Brands agree: knowledge vital to vaping customers
THE vaping category can be a confusing one for retailers, never mind customers, but there’s money to be made for those with a bit of knowledge.
In traditional retail, vaping is now worth £228m, according to IRI Market Place figures provided by JTI – but it could be worth more.
Nick Geens, head of reduced risk products at JTI UK – the firm behind Logic – said that the main competitors in the category include grocery, specialist vaping shops and online retailers.
For convenience, Geens said that means retailers need to take an “individual approach” when offering category advice to customers as some will no far more than others.
“The vaping market includes a wide range of customers – from existing adult smokers trying vaping for the first time, to more experienced vapers looking to experiment with new devices and flavours,” he said.
In terms of what retailers need to know, Geens said keeping up with trends in the category is key.
“Taking time to learn about vaping ad next-gen nicotine products, whether that’s through our JTI Advance portal or knowledgeable sales force, retailers can show their expertise on what devices, flavours and strengths are most suited to individual vaping styles.
“Once a customer trusts a retailer, they are more likely to return, which allows retailers to profit in this category,” he said.
“With a dizzying number of different devices and liquids available, many shoppers may be understandably intimidated by the sheer breadth of the vape offering.
“These consumers need knowledgeable advice on what to buy and reassurances on product quality so it’s vital that staff understand what products they are selling, but also the end customers who they are selling to.
“Training is the key to success. By taking the time to educate all staff on the category including the latest trends, products and different terminology used, retailers can provide an exceptional level of service to customers that will encourage them to return to the store again and again,” he said.
Training staff may be key, but how can retailers make sure they’re able to instigate those conversations with customers?
Engaging displays can surely assist in this area, and Cunningham suggested make sure the vaping category is visible in their store.
“Within convenience stores retailers can display, advertise and promote vaping products.
“Eye-catching point of sale and countertop display units can really help drive visibility and grab the attention of shoppers as soon as they walk through the door.”