Best cannabis eCommerce platforms

Treez Team
A screenshot of a Treez ecomm site for Davis Cannabis Club - three or four items of cannabis on sale plus icons for several different types of cannabis products are displayed

What is cannabis eCommerce? 

Cannabis eCommerce represents an expansion of the retail business into the digital realm, enabling dispensaries to list their inventory and merchandise on their own company websites or one of the best ecommerce platforms for cannabis. 

These online dispensary ecommerce platforms allow cannabis consumers to browse a wide range of products and make purchases for either in-store pick-up or delivery. 

As consumer behavior rapidly evolves, dispensaries are increasingly offering the convenience of online cannabis shopping and delivery services where legally permitted. 

Many cannabis retailers now rely significantly on this revenue stream, which has opened up new avenues for business growth without the need for additional physical locations. 

The average online cart size on April 20th (420) was $95.69, surpassing the average in-store transaction value of $88.93. This highlights the growing importance of cannabis ecommerce in driving higher sales. 

It is clear that this trend is not temporary, and dispensary owners must strategically adapt to the changing times by incorporating the best ecommerce platform for cannabis and delivery services into their offerings to remain competitive. 

What are the benefits of cannabis eCommerce? 

Here are some benefits of investing in ecommerce platforms for cannabis: 

1. Expanded Reach 

By establishing a cannabis eCommerce store, you can tap into a broader audience, including individuals who may not prefer visiting a physical dispensary. 

Offering options such as curbside pickup and doorstep delivery through the best eCommerce platform for cannabis enables customers to conveniently search for and order cannabis products directly from your eCommerce store. 

2. Customer Retention 

Regular customers who are already familiar with your products can easily browse and place orders on your website, with the convenience of having their purchases delivered to authorized locations. 

By providing such seamless and convenient services, you can strengthen customer loyalty, encouraging repeat purchases and fostering long-term relationships with your clientele. 

3. Increased Sales and Brand Visibility 

Investing in cannabis eCommerce and delivery can yield significant returns in the long run. By embracing online selling, you stand to benefit from increased sales and profits. 

The convenience and accessibility offered by the best eCommerce platform for cannabis attract new customers and encourage existing ones to make frequent purchases. 

Additionally, establishing an online presence enhances your brand visibility and recall as customers become more aware of your products and services through digital channels. 

This increased online exposure can lead to heightened brand recognition and attract a larger customer base, further contributing to your business growth. 

What is a cannabis eCommerce platform? 

A cannabis eCommerce platform serves as the foundation for hosting and managing your online inventory, allowing customers to browse, select, and purchase cannabis products. These ecommerce platforms for cannabis typically provide a dedicated website or online store where you can showcase your inventory and facilitate seamless transactions. 

The best ecommerce platform for cannabis is a centralized hub where you can list your products, including descriptions, images, and pricing information, allowing customers to explore your offerings and make informed decisions from the comfort of their own homes. 

While the menu and product listings usually reside on the eCommerce platform's website, it is also possible to embed the menu into your dispensary's own website, providing a more personalized and cohesive experience for online visitors. 

Integrating your cannabis point-of-sale (POS) system with the eCommerce platform offers numerous advantages, like real-time tracking and analysis of sales and inventory, providing you with valuable insights into your business operations. 

It also ensures that product availability and pricing information are accurate and up to date, preventing issues such as overselling or discrepancies between the online store and your physical dispensary. 

Choosing the best eCommerce platform for cannabis gives you access to intuitive features and robust functionality, allowing you to streamline the online shopping experience for customers. 

What to look for in a cannabis eCommerce platform? 

When searching for the best eCommerce platform for cannabis, it's crucial to consider a range of factors to ensure compliance, deliver a seamless shopping experience, and optimize your online presence. 

Let's delve deeper into each key feature: 

1. Compliance and Integration with Tracking Systems 

As the cannabis industry operates within stringent regulations, selecting an eCommerce platform that seamlessly integrates with state-mandated tracking systems like METRC or BioTrack is paramount. 

This integration ensures accurate reporting, simplifies compliance with government regulations, and reduces the burden of manual work associated with inventory management. 

