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With profit margins of 40% and higher, the electronic cigarette market can be a very lucrative sales opportunity,
writes Best-one retailer Kay Patel.
But with hundreds of different brands out there it can be daunting for a retailer to choose the right brands to stock, so much so that some retailers refuse to stock them at all.
A big issue retailers face with ‘e-cigs’ is that there are too many brands on the market and if a retailer stocks the wrong ones they might not work out for them. So decide which brands you should stock – ask others retailers which brands are selling well for them.
Here is a checklist to help with your e-cigarette offering:
All manufacturers will say their product offers customers the closest experience to smoking a real cigarette. All reps carry samples so if you or one of your staff is a smoker put it to the test.
Check to see which brands your competitors (supermarkets especially) are stocking – not only because they’ve probably done their research before choosing a brand to stock, but you could also poach some of their customers.
Most customers will have questions about the products and so it’s helpful to be well versed in what the product is, how it can save money, where it can be used etc.
With margins being so generous you could look to incentivise your staff to sell them. And ask your supplier if they can provide you with some samples so your customers can try before they buy.
Capitalise on sales now because when Government and big tobacco eventually decide what to do about the market the margins can only go down.
Be very careful if you decide to stop selling a certain brand because it’s hard to tell a customer that’s invested a large amount in the starter kit (sometimes up to £50 with add-ons) that you’ve stopped stocking the refills.
Buying the stock, especially if you’re stocking more than one brand can be expensive so it’s worth asking your rep if they can leave the stock on credit until it’s sold.
Give e-cigarettes the space they deserve – ideally they need to be stocked at eye level right next to your cigarette gantry to attract smokers attention.
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