Selling cannabidiol (CBD) based products online is an exciting and promising new frontier. However, accepting credit card payments online for CBD oils, skincare products, and similar items isn’t always straightforward. In fact, the landscape can be tricky, and the best way to process credit cards may depend on both your e-commerce platform and the processor you choose.
Luckily, there are some great solutions out there. One major online platform that makes it possible to run a CBD e-commerce site is Shopify (which we’ll discuss more in-depth in a bit). If you haven’t chosen your e-commerce platform yet, we’ll back up a little and show you why Shopify is a great fit for many CBD businesses.
Once you choose Shopify, the question quickly becomes: How can I sell CBD and easily accept payments in a successful and sustainable way?
Why choose Shopify for your CBD e-commerce site?
Shopify is what we like to call an all-in-one, hosted, e-commerce solution. It offers a lot of great features, a nice balance between flexibility and customizability, plus the robust stability you want from an e-commerce solution.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a big believer in freedom and simplicity. With Shopify and the right payment processor, you get both in abundance.
For example, not everyone loves jumping into hours of coding work or hiring developers to customize their website regularly. Shopify does an excellent job of addressing those bottlenecks and potential costs by having a great overall site builder that allows you to make your site look the way you want – intuitively and simply.
Shopify gives you the ability to create the online shop you’ve imagined. In short, it gives you the complete package. It’s no wonder that Shopify is an immensely popular choice among CBD site owners. In fact, when we compared the two biggest platforms for CBD site owners, we recently found that 59% of CBD e-commerce businesses chose Shopify over WooCommerce. Considering the value and reputation of WooCommerce itself, that’s saying something. However, even though Shopify works with CBD businesses, be careful not to start on the wrong foot!
The difference between Shopify Payments and alternative processors
It’s important for you to be aware that Shopify’s out-of-the-box payment gateway, Shopify Payments, is generally not ideal for selling CBD products. In fact, it might hurt your business with an array of negative effects if you break their terms and conditions. This comes down to the fact that CBD businesses are in the “high-risk” category with major credit card companies and financial institutions.
If you’re unfamiliar with the world of CBD credit card processing, payment gateways, and merchant accounts, you might not be aware that you’re what’s called a “high-risk” business owner. While that might sound intimidating, it’s not all bad.
The short explanation of high-risk is that the CBD industry carries more risk than more standard, or established, e-commerce ventures. This is mainly due to the various regulations that apply to this business type from federal, to state, to local. What you really should know, however, is that this doesn’t mean you have to settle for any deal or option made available to you when choosing a credit card processor or CBD-friendly payment provider.
You have options
A fantastic alternative to Shopify Payments that will allow you to use Shopify to sell CBD products online is Authorize.Net – when it is correctly configured by a payment processor that allows CBD.
Add Authorize.Net correctly and sell CBD through Shopify
Authorize.Net is a great service provider that allows you to accept credit cards online for various high-risk product types. However, I would do you a disservice if I didn’t underline the fact that the Authorize.Net account you set up needs to be specifically set up by a CBD payment provider.
Unfortunately, not just any generic Authorize.Net account will work. The good news is that Authorize.Net can help you accept CBD-related payments online and it works brilliantly when you add it to Shopify.
If you’d like, you can find out more about how to integrate Authorize.Net into Shopify here. That being said, I would like to quickly reiterate that as a CBD site owner, you need the Authorize.Net account to be set up properly in order to process credit cards for CBD e-commerce sales.
How to start accepting payments on Shopify for your CBD business
There are few aspects of running a business more crucial than the ability to accept credit card payments – especially when running a high-risk e-commerce business. This is why it’s so important that you get the simplicity and assistance you need from day one. One option is to visit my site, OrganicPaymentGateways.com.
My colleagues and I offer a lot of advice on how to avoid common mistakes and potential pitfalls while recommending tried-and-true CBD e-commerce solutions on our website. Not only that, we’ll set up a CBD-friendly account for you on Authorize.Net without huge hassles.
We’ll even integrate and test it for you, so you will know for a fact that everything has been done correctly, securely, and in a timely manner – ensuring that you can easily and reliably accept credit card payments for your CBD products on Shopify.
About the author
Alex is the president and CEO of Ecommerce4 LLC, the parent company of Organic Payment Gateways. Organic Payment Gateways specializes in helping business owners in the exciting new e-commerce frontier of CBD sales. By offering up-front information and a comprehensive service, you’ll have a less stressful way to complete online transactions for the CBD products your customers love.
This content is provided as a membership benefit to our valuable business level members. Due to several factors including the variances in state hemp laws and the differences in interpretation of federal law, NHA makes no warrants of the legality, efficacy or safety of any product, service or statement made by any third party.
We encourage all members and the general public to do their own due diligence on any business or product, and understanding their state’s and federal laws, before choosing to purchase any product or contracting for any service.