances brand and engages shoppers. Unlike other hemp and CBD-friendly platforms, Big commerce hosts your store and provides you full access to its suite of tools to help you optimize your site, improve conversion rates and sell more.
Whether you’re just getting started or want to upgrade your current online presence, BigCommerce can fast-track your relationship with a payment partner to fit your needs. There are no additional fees for selecting your own payment gateway, and you can choose between multiple U.S.-based providers of merchant services without incurring penalties, higher fees or account reserves.
This platform is best suited for large e-commerce cannabis websites that sell a lot of items with lots of options. Would be good for a multi-state marijuana lifestyle brand or cannabis distribution website. Magento is an eCommerce platform created for companies that sell lots of products.
It especially shines with products that have many variations. Large companies like Coca-Cola, Land Rover and Ford built their websites on Magento. It does a great job of handling SEO issues that can occur on other eCommerce platforms.
While the Magento community edition is free, it is by no means an easy (or cheap) platform to build a website on. Although very complex, the complexity means that you will need to hire a professional developer to get your site built. It also means that it will be more complicated to use when you finally get handed the digital reins, so be prepared.
There are many themes and extensions available for Magento, but most cost quite a bit of money. Most premium themes cost $100 or more, and a premium extension can cost you $300-$1,000. The platform allows you to display versions of a website based on a users location or language. This feature makes it ideal for companies.
This platform is cheap and easy for beginners. Although there are differences between this platform and other platforms, these differences are subtle. For a cannabis startup that doesn’t have funds to hire a web developer, this platform can be a good option.
Benefits include: free to get started (or have very cheap monthly plans), a variety of basic templates that are somewhat customizable and it works well if you need to start building a presence on the web. If you decide to start with this platform, at least pay for the plan that allows you to use your own domain name (yourbusiness.com).
This means that all the traffic finding your site will technically be going to your platforms’ website, which won’t help you build any domain authority- a major factor for SEO rankings and online visibility. The plans that allow you to use your own domain name will usually cost you less than $20 a month.
Choosing the best platform to sell your CBD oil online is no simple task. Such a choice should consider many more factors than talked about here. This should at least give you an idea of where to start, though. If you are starting out and don’t have the funds to pay a developer, Wix or Squarespace can be a short-term option.
If you are more established with a modest budget, the flexibility of WordPress is a better choice. If you have a big budget and sell a large variety of items with lots of options, a Magento website might be right for you.
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