You should look for platforms with robust compliance features and a proven track record of adhering to industry standards. 

2. Target Audience and Loyalty Features 

Understanding your target audience is vital when shortlisting eCommerce platforms for cannabis. It must have features that enable you to tailor the online shopping experience to your customer's preferences. 

The best eCommerce platform for cannabis will allow you to include personalized recommendations based on past purchases or preferences, targeted promotions, and the ability to integrate loyalty programs and gift card functionalities. 

By catering to your customer's unique requirements and offering a personalized experience, you can foster customer loyalty and drive repeat business. 

3. Cannabis eCommerce SEO and CMS for Website 

Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in driving organic traffic to your cannabis eCommerce website. 

The eCommerce cannabis platform you pick should offer a content management system (CMS) with advanced native eCommerce tools to optimize your website for search engines. It should have the ability to create and optimize relevant content, meta tags, and URLs. 

Additionally, the platform should support local SEO, ensuring that your dispensary and cannabis products appear prominently in search results when customers are looking for products in your area. 

4. Cannabis POS and Tech Ecosystem Integrations 

A smooth integration between your eCommerce platform for cannabis and your existing tech ecosystem is essential for a seamless shopping experience. 

Look for platforms that offer seamless integration with your cannabis POS system, enabling customers to browse products, place orders, and choose between online or in-store payment options. 

Moreover, you can also consider platforms that offer integrations with other relevant cannabis tech ecosystems solutions, such as loyalty program management, marketing automation, or delivery logistics software. This integration helps streamline operations and enhances the overall efficiency of your cannabis business. 

5. Brand Customization and User Experience 

To stand out from the competition, choosing a platform that allows extensive brand customization is essential, enabling you to create a unique and visually appealing online experience for your customers. 

Look for platforms that offer customizable templates, allowing you to showcase your dispensary's branding, highlight product images, provide detailed descriptions, and implement intuitive filtering options. 

An engaging, personalized, and user-friendly interface enhances the overall shopping experience and encourages customer loyalty. 

6. Analytics and Reporting for Decision-making 

Comprehensive analytics and reporting capabilities are essential for data-driven decision-making. 

The best eCommerce platform for cannabis should provide detailed insights into customer behavior, website traffic, conversion rates, and other key performance indicators. 

Analyzing this data allows you to identify trends, optimize your website, and enhance the customer experience. 

Look for platforms that integrate with popular analytics tools like Google Analytics, enabling you to gather valuable data and make informed decisions to grow your cannabis business. 

7. Inventory Management and Payment Processing 

Efficient inventory management is crucial for any eCommerce business, and the cannabis industry is no exception. The eCommerce platforms for cannabis should seamlessly integrate with your inventory management system, allowing for real-time updates across all platforms when orders are placed, paid for, or fulfilled. 

This integration ensures accurate inventory tracking, prevents overselling, and improves order fulfillment efficiency. 

Furthermore, prioritize dispensary eCommerce platforms that offer robust and secure payment processing options to facilitate seamless transactions for your customers. 

What are the best ecommerce platforms for cannabis eCommerce? 

Now we know what we need to look for in the best eCommerce platforms for cannabis — the platform should offer specialized features and functionalities tailored to the unique needs and regulations of the industry. 

In this section, we will explore and discuss the top eCommerce platforms that are well-suited for selling cannabis products online. 

1. TreezComm  

If you’re using our cannabis POS system, you’re going to love using our ecommerce CMS as well. For that matter, all SellTreez subscriptions include TreezComm - a platform to create an online store to sell your products, at no additional charge. 

Since Treez integrates with all the leading ecommerce tech partners, this gives you more control and choice of what you want to sell online. 

The Open API further unlocks the ability to build and integrate with your own custom ecommerce interface if required.

2. Dispense

A screenshot of the Dispense website is displayed, with the words Dispensary eCommerce designed to boost sales

Another one of our go-to eCommerce platforms is Dispense. The platform enables you to set up shop online with SEO optimized eCommerce menu for dispensaries, optimized product content, meta data, and URL structures. 

