We spoke about the trending interest in the subscription business model in our last article on ways to grow a floristry business online, and vaping interest growth has almost doubled that trend in terms of percentage growth attained over the past 5 years. The trend on eCigarettes and vaping is still growing strong well into 2018 and shows no signs of letting off steam - Google Trends figures show a 1300% growth in interest and searches relating to sector over 5 years.
With smoking now firmly considered a 'pariah' activity in the majority of social circles - Ecigs and Vaping has become a somewhat more socially acceptable alternative. Vaping has experienced explosive growth over the past 5 years inline with trending interest. A whole new industry of DIY vape oil suppliers, e-juice blenders and "mixologists" have cropped up throughout the world.
The smaller players have responded rapidly to change and have secured a substantial chunk of the marketplace. As we mentioned in our post from a few years back (ref) - the larger multinationals have responded by using their political clout to lobby for regulatory change in their favour according to ECigaretteDirect. The "Tobacco Products Directive" is now active and has been amended twice since we published our original article.
Not only that, the retail model that was adopted early and easily by both small and large vendors is now being heavily competed against through the 'convenience' factor provided by the rise of subscription-based vape etailers. The evidence to support or undermine the 'health-case' surrounding vaping is hotly contested on all sides - still with no real clear winner even in 2018.
However, that hasn't stopped vaping and ecig technology from being supported as a smoking quit-aid via the NHS here in the UK, with British American Tobacco's option the first 'specified' solution. The FDA in the United States has completed the path to stamping on the vaping market, meaning that in both marketplaces, disruption is imminent.
Ten years after the smoking ban, vaping is a £1bn business
Many of the players in the Vape market are focusing on the quality of their products - however we're helping some savvy Ecig and Vape vendors to improve upon their service. As mentioned above, subscription-based mail-order operations have much lower overheads than retail operations, and those that know what they are doing have experienced exponential growth. This means that they must focus on quality service fulfilment of their orders - ensuring they arrive on time, in full, every time. Then there is also the mailing and packaging costs that they will incur. Given the hugely competitive environment, excessive packaging, fulfilment labour costs and a distinct lack of competitive edge could all sink a business in the short to long term.
Royal Mail Restricted Items: Including eau de parfum, eau de toilette and alcohol-free perfumes, but excluding non-flammable perfumed creams, gels, oils or lotions.
With the Royal Mail and other carriers quite happy to have non-flammable vape oils in their network, focusing on a quality service as much as product might just help your business differentiate itself enough to survive the coming storm!