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OPENING A VAPE STORE: HOW TO MAKE YOUR VAPE SHOP STAND OUT

OPENING A VAPE STORE: HOW TO MAKE YOUR VAPE SHOP STAND OUT
Starting a brand-new business can seem a daunting and challenging task to even the most advanced and experienced entrepreneur.

With the total number of vapers worldwide estimated to reach 55 million by the end of 2021, vaping is increasing in popularity every day. The ever-growing demand for vape products makes it a viable and profitable business prospect - as well as being a great way to help adult smokers transition to a less harmful tobacco alternative.

So you’ve decided to open your own vape shop. But how do you make your vape shop stand out in such a saturated market? Whether you are opening a physical, bricks and mortar store or an online shop, Dinner Lady has plenty of tips and tricks to help your business thrive within the vape sector.

THE VAPE SHOP: DESIGN AND AESTHETIC

Naming your vape store

When the aim is to have the name of your vape shop on everyone’s tongue, having a unique yet memorable store name is a great way to stand out in the vape industry. Easier said than done, right?

Many brand creatives and business owners admit that their business or shop name came to them as a "Eureka!" moment when they were least expecting it. Pay attention to conversations, shower epiphanies, new music, anything that inspires you!

As vape shops are often small, family-run businesses, some like to name their shop something that resonates with the owner so as to bring a personal touch to the store. Others like to think of unique words, puns and phrases. Almost always, the name should make it clear that it is a vape store - to help avoid confusion and to draw the right attention and customers to your new venture.

If you're still struggling - why not use our mix and match template to find a simple yet effective vape store name? Simply choose a vaping term from the left and pair with a term from the right.


Decorating and furnishing a vape store

Vape shops come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The ones that stand out the most are ones that allow customers to easily interact with the staff, the vape experts. Think open-plan spaces where products are visible and where valuable product and vaping advice can be given with ease.

Themes are a great way to decorate your shop. Modern and sci-fi inspired themes have a clean and clinical feel that works well across all customer demographics. Although perhaps lacking in warmth, they can serve as a great backdrop for brands' marketing materials and your own - and customers' - social media posts. This will encourage your customers to share photos of their shopping experience.

Exposed brick and scaffolding is a highly popular aesthetic that highlights a building’s character and creates an interesting place to visit - which will also drive social media interest. The warehouse style is also cheap to create due to the low cost of materials. Think reclaimed wood and scaffold pipes that is well-suited to your 21st Century audience.

For stores wanting to make a real stamp on the vaping industry and establish themselves as a true independent, consider décor themes that are not common in other shops. Think grunge-style décor inspired by spray painted art and murals or rock-style interior with dark coloured furniture and fittings for fun and “Insta-worthy” aesthetics. Or even take your inspiration from Dinner Lady - with a light, bright and softer colour palette, to really stand out from the vaping crowd.

Above all, decorate and design your store with your customer demographic in mind. What works for one vape store is not necessarily guaranteed to work for another. Create a customer profile and think about the predominant age and gender of your customer base. Consider what will be most popular with them and build your business with this in mind. When placing the customer at the forefront of your decisions, you are sure to stand out from the competition.

THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Treat your customer well

In addition to stocking the products that your customer wants, a great vape store provides customers with great value for money – and not just in terms of price competitiveness! Though competitive pricing helps, many customers are willing to pay slightly more for a positive experience when shopping.

Providing excellent customer care is at the root of a positive customer experience. And what better better way to serve your customers than by expressing sincere gratitude for their custom? After all, your business would not exist without them!

Vape store owners should implement loyalty programmes in recognition of customer support. With such a variety of vape stores, loyalty should not go unnoticed by brands. It is certainly not unnoticed by customers. Customers who receive rewards for their support and loyalty are much more likely to promote your brand and repeat their custom when given an incentive to do so.

Involve your customer

Your most loyal customers love to see you succeed. They love even more to feel as though they have contributed to your success. Running loyalty reward schemes, competitions or prize giveaways is a great way to reward customers for engagement or purchases. This also shows your sincere gratitude for choosing to shop with your business over a competitor. The more creative and engaging the better – your loyal customers love feeling involved in your business.

Ease of use

The increasing simplicity of launching a website is great for small businesses. However, this does not automatically ensure a great customer experience nor ease of use. Make your website stand out by operating at the best possible speed, to ensure a simple shopping experience to make the entire process as convenient as possible for customers.

As many online shoppers now browse from the comfort of their mobile phone, instead of logging on to laptops or desktops, your web store needs to be optimised for mobiles. This will guarantees a clear advantage over any competitor sites that do not work effectively on mobile devices.

The same can be said for brick and mortar stores and face-to-face customer service - optimise your processes, aka have sufficient staff on hand to look after customers during peak times to ensure they get the advice they need.

And in both the virtual and real world - stock replenishment is crucial to prevent customers from looking elsewhere when they can't make a repurchase from your business. Ensuring the shopping experience is simple and convenient for your customer will encourage your customer to shop with you for their vaping necessities each and every time.

THRIVING IN THE VAPE INDUSTRY

Above all, be creative! Look around you for inspiration but stand out by making it your own. Think of your own hobbies, interests and skills - how can you bring them into your store to enhance the customer experience? What are you good at, what are your values, what exactly is unique about them? And, most importantly, how can you bring all this together to fill a need within the market? By addressing an unmet need or providing a unique and fresh experience for your customers, your vape store is sure to stand out and thrive within the vape sector.

For further advice on how Dinner Lady can help fulfil your business needs, get in touch by emailing sales@vapedinnerlady.com. Alternatively, complete the form below and a member of the Dinner Lady sales team will get back to you as soon as possible.