The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the U.S. economy and has resulted in several thousand shutdowns for both large and small businesses across the country. And for those deemed as “essential” that are trying to provide for an entire nation, shelves have become increasingly difficult to keep stocked.
As a result, several companies are being forced to take an alternative route with their sales and marketing in an attempt to maintain contact with their customers. For certain markets, demand has never been higher. For others however, the demand has declined and forced the companies within the market to evolve.
One particular market, the CBD market, has been especially impacted due to the closing of businesses that were responsible for carrying the majority of its products. In response to this, they began relying heavily on their online sales, struggling to come up with new strategies that would convince consumers to spend their limited income on their products.
Fortunately for CBD companies, the federal government is allowing them to receive emergency funding in the form of a forgivable bailout loan. However, both recreational and medical mairjuana dispensaries have been excluded from this bailout due to marijuana’s lack of federal legalization.
So how could the financial decline during the pandemic change the CBD market once the dust has settled? The easiest way to answer this question is to also take a closer look at their solutions for the recent shutdowns. After all, improving these areas is how they have managed to connect with consumers during one of the most isolated times we have faced.
Online Sales Could Continue to Increase
CBD products can be purchased at thousands of locations across the U.S., including convenience stores, gas stations, and pharmacies. However, the abundance of sales locations that CBD companies had immediately became irrelevant upon business shutdowns. And although CBD was already available for purchase online, the closing of stores raised this demand and allowed for companies to capitalize on the opportunity.
Once things with the coronavirus settle and we can begin to bring things back to “normal,” you can expect that companies will begin, and continue, to feature their full product list on their website. It can also be presumed that the best special offers will be available through online purchases, branching into endless possibilities for consumers.
With major increases to website traffic, companies can produce enough revenue to begin offering special programs and services, such as free shipping, product or brand subscriptions, and rewards memberships. This could generate a more loyal customer base that would feel more inclined to purchase these products on a consistent basis.
Curbside Pickup Could Become Permanent
In order to reduce the amount of foot traffic in and out of stores, CBD vendors began offering curbside pickup where customers could order ahead of time and have their product, or products, brought out directly to their car outside the store.
This feature service that is viewed as vital during the pandemic will definitely be considered a luxury post-coronavirus, and this could be the exact reason why it is so successful.
Because CBD is extracted from hemp, which is a cannabis plant, there is a small stigma surrounding it that causes people to compare the compound to its relative, THC. Although CBD and THC are very different compounds with drastically different effects on the human body, many people tend to have a certain nervousness to them when walking into a store to purchase CBD.
Having the ability to order ahead of time and have your purchase brought out to you without needing to enter the store will definitely help convince more people to try CBD products. In fact, one of the many things that CBD can help with, social anxiety, is one of the leading causes for people to not ever make that first step.
And aside from having the luxury of waiting in your car, this service can be very beneficial to individuals who are running on a tight schedule.
Marketing Strategies Could Become More Factual
Throughout the pandemic thus far, multiple CBD companies have received warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding false claims made about their products and how they can help to prevent and/or treat the coronavirus.
And now, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun to bypass all warning letters and begin filing lawsuits against CBD companies who make these claims. Not only will this help to eliminate these unethical companies, but it will help to deter other potential offenders as well.
This marketing strategy that these companies have used is predatory, and the FTC and FDA have done a good job with bringing them to the spotlight and publicly shaming them so that more people are informed and aware that CBD does not help to treat the coronavirus in any way.
Regardless, this act of preying on less-informed individuals has proven to be effective at times, albeit unethical. However, the better strategy may be to target an informed audience, and companies may soon begin to realize the advantage of advertising honestly.
Three main things that CBD is known to help with are:
These three conditions can easily apply to a majority of the population at one point or another. Therefore, advertising CBD products to target people who can actually benefit from it would be the best way to reach a wider audience. As opposed to the coronavirus, whose emanating fear affects more people than the virus itself.
To sum it up, once the coronavirus pandemic has ended, you can expect the CBD market to become much more consumer-friendly. With increased online privileges, luxury shipping and pick-up opportunities, and to-the-point advertising, the market should surely benefit.
It would also be unsurprising to see companies begin to push products that in some way are relevant to the current state of things. As we mentioned earlier, getting things back to “normal” is what many people are looking forward to once the pandemic has ended. But at this point, how can we even be sure of what is considered normal anymore?