According to a recent article published on businessinsider.com, online transactions for e-cigarette buying is expected to tick at least $500 million a year and already surpassed $1 billion in annual sales considering both traditional and digital retail channels. According to statisticbrain.com the annual sales for electronic cigarettes has grown to $500 million in 2012 as compared to $20 million in the year 2008 and expected to hit $1 billion in the year 2013. This on average is a growth of approximately $196 million of sales per year. So the figures speak for themselves and the market is really trending towards the peak in the incoming years.
Moreover UK Government’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has already announced here that they will regulate electronic cigarettes and other nicotine containing products (NCPs) as medicines by the year 2006. This announcement should further help in increasing the production and sales of e-cigarettes as once announced by MHRA the product is considered to be quite safe and a good replacement for traditional cigarette which is considered much more harmful to human health.
Also there is news that Kind Consumer Limited (London based private company) is planning to raise around £10m in the year 2015 from the investors in the private sector to carry out research and development for a product that would replace the traditional cigarette (source: Financial Times). UK based Kind Consumer Limited is not a small company and their announcement is worth considering when you try to figure out the future of a particular product in the global market as KCL is supported by some of the leading names in British Industry including Sir Terry Leahy, Sir Peter Davis and Jon Moulton.
All that mentioned above is a good indicator for small retailers to go online and sell their e-cigs on their websites as the future seems to be bright. But the fierce competition online should also be taken into consideration as this could affect the conversion rate for your e-cigarette products sold online. Wayne Marler from sparks-ecigs.co.uk reported to a SEO agency, who is working on the promotion of their website, that they have a conversion rate of 5-6% for their electronic cigarette products sold on their online store after the website being launched and ranked higher in Google recently. Considering the professional look of sparks-ecigs.co.uk and the educational material being provided through videos, this type of conversion rate seems to be low but you should expect it to increase once the store grows older and becomes more established and trustworthy.
Moreover it would be a good idea to introduce an affiliate program for your online e-cig store so that affiliates can also help to generate online sales on behalf of the online retailer for a small commission. Taking help from online marketing professionals is the best way to grow online sales as they know their job perfectly and it’s worth paying them a monthly fee for their efforts. Cheap offers are not going to help as those are the offers from cheap people who don’t care about your business but only want to fill their own pocket anyhow. Pay per click advertising on various popular websites like facebook, twitter, allbusiness.com etc is another great way to generate online sales and good enough to use long term if it is able to give return on investment.
So definitely future is there for e-cigarettes, just you need to approach in the right direction and the right way as a professional.