Training is key to category success

Brands agree: knowledge vital to vaping customers

Blu retailer
Imperial has advised that training is vital to vaping success for convenience stores.

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 £240m, 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 know 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 and 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.

Duncan Cunningham, UK corporate affairs director at Imperial Tobacco, the firm behind Blu, agreed that educating customers is key to success.

“With a dizzying number of different devices and liquids available, many shoppers may be understandably intimidated by the sheer breadth of the vape offering.

Logic range
JTI UK, the firm behind Logic, has suggested retailers keep up to date on the latest trends and developments within vaping.

“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 retailers 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 counter top display units can really help drive visibility and grab the attention of shoppers as soon as they walk through the door,” he said.


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The vaping category was worth £240m in the last year in traditional retail, with growth of 28.4% year on year.


For supermarkets, vaping was worth £150m in the last year, with growth of 32.5% year on year


Vaping was worth £90m in the last year in convenience, with growth of 22.1% year on year.