Dispense integrates with many POS systems to automatically sync products and inventory across your cannabis retail stores. This ensures that your online store will always be up to date with the latest product information and pricing. 

The platform also offers additional features like custom clickable banners to advertise new deals. 

3. Tymber

A screenshot of the Tymber website is displayed, with the words Boost your sales with an SEO-friendly website that speaks for your brand

Tymber is another popularly chosen platform to set up a cannabis business online. They offer a native, white label, customizable, POS integrated e-commerce platform. 

If you’re using SellTreez as your cannabis POS system, this can be another good option for you as it runs on our internal API, backend and integrations. So features like customer profiles, order history and more are inline with TreezComm. 

4. Shopify: Leading the way in cannabis eCommerce 

A screenshot of the Shopify website is displayed, with the words The global commerce platform and images of smiling business people surrounded by text displaying money and items in stock

Shopify is a market leader in selling various cannabis products, making it an excellent choice for cannabis eCommerce. 

While the platform does not explicitly allow the sale of CBD products, it offers a workaround by enabling the use of third-party payment gateways supported by Shopify. 

Although this may slightly impact conversion rates, Shopify remains the go-to platform for customers looking to shop for CBD edibles and other cannabis products online. 

Its reputation, reliability, and robust features make it a top choice for dispensaries and CBD retailers. 

5. WooCommerce: Empowering cannabis businesses on WordPress

A screenshot of the Woo website is displayed, with the words The ecommerce platform that grows with you

WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that allows sellers to transform their WordPress sites into fully functional eCommerce stores. 

This open-source solution provides complete control and customization flexibility, making it a robust alternative to platforms like Shopify. 

With WooCommerce, you can seamlessly integrate your cannabis products into your existing WordPress self-hosted content management system, creating a unique online store experience. 

The platform's compatibility with various hosting platforms ensures flexibility and scalability for your cannabis eCommerce operations. 

6. BigCommerce: The best eCommerce platform for cannabis businesses

A screenshot of the BigCommerce website is displayed, with the words Ecommerce for a new era and buttons saying Request a Demo and Watch Success Story with a solo stove ad displayed next to it.

When it comes to cannabis eCommerce, BigCommerce stands out as the best platform for retailers. 

It offers a user-friendly interface and a highly adaptable platform that allows cannabis businesses to establish and grow their online presence. 

With a wide range of essential software and tools, BigCommerce provides everything you need to conduct your CBD business smoothly. 

From B2B to B2C, this platform caters to both new ventures and established large-scale cannabis business owners. 

By harnessing the power of BigCommerce, you can launch an effective digital marketing campaign and create a powerful online presence for your cannabis brand. 

7. Shift4Shop: Unlocking the potential of cannabis sales

A screenshot of the Shift4Shop website is displayed, with the words Luanch Your Business in 3,2,1 and Get Started with a smiling person looking at a computer in the background

Shift4Shop is a powerful eCommerce platform that caters specifically to CBD and hemp businesses. 

With its comprehensive set of tools and features, it provides everything you need to establish and run an ideal online CBD or hemp store. 

One of its key advantages is the seamless integration of age verification and high-risk payment processors, ensuring compliance with regulations. 

Additionally, Shift4Shop offers rich categorization options, making it easy for customers to explore a wide range of flavors and products. You can even offer subscription services to enhance customer loyalty. 

Shift4Shop also comes with effective SEO tools, further boosting your online visibility and helping customers find your cannabis business with ease. 

8. Spree Commerce: Building a versatile cannabis marketplace platform

A screenshot of the Spree website is displayed, with the words A headless open-source ecommerce platform for growing global brands.

Spree Commerce empowers CBD businesses to create an eCommerce marketplace platform hosting products from multiple vendors. 

Combining the capabilities of open-source technology with the benefits of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Spree Commerce offers free-of-cost integrations, easy scalability, and hassle-free maintenance. 

It provides a reliable and flexible solution for CBD businesses seeking to operate and grow without limitations imposed by traditional eCommerce service providers. 

