U.S. vape shops focus on customer experience in-store

vape lounge - Lindsay FoxAmerican vape shops are creating lounges to distinguish themselves from convenience stores and other retailers that sell e-cigarettes, according to new research.

The 2015 Vape Shop Index from Project Vape Manifest, a venture of ECigIntelligence and partners, reports that the vast majority of vape shops in the U.S. (86%) offer some form of in-store seating – generally in the form of a lounge or bar. This suggests that consumers are treating a vape store visit as something more than a simple transaction, the report says.

Stores unwilling or unable to offer such a facility could be losing out – and it provides a clear differentiator between vape stores and convenience stores, which generally cannot offer seating, the report adds.

The report also suggests that the ability to take time over a decision, sample products and speak to a salesperson with experience are valued by consumers – which may account for the fact that nearly 60% of vape stores have not developed a presence online, where they could not offer such advantages.

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    For store management, avoiding selling to minors is another major concern, the report finds. 97% of vape shops reported that they do not sell to minors; 54% do not allow under-age customers to even enter the store, while 92% require some form of ID for purchasing. Of those that sell online, around two thirds use age verification software to screen out potential under-age buyers.

    The Project Vape Manifest report, created by ECigIntelligence, Roebling Research, the E-Cigarette Forum, and the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), provides in-depth data on the U.S. vape store sector including details of preferred flavours, bottle sizes and nicotine levels, as well as the split in revenue between hardware and e-liquids.

    – Freddie Dawson ECigIntelligence staff

    Photo: Lindsay Fox

    Freddie Dawson

    Managing editor, news
    Freddie studied at King’s College, London and City University and worked for publications including The Times, The Malay Mail, PathfinderBuzz and Solar Summary before joining the ECigIntelligence team. He has extensive experience in covering fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), manufacturing and technological innovation.

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