CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It’s one of over 100 cannabinoids, which are the active ingredients in cannabis. CBD is non-intoxicating and does not cause a “high.”
CBD has been reported to have a number of potential health benefits, including reducing anxiety and inflammation, relieving pain, and treating seizures. As a result, CBD products are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, the CBD industry is expected to top $20 billion by 2024.
If you’re looking to sell CBD products, you need to find the right ecommerce platform. Here are some of the best platforms for selling CBD products.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis sativa plant or marijuana. It can be added to products such as oils, edibles, tinctures. One of the most common forms it is sold in is in gummies.
CBD is distinct in hemp and marijuana related products in that it does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Lacking THC means that CBD is psychoactive and does not provide the “high” of other marijuana based products.
Selecting the Best Ecommerce Platform for Selling CBD Products
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when picking the right ecommerce platform for your CBD business.
The first, and maybe most obvious, is to determine if the platform is CBD friendly. Be sure to look at the terms and conditions of any platform to make sure none of their restrictions include CBD based products.
Second, some platforms lock you into a specific payment processor or the choice among a small group of processors. You will need to make sure that the payment gateway is also CBD friendly.
Be sure to check out our list of the best CBD-friendly payment processors for online retailers.
You have to primary categories to choose from:
- Self-hosted and self-maintained
- SaaS solutions
Self-Hosted Ecommerce Solution
A self-hosted and self-maintained ecommerce solution is going to provide you with the most flexibility. It’s also going to be the most work on your end for you and/or your team. WordPress is a popular platform to start with because it does a lot of the heavy lifting for you. You can create just about any sort of website design you want within the framework.
It’s an open source platform with the largest community of any CMS platform available and an endless supply of community developer made plug-ins to provide just about any functionality you can think of.
In fact, it has a popular ecommerce plugin called WooCommerce that makes it fairly easy to get an ecommerce store up and running.
Because it is self-hosted, there are no restrictions in regards to selling CBD products, and you are free to select any payment processor you want.
All of that being said, WordPress and WooCommerce will require some website design familiarity and skills. Although it does have some drag and drop page builders you can use with it, you will find it a little more complicated than that to get your site created.
Your other option is to select a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform. There are quite a few to choose from. The advantage of these option is that they host the website for you and provide an easy to use interface for creating your site. Most CBD order fulfillment services are also set up to easily integrate with these ecommerce platforms. The trade-off is that you will have less control over the look, feel, and functionality of your website. You are stuck in their sandbox without the limitless creativity and freedom offered by an open source solution.
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms available. It’s used by some big brands like FitBit, Kylie Cosmetics, and KKW Beauty.
Shopify offers a wide range of features, an easy to use interface, and is one of the most affordable ecommerce platforms available with plans starting at $29 per month.
As of September 2019, it’s also one of the most popular ecommerce platforms for selling CBD products in locations permissible by law.
BigCommerce provides similar features to Shopify, and it’s also used by some notable brands like Toyota, Martha Stewart, and Gibson Guitars.
The biggest advantage BigCommerce has over Shopify is that it doesn’t limit you to a certain number of products like Shopify does. Once you hit the product limit on your Shopify plan, you have to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
SquareSpace is a popular website builder mainly utilized by non-ecommerce businesses, but it does have an ecommerce option.
It’s not as widely used for ecommerce as Shopify or BigCommerce, but it does provide a simple to use interface and all of the basic functionality you need to get up and running.
Wix is yet another popular website builder that can be used for ecommerce. Like SquareSpace, it’s not as widely used for ecommerce as Shopify or BigCommerce, but it is easy to get set up and running and is fairly inexpensive.
All of these SaaS solutions provide nearly plug-and-play type functionality, allowing you to get up and running with a CBD store in as little time as possible. The drawback again is that you are limited to their feature set, design interface, and hosting. You also do not technically own your website. You are paying a rental fee to whichever provider you choose.
What’s the Best Ecommerce Platform for Selling CBD?
The best ecommerce platform for selling CBD is ultimately going to be the one that provides you with the most control, flexibility, and features while still being easy to use.
For that reason, most people would recommend using a self-hosted solution like WordPress with the WooCommerce plugin. This gives you full control over your website while still providing you with a fairly easy to use interface.
However, if you’re looking for something that is even easier to use and don’t mind sacrificing some control, then one of the SaaS solutions might be a better fit for you. All of the platforms we’ve listed above would work well for selling CBD products.