With Spree Commerce, you can create a dynamic marketplace that caters to the diverse needs of the cannabis industry. 

9. Wix: Crafting stunning online stores for cannabis products

A screenshot of the Wix website is displayed, with the words Sell everywhere with Wix eCommerce and Create your Store

Wix, a versatile website builder, offers both free and paid plans for creating visually appealing online stores. With its drag-and-drop feature, you can easily design a professional digital store that showcases the beauty and uniqueness of your hemp-derived CBD products. 

While the free plan includes Wix-branded elements and advertisements, upgrading to the Wix Business plan ensures an ad-free experience and greater customization options. 

Wix has partnered with third-party CBD payment processors, allowing you to securely process payments for hemp-derived CBD products on your website. This feature is especially beneficial for businesses based in the United States, as it enables you to comply with regulations and provide a seamless checkout experience for your customers. 

You can use its intuitive interface and extensive template library to create a visually stunning online store that reflects your brand identity. 

The platform also offers additional features like inventory management, order tracking, and marketing tools to help you streamline your operations and drive sales. 

10. Square Online: Simplifying cannabis payment processing and sales 

A screenshot of the Square website is displayed, with the words Square Online: the online store that's made to order

Square Online offers a comprehensive eCommerce platform that enables the sale of cannabis products, both online and offline, while complying with federal laws. 

Its consistent pricing structure provides a fresh approach to CBD payment processing, especially for small businesses mindful of their spending. 

Square's POS integration and eCommerce store builder give you the flexibility to sell in multiple ways. Whether it's through online transactions or in-person sales, Square Online ensures a seamless and secure payment experience for your customers. 

Is it legal to sell cannabis online? 

Selling cannabis online is a topic that raises questions about its legality. The answer to whether it is legal to sell cannabis online can be a bit nuanced. Let's explore the intricacies of online cannabis sales. 

In general, online sales, which involve customers placing orders online, are allowed in many states where cannabis is legal. Customers can browse through a dispensary's online catalog, select their desired products, and place an order through the website. However, there are limitations when it comes to shipping cannabis products. 

Shipping cannabis products, including those with high THC content, is generally illegal across state lines. This means that if a customer purchases a cannabis product online, it cannot be shipped to them like other retail items. Instead, the transaction typically takes place in person. This can occur when the customer visits the cannabis dispensary to pick up their order or when a licensed delivery service delivers it to their doorstep. 

It's essential to note that cannabis banking limitations can impact the online purchasing process. Some cannabis eCommerce platforms may offer online payment options, while others may require payment to be made in person at the dispensary. This variation is due to the restrictions faced by the cannabis industry in accessing traditional banking services. 

However, there is a distinction regarding products derived from hemp, which contain less than 0.3% THC. Dispensaries can sell and ship these hemp-derived products across state lines. This typically includes certain CBD products. However, any cannabis product with a THC content exceeding 0.3%, or any product derived from a cannabis plant containing more than 0.3% THC, is considered marijuana. Consequently, it is illegal to ship such products across state lines due to federal regulations. 

So yes, selling cannabis is legal, but it comes with a fair share of responsibilities, like maintaining compliance with the laws and regulations governing the cannabis industry. To ensure compliance, dispensaries often rely on specialized cannabis point-of-sale (POS) systems like Treez. 

A cannabis POS system like Treez is designed to help dispensaries navigate the complexities of compliance and streamline their operations. These systems offer features like age verification, navigate compliances, customer management, omnichannel sales, payment options, etc. 

Long story short, you need a cannabis POS to ensure you sell cannabis without crossing any lines. 

Leveraging the best eCommerce platform for cannabis business growth 

The integration of eCommerce platforms into the cannabis industry presents an opportunity for accelerated business growth. By leveraging the power of online sales, dispensaries can expand their customer base, increase revenue, and establish a strong online presence. 

Remember, choosing the right ecommerce partner is paramount to ensure a successful online store setup. 

If you need assistance setting up your online cannabis store, our experts at Treez are ready to help.

Request a demo and discover how Treez can empower your cannabis business in the digital landscape. 

Book a demo

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