CBD 101: How Retailers Can Educate Adult Shoppers at POS
CBD 101: How Retailers Can Educate Adult Shoppers at POS – By Jacopo D’Alessandris, President and CEO, E-Alternative Solutions LLC.
When it comes to CBD education, adult consumers traditionally turn to manufacturers, industry observers, other consumers, and the news media to stay informed. But it’s the category’s retailers who are on the front lines, where adult consumer perceptions are ultimately shaped and where an assortment’s presentation, positioning in-store, and packaging information is likely to make-or-break a purchase decision.
This is especially true in the c-store environment, where adult shoppers often make impulse purchases at the point of sale. What can c-stores do to ensure they’re prepared to educate potential buyers about CBD? What information are adult CBD prospective consumers most frequently seeking? And which qualities and assurances matter most to them?
Following is a short-hand list of insights for every c-store retailer to consider when they start selling CBD:
Good things come in small packages.
Part of the educational process is giving adult consumers viable form factors to try new products, so they can find what works best for them. Carrying smaller packages at accessible price points lowers the barriers to entry for adult consumers who are considering CBD, but do not want to commit to a larger format yet.
Placement is key to spontaneity.
Strategically placing CBD products correctly within the store is paramount. Because most c-store consumers buy familiar items first, new CBD options should be merchandised near checkout and close to other “impulse” purchase options where it will enter the consideration set much more easily.
Clear labels inspire confidence.
Because CBD is an emerging industry, many adult consumers have lingering questions about product usage and strength levels. Favor partners who provide easy-to-understand instructions with clear usage information that will inspire the confidence consumers need to take control of their CBD experience. This seems simple, but consumers evaluate these purchases at lightning speed, and they’re far more likely to lose interest if the information isn’t readily available on what is already a comparatively small package.
Embrace available certifications.
Research indicates that consumers place great value in knowing where their CBD products come from, and they seek assurances that CBD products are authentic, including, for example, being able to confirm that the label accurately describes CBD present in the product. Even so, many companies forego third-party lab testing of their products, so adult consumers might not be getting what’s advertised. It’s important to work with brands that show a stringent supply chain process that is held accountable to consumer standards, and to clearly showcase these differentiators.
Play the long-game – and choose partners who do too.
EAS is fully committed to leading the CBD industry with the same leadership principles we have brought to vapor. In emerging categories where regulatory reform is to be expected, choose partners who embrace the responsibilities of a leadership role, and who will be credible advocates for the sale and marketing of compliant products to adults only.
Because of its proximity and trusted relationship with adult consumers the c-store channel is uniquely positioned to develop a wide array of shopper segments into the CBD category. To succeed, c-store operators must embrace these tried-and-true fundamentals of product education, and judiciously partner only with manufacturers who bring the right foresight, standards, and expertise.
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