Whether you’re opening a new vape shop or working hard to grow your existing store, there’s no need to do it alone. There are many tech tools on the market to help you manage and improve your business these days, and it doesn’t make sense to just ignore them.
Instead, find out what they are and use them to your advantage so your vape shop is as successful as you want it to be. Here’s what you need to know if you’re ready to use technology to grow your vape shop.
You ABSOLUTELY MUST have a website. We highly recommend against using “out of the box” websites like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly or the Godaddy site builder. Although these can get your website up quickly and easily, it’s impossible to grow beyond a basic multi-page site.
WordPress is the most popular website builder on the web and is also incredibly powerful. It can be expanded in almost any way.
You just need web hosting and a theme.
There are many ways to build an ecommerce site nowadays. The hard part is not getting a website – the hard part is choosing which one works best for you.
There are two platforms that dominate the vape industry, and for good reason. They are:
Shopify is my personal favorite. It has the most integrations, has powerful reporting and makes it super easy to get products up on the site. There is also an enormous amount of support. On top of Shopify’s already awesome customer service team, there is also a huge community of other Shopify users that are willing to share secrets and tips – just look on Facebook for Shopify groups. There are tons.
WooCommerce is the WordPress version of Shopify. That means that if you already have a WordPress site, and you don’t want to give it up but you want an ecommerce store, then WooCommerce is a great option for you. There are tons of WooCommerce developers out there and you’ll have no problem finding a coder and a designer that can help.
POS Systems For Vape Shops
You’ll be using your point-of-sale (POS) system multiple times a day, So don’t skimp on this business necessity. Find a POS system that takes care of everything for you, from processing payments to tracking inventory and even helping you manage your staff. These days, some POS systems go so far as to assist with customer marketing, since they can collect and store customer contact information, send receipts by email, and determine the lifetime value of each customer. Some of the most helpful POS systems for vape shops include:
If you want to encourage customers to keep coming back, you need to implement a loyalty program that rewards them for making purchases, referring friends, leaving a review or sharing your brand content. After all, one study found that 81 percent of customers want to keep doing business with a brand that has a loyalty program and that 73 percent are more likely to recommend a brand when it has one. Just make sure you use an effective program that’s easy for customers to navigate, such as the following:
We’ve also written an article on how to setup a loyalty program here >>>
You have to take care of your vape shop employees too, and that means ensuring they get paid on time, every time.
Not only does a great payroll management program benefit your staff, it also helps you, since it takes care of tax deductions, direct deposits, tax forms, pay stub formatting and more. Some of the best payroll management options are known for being affordable, having a simple user interface, and providing all the payroll features you need to keep your vape shop’s financial details organized.
Examples of payroll management programs with those benefits include:
- Just works
- Intuit Payroll
If you want one program to manage inventory tracking, payroll, taxes and anything else to do with your vape shop’s financial picture, you need the best accounting software on the market. Fortunately, you have some great options, since so many programs can do it all, even from mobile devices.
The following are known for being the best accounting options for mobile, computer, and the cloud, respectively:
- QuickBooks Pro
Sales Tax Tracker
If you’re worried about keeping track of sales taxes, don’t fret. There are apps made just for this task, ensuring your taxes are paid automatically. Most apps even seamlessly integrate with major POS systems when collecting and paying sales taxes for businesses.
If there’s one task you’ll want to automate, paying taxes on each sale is one of them, and tools like the following can do just that:
Employee Time Management
Need help managing schedules for your employees? There’s an app for that! Several, actually.
If you have numerous employees starting and ending shifts at different times in your vape shop, you’ll appreciate apps that help schedule staff members, keep track of breaks, record clock-in times, switch shifts, and more.
Some options available to you include:
- When I Work
ll your marketing materials — including business cards, websites, flyers, coupons and social media pages — should have beautiful images that represent your vape shop well.
You don’t have to create everything yourself, though, because you can get fast access to designers who can make your vision a reality by using the following tools:
- Canva (For DIY projects)
- Rapid Bear Design
Social Media Management
Your vape shop needs to be on social media, with new posts being added on a regular basis in order to engage consumers. If you don’t have the time to add a new post every day, you can create several at once and then use a social media management tool to schedule them throughout the week.
The top-rated options work with the major social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and you can use them to schedule posts on multiple sites at once. With this kind of tool for your vape shop, you always have time for social media.
The most well-known programs of this kind include:
Email marketing is still one of the top ways to reach consumers, so you need to be emailing your vape shop customers if you want to stay on their minds. Whether you send coupons, news or links to branded content, you might need some help reaching as many people as possible.
The good news is you have access to tools that can help you keep a database of email addresses, personalize emails and schedule your emails to be sent at the right time.
Direct Mail Services
Although considered “old-school”, direct mail is an excellent option for vape shop owners because traditional advertising is so restricted in the vape industry. These tools help you manage your direct mail campaign so you can get more customers into your vape shop.
The best tools make it easy for business owners to create, send and track the delivery of postcards and letters for sales and marketing purposes. Now that’s direct mail made easy.
Such options include:
- Next Day Flyers
As you can see, whether you need help with marketing, payroll or POS systems, there’s a tech tool available to make your job easier. Choosing the best tool for each task is half the battle, and you’ll be better able to manage your shop once you start using technology to your advantage.
Jesse is the Digital Marketing Director at VapeMentors and Chief Technology Mentor. He is an ecommerce and internet marketing expert with a background in business and technology.