FIVE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE SHOPPING AT AN ONLINE HEAD SHOP
It's becoming easier and more convenient to shop online every year. Over the past few decades, there has been a steady shift from brick-and-mortar shopping to e-commerce. Since 2001, department store sales have dropped 35% while e-commerce sales have risen 15.5%. Social media applications like Instagram are now making it simpler to purchase items directly from the photos they advertise on their app. Just this past spring, Instagram added a new feature that allows users to add a debit or credit card so they can purchase from retailers directly over the app without ever leaving. Of course, commodities like gas and groceries are projected to be mostly immune from e-commerce, but it's never been a better time for online head shops to thrive. Here are five main reasons why it's better for consumers to purchase from online smoke shops than at in-person stores.
1. ONLINE SHOPS ARE LIMITLESS IN SPACE DUE TO THEIR LARGE REMOTE WAREHOUSES
A major advantage to online shopping is the massive stock of items online stores are able to offer. In-person stores might be useful for a quick run to the supermarket, but if customers are looking for something difficult to find or highly in-demand, online shopping might really be their only option to find it and receive it quickly. It can sometimes be frustrating calling around to different stores to find goods, especially marijuana accessories because there are such a large variety of options. A great advantage online shops have over in-person stores is that their store fronts can be accessed online and they have the ability to hold their items in massive warehouses, reducing the risk of running out of stock. Instead of having hundreds of stores around the country with differing items stocked, an online store can stock items from just one or several large warehouses, depending on how much they are selling. Online companies like Amazon even give the option for buyers to go to certain locations to pick up their items right away and offer same-day delivery for a large variety of items, so the wait-time factor is cut out of the equation.
2. CUSTOMER SERVICE IS ABLE TO RESPOND QUICKLY AND MORE EFFICIENTLY
There are issues with in-person stores that we all run into: stores too busy to answer the phone (especially during holiday seasons), customer service not being able to locate an item, the item being out of stock due to the shop's capacity to stock items, etc. Online stores have the advantage of being able to help with finding items and handling issues directly from their websites and/or apps, so customers don't have to think about whether the store will be too busy during a certain time of year to help them. Most online stores are also available 24/7 for purchasing and customer service, which is a great convenience to those who might be out of the country or in different time zones across the U.S.
Warehouses are also more effective in the sense that if you are to click an item to check its availability, everything is usually kept in one place so they can tell right away if they have enough stock. If you reserve an item for pick-up at a specific store, the description might tell you it's in stock but the item might not necessarily be where it's supposed to be, maybe due to a customer moving the item or it being located in a transitional area. They may call you back to say they are unable to find and/or reserve the item for you. Finding items can get confusing when having to call and/or visit multiple stores, especially if the item in question is in high demand in the first place. Online shopping is convenient in that you are generally dealing with one set of management in one location, not several that are spread out across the state or country.
3. CERTAIN ITEMS CAN'T BE FOUND AT BRICK-AND-MORTAR SHOPS
Certain exclusive items are sold over the internet and can't be bought at in-person stores. A lot of marijuana accessories, like one-of-a-kind heady pieces, can only be bought by contacting the artist online. Some artists have huge followings on Instagram, so all they need to do is convert their pages to stores or to sell exclusively to the online head shops of their choice. Recent acknowledgement from the high-art community is driving up the demand for these heady pieces, and since the pieces take time, dedication and skill to create, it is a lot more profitable for a heady artist to sell their pieces to an online head shop that is able to reach a larger client base than at an in-person store, where their piece could sit unsold for much longer. There are certain specialty products too such as dab machines and industrial items such as heat sealing machines that are hard to come across at in-person stores; they would be pricey for an in-person store to carry as they are some what of a niche item, but since online head shops have a large reach across the internet, they are much more likely to have such items in stock.
4. A LARGE PORTION OF STATES' LAWS STILL PREVENT THE USE OF BONGS, DAB RIGS AND PIPES, EVEN THOUGH THEY APPROVE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE
It is still illegal in 37 states in the U.S. to possess "marijuana paraphernalia", which means even if you wanted to, you'd have a more difficult time finding bongs and dab rigs at brick-and-mortar shops in the majority of states today than if you were to search for items online. This is despite the fact that medical marijuana is now legal in 30 states, including some of the states where marijuana paraphernalia is still illegal. Consumers that buy bongs online and buy dab rigs online not only have the privacy of not having to carry their pieces around in public after purchase, but they also don't have to seek out in-person shops where they live which could be few and far between. While we continue to work with the government to sort out these laws, online head shops are the only option for some.
5. ITEMS BOUGHT ONLINE ARE GENERALLY CHEAPER
Since online stores have virtual storefronts and only have to worry about paying for warehouse space, that cuts out the cost of rent, utilities, and other fees that a physical storefront would normally incur. The vastness of the internet broadens the scope of customers that an online head shop is able to reach and that number of customers can be astronomically larger than an in-person store, therefore they are able to operate on a larger scale and set their prices cheaper. Not only that, but it saves the consumer the time and money it takes to physically drive to a store. Consumers say that factor, along with being able to compare prices within seconds are some of their preferred advantages of online shopping. Limited-time offers and sales are also easier to utilize online; alerts can be set up for these offers and sale days so instead of having to plan time out of your schedule to go to a store during sale days (not to mention also having to deal with large crowds and long lines), you can easily set up an alert on your computer or phone so you can purchase sale items within seconds, not hours.