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How to sell cigars on Shopify: a high-risk industry spotlight

Many e-commerce merchants who sell regulated products like premium cigars or loose tobacco products shy away from Shopify. Despite it being one of the most popular digital store platforms in the world there are some challenges for certain site owners, especially those in high-risk categories like tobacco. A significant reason for the avoidance is the perceived difficulty of processing high-risk processing transactions, specifically hearing horror stories from other merchants of how their accounts were frozen or shut down by Shopify Payments.

The truth is that if you have a properly setup merchant account payment gateway combo that is NOT provided by Shopify Payments and you connect your Shopify store with high-risk friendly payment gateway, you will likely have no issues selling products ranging from vape pens and cigars to tactical gear and pipes and glassware.

Why is selling cigars on Shopify different?

Before we get into the how – let’s go over the why. Why do high-risk merchants have a hard time on Shopify? Often these horror stories you hear are from people who signed up with Shopify’s merchant account as well. These merchant accounts have strict guidelines as to which products are ok and which are not. Often the full review or “underwriting” isn’t finished for the first days or weeks of operation, giving merchants a window to sell unimpeded. After the underwriting finishes, however, they may find their accounts’ closed or frozen, leaving them unable to operate their business for the immediate future.

If you need a merchant account, we can quickly recommend one that fits your exact needs and integrates perfectly with the payment gateway you’ll need to use for Shopify. Not only is it the best option for merchants who want to sell high-risk products on Shopify, but also it’s one of our preferred payment gateways in general for this industry. Fill in the form below to get started in finding a perfect merchant account for you.

Cigars and tobacco accessories on Shopify

Shopify is the granddaddy of drag and drop site builders, meaning it’s easy and quick to create a beautiful and functional web-store for your business. Not only is it easy, but the marketing and SEO options along with the boost in visibility helps cigar shops and other high-risk merchants attract new customers and keep them coming back. With Shopify, you also have complete control of your branding and themes. Your web-store will be a shining representation of your brand and business, not just another cookie cutter cigar shop with generic products.

There are also a substantial number of third-party themes you can add including cigar and tobacco themes to make setting up your website’s look even more straightforward. Additionally, you can take advantage of the blog feature and other content creation tactics to grow your audience and simultaneously your customer base. Don’t worry about adjusting settings or installing extensions to know your e-store is mobile ready and functioning for any new devices out there. Your customers can shop wherever they are, and you can manage the backend of your store wherever you are with the Shopify mobile app.

Favored Shopify tools for cigar sales

Many cigar shop owners are particularly keen on specific features like abandoned cart recovery, automated taxes based on customer location, and shipping options to squeeze the most profits out of your business as you can. Another favorite function is product variation; many cigar buyers like to buy in small packs, like 3 or 5 packs with some variety in each package. Shopify’s advanced product management system creates product listings that attract more customers is easy and painless. It should come as no surprise that Shopify has some of the best marketing and SEO tools for e-commerce merchants. You can easily create an email newsletter or marketing list, invite your customers to leave secure and SEO friendly reviews, and of course connect to your social media pages. Though you cannot usually advertise tobacco products or even accessories on social media, there are ways you can engage and grow your customer base on them, using content management and sharing stories within the interests of your customers can go a long way to make them come back sooner and spend more.

Merchant account and payment gateway help for Shopify

Finding a merchant account for a high-risk e-commerce business is not complicated, but finding one that will give you the best possible deal is. Fortunately, we can usually offer most high-risk merchants better rates with our associates than you will find out there on your own. We will also guide you step by step and hold your hand the whole way through setting up and testing your payment gateway. We do this with no cost or obligation to you, we receive an incentive from service providers and offer free and honest advice to any e-commerce merchant who needs it.

Ready to start accepting credit cards on your high-risk Shopify site?