How Vaping Retailing Affected With COVID-19

COVID-19 is still there and trading in the pandemic has caused many difficulties for the retailers. So, as soon as there is a business opportunity, the vape business owners are grabbing it with both hands. Many factors are responsible for this change and smoking is a cause of major illnesses due to which many smokers are turning to vape.

As per the UCL Smoking Toolkit study, in England, about 643,000 smokers have already quit in past years. The quitting percentage rate in 2020 is double the rate of quitting in 2019. The numbers are shocking in Australia as well. People are switching to vaping and the vaping industry is booming at this time.

Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said the numbers of quitters have increased due to the pandemic and this disruption is because of the daily routine which is affected. There is social distancing now so people are staying at home and when it comes to going out of the house then there are restrictions. This has changed the behavior of people. Social smoking and drinking numbers have minimized to a great extent.

Many smokers avoid lighting up in front of children and other vulnerable family members which is also a reason for this behavior. Moreover, there have been financial problems for everyone and it is one reason that smokers are willingly or unwillingly quitting the habit.

Convenience stores are important and essential for consumers. Consumers have to travel far during this time to get cigarettes so many are picking the vape products if available. Many vape shops were also closed for three months. The head of reduced-risk products, Mr. Nick Geens said that the Vape stores reopened on 15th June, and sales of the reduced risk products are 7 percent higher in a vape shop which is more than the pre lockdown stage.

He stated that independent stores earned immensely and retained a growth of 11 %. Initially, consumers used to visit the local shop because of safety and convenience reasons but now they are aware of the vaping products available to them and this is easy to buy from a traditional retail shop.

This is a game-changing phase for many retailers and they should take the opportunity to manage the needs of their customers and offer them vaping products. So, let's see with tight restrictions in many places in Australia how a vape shop owner gets the business ready and capitalizes on unexpected opportunities.

Making products available:

Stakes are rising dramatically and a good practice which was being advised earlier is quite essential in this pandemic. Retailers offering bulk flavour concentrates Australia must ensure that they can make the products available across best sellers and popular e liquids in the area. It is also important for retailers to learn about the category and have up to date knowledge about different e liquids to serve the customers explicitly.

Good availability of wholesale vapor supplies along with knowledgeable staff goes hand in hand. In this pandemic situation, this will help in winning the trust of customers. If a retailer can gain the trust of the customer then customers will return to the same retailer and this will help in increasing the profits of Retailers.

For some businesses, availability refers to working closely with companies that can manage the category on their behalf. Bill Orchard, Elite Mobile’s national account manager says that it is our mission to provide everything to the retailers. He said that they have a consignment model in which the representatives display everything and stores will pay for only those things that are being sold to make a good margin. So, retailers do not fall short of products and there is no issue.

Juul Lab owner - John Patterson says that in this social distancing time people are reluctant to spend more time in stores and therefore it is important to get a fair share of the category and its growth. The independent retailers can display items professionally and in a systematic way to retain the customers. Smokers are habit creatures so they will buy cigarettes of the same brand instead of any other. Another thing is that vaping displays which look uncluttered and organized appeal to smokers and they can choose from a range of alternatives. This will refrain them from buying cigarettes and they will choose vape products from stores who do this.

The corporate affairs director at Imperial and Blu- Duncan Cunningham, has said that display plays a pivotal role and it should meet the in-store restrictions as per the pandemic guidelines. Most of the customers do not wish to check products in hand before buying and may also avoid asking any questions because of the queue building up behind them and this is an intimidating situation for many. So, the retailers need to display the products strongly and it must have clear information on pricing so customers can check without the need of inspecting and handling the products.

Acquiring help:

The sales representatives are working hard and that is why the vaping industry is skyrocketing. Stores are taking important steps to improve the category knowledge and management for occasions when the representatives will not be able to visit.

Apart from all these resources vape business owners are sharing information on their websites and offer bulk vapour juice to customers. JTI Advance is giving the retailers key category insights and product development news with important legislative information that should be updated constantly and offer timely training to suit the busy schedule of retailers. The few things which the vape business owners must abide by are:

• The display should be visible clearly and posters, tools or secondary units must advertise their product range precisely
• Making use of social media platforms to inform followers that there is no need to search for vaping products is beneficial
• Staff must have proper knowledge of products and categories so the shoppers should not head to the vape specialists for insight or advice.
• The vape products from different brands should be available, so shoppers should be sure the vape shop has their product brand
• Asking shoppers what they need is a plus point as they can be sure that the respective vape shop has everything that they need.

COVID-19 affected vaping retailing in many ways but still it is one of the most profitable small business ideas that can grow like anything if the vape business owners take care of the above-mentioned things.  To retain customers and attract the new ones is possible if the vape business owners offer what customers need and give them knowledge about the vape products they are looking to purchase.

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