There’s no doubt that brick and mortar smoke shops were great before COVID, but it’s unlikely we’re going back to “normal” any time soon. So yeah, it’s a bummer not to meet up at your local shop and commiserate, but there are actually some advantages to shopping online. After all, while you get the instant gratification of buying something in the store, you get the satisfaction of ordering something online plus the fun of opening it up on delivery. And you didn’t even have to leave the house! Let’s be honest — leaving the house can be a chore in itself. Convenience is just one of six reasons why online smoke shops are better than brick and mortar stores.
1. Online smoke shops offer a larger products selection
Because there’s no shelf space to contend with, online shops are able to carry a larger variety of products for sale. Have you ever been to a shop only to find they have an old model of something you want, or maybe they don’t carry enough of the newest thing? With the number of dab rigs for sale right now alone, there’s a case for shopping online to maximize your chances of finding exactly what you want.
This is a big deal for customers who have particular needs, or are looking for a special color combination or similar selective criteria. Brick and mortar stores aren’t just limited by what they can display in the store, but by the amount of inventory they can carry in back as well. Most aren’t connected to a warehouse, so if a particular variation on an item is out of stock, you’re out of luck. That’s a lot less likely when ordering online.
2. Lower prices for online purchases
Since there’s no front of store to contend with, and online outfits can generally manage sales and fulfilment without extra labor, those savings are passed onto the consumer. There’s definitely a reason most online stores offer lower prices: They’re saving a ton of money not paying rent. Sure, there are warehouses, but those are efficiently managed as big storage bins and don’t need special lighting, plastic display cases, or room for customers to wander aimlessly. If you think about the rent alone in many cities, that’s a huge chunk of overhead right there.
While lower prices may sound dire for the companies supplying what you’re buying in a smoke shop, the fact is it’s actually better for them. When you buy in brick and mortar shops, you’re paying more, which leads to buying less. That extra markup doesn’t go to the maker of the vaporizer, it goes to the vendor selling it. By reducing your cost, you might just buy more accessories, which is more revenue for the people who make the stuff you like. That means they could make more of it, and the cycle repeats. That’s a healthy economic system at work.
3. Online smoke shops offer increased convenience
As more orders move online, shipping times have gotten better. Even in the wake of COVID, and with companies telling customers they may experience slowdowns, the actual slowdowns have been minimal. It’s a lot more convenient to order from a warehouse of a few people in a large building than go to a small building with a larger number of people crammed together, isn’t it? It’s even more convenient when you’re having to work at home and a package is just delivered to your door! That’s why more people were already shopping more online, after all.
This convenience factor has led some states that had legalized weed to allow delivery, although only a few have authorized it so far. More likely has been allowing curbside delivery. Luckily, with online headshops like Legal Smoke Shop, that’s not a problem.
4. Online orders are more discreet
Today there’s an increasing awareness of privacy, and shopping online offers a lot more privacy than you think. Online shopping is delivered to your door along with everything else, so there’s no chance of bumping into someone in public. Look for vendors (like us!) who ship your orders in plain packaging. Even fancy gamer laptops are shipped in brown boxes, so there’s no need to broadcast “new bong” to the neighborhood, is there?
5. Enjoy regular sales and promotions
Brick and mortar stores are designed to get you into their stores. Promotions are typically only good if you go to the store and shop there. Online shops, however, will email you specials or offer deals online with no need for you to expend much effort. At Legal Smoke Shop we offer regular discounts on specific products, or on the entire catalog. The convenience of shopping online is that you know these deals are there, you just have to claim them when you buy. It’s hard to get easier than that!
There are also quite often sales for new customers, or for repeat customers. Although online shops are happy to see you return, they’re not reliant on foot traffic like regular stores, so the goal isn’t so much to get you to show up, but to be ready when you need to buy something. While this ties into convenience, and saving money, and even product selection, each online vendor is really trying to offer something for everyone, and make it more economical to buy from them. That’s had a real impact on sales in every sector, and the cannabis world is no different. The difference is that Legal Smoke Shop offers products you can buy for a good price and have safely and discreetly delivered to your door.
6. View full product information before purchasing
Finally, there’s the availability of full product information for a product. When you’re shopping in a store you’re just seeing the packaging on a product, which is just what the marketing department wants you to see. When you’re shopping online it’s easy enough to find out more detailed technical information, with online product info going deeper into the specifics than a few bulleted lists on a box.
In all, there are a lot of factors besides convenience that come into play when shopping online. From variety to price to information, there’s never been a better time to be a consumer — of smoke shop products or almost anything else.