How To Sell Electronic Cigarettes To Retail Stores

Electronic Cigarettes also known as e-cigs are gaining nationwide popularity among current and former cigarette smokers.

Currently, there are 45 million smokers in the United States and 2.5 million e-cigarette smokers.

Out of the 2.5 million e-cigarette smokers, 31% made the switch within 6 months.

As more and more consumers begin to smoke e-cigarettes, retailers such as c-stores, drug stores and big box stores are starting to add more space to capitalize on this profitable category especially since gasoline and cigarette margins are eroding...

What Are Electronic Cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes-also called e-cigarettes are an alternative to traditional cigarette smoking.

Electronic cigarettes produce a vaporized liquid that's exhaled, similar to the sensation of smoking.

E-cigarette liquids used to produce vapor come in just about any
flavor you can imagine and may contain nicotine.

Using an e-cigarette isn't smoking, it's vaping.

Electronic Cigarette Demographics

More than 70 percent of e-cigarette users are between 30 and 55 years old.

Consumers are becoming more concerned with smoking alternatives as they approach their late 20s, so there is less of an appeal to the younger consumer.

This is the exact demographic that cstore are catering to...

Why Are Consumers Trying Electronic Cigarettes?

Millions of smokers have converted over to smoking electronic cigarettes since they first came to market. Even though that seems like a high number, that is only 1 percent of total tobacco smokers.

Here are few reasons why consumers are trying e-cigarettes:

• No smoke or second hand smoke

• Vapor does not smell like smoke

• Save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in comparison to using traditional tobacco products!

• You can use an ecig in many places and they offer a great solution when traveling or on vacation

• Electronic cigarettes are Non-Burning devices

• Carbon Monoxide and 4000+ Chemicals are produced when a Traditional Cigarette is Burned

• Electronic Cigarettes Offer an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes by delivering the user their desired nicotine via vaporization without producing smoke like a burning cigarette

Why Do Retailers Want To Carry E-Cigarettes?

C-store retailers are opening up shelf and counter space to carry new innovative electronic cigarettes because of these reasons:

  • Drive New Business
  • High Profit Margins
  • Innovation, Multiple Flavors and Packages
  • Traditional Cigarette Sales are Declining

The convenience channel accounted for two-thirds of this category's sales in 2012.

Despite the many challenges present in the category, convenience
stores remain the go-to spot to buy cigarettes, commanding a 67-percent market share last year.

With current tobacco sales declining at a rate of 3% per year, c-store retailers are looking for additional ways to boost their lost sales.

Retailers are also aware of the growing demand and online sales of e-cigarettes... there are millions of consumers that are aware of electronic cigarettes and they have been spending hundreds of millions on the internet to purchase these products.

The bottom line: Electronic cigarettes are forecasted to have annual sales exceeding $10 billion by 2017.

How Can You Sell E-Cigarettes To C-Store Retailers

If you have an electronic cigarette, I hope you can see the huge potential of selling your product to over 152,000 c-stores that are asking for electronic cigarettes.

There are multiple ways of getting in contact with a c-store retailer such as:

  • Call C-store Buyer
  • Use a Wholesalers
  • Brokers
  • Exhibit at Tradeshows
  • Advertise in Trade magazines
  • Sell to a Buying Group

Going to market with an electronic cigarette does not require using a dsd distributor.  You can use a broadline distributor, wagon jobber or ship direct to the stores.

You can also read my page about selling your product to c-stores.

How To Market E-Cigs In A Retail Store

The biggest challenge that e-cig manufacturers are going to have is building in-store awareness of their products.

The current cstore counter and back wall is getting cluttered with thousands of skus, you have to find a way to instantly stand out to get a consumers attention.

Also, C-store employees are not educated on the variety or technology of electronic cigarettes as an employee at a smoke shop would be.

These employees don't have the time to educate consumers on the different types of e-cigs.

Currently, The best type of e-cig product to place in a c-store is going to be disposables which don't require a lot of explaining or technical knowledge as do e-cigarette kits that contain rechargeable batteries and e-liquids.

I currently see e liquids as a growing trend among c-stores because as ecigs become popular, more and more consumers are purchasing vaporizers and will frequently visit a cstore to purchase the liquid.

Eliquid also takes a very little retail space and requires very little explaining, plus the margins are huge.

Getting Retail Placement:

Once you get your electronic cigarette placed in a retail account, you have to use in-store marketing strategies and merchandising techniques to build consumer awareness of your product/brand.

Here are some great ways to make consumers aware of your electronic cigarette:

  • Counter Displays
  • Promotional Samplings
  • POS, Gas Pumpers
  • Store Employees

As you can see, that there is a lot of potential to make a lot of money selling electronic cigarettes to c-stores.

Electronic cigarettes are going to be the future, and now is the time to get them established in c-stores before all the major cigarette manufactures control all the space and the billions of dollars this category is going to make in the next few years.

Selling and marketing electronic cigarettes is going to be very similar to beverage products that require building awareness and a lifestyle.

I am a master at getting consumers motivated to purchase a product.

Contact me here if you are interested in selling your electronic cigarette to retail stores and boosting your sales.