US merchants in certain states are able to sell select hemp or hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products on Shopify. We compare Shopify to WooCommerce & WordPress when selling CBD Oil, detailing which is the most CBD friendly and easiest to find a payment gateway.
Selling CBD on Shopify in the United States (US)
This page was printed on Sep 06, 2022. For the current version, visit https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/products/cbd-products.
If you’re a US merchant and you want to learn how to set up your Shopify store to sell hemp and hemp-derived products that contain cannabidiol (CBD), then use this page for information about some laws surrounding hemp and hemp-derived products that might apply to your business. Learn more about hemp and hemp-derived products.
Hemp is a type of plant in the cannabis sativa plant species, and produces a broad range of cannabinoids. Hemp doesn’t produce high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but is capable of producing high concentrations of CBD.
To sell hemp and hemp-derived products that contain CBD, you need to review and submit the Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products.
The Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products is only available to stores that are based in the United States. If the document doesn’t open in your Shopify admin, then verify that your store is a US-based store.
If you haven’t created a Shopify store yet, then go to www.shopify.com/sell/cbd to sign up for a trial store.
Laws in the United States surrounding hemp and hemp-derived products are changing, so you should consult with legal counsel before you sell these products on Shopify. Shopify can’t provide legal advice on what and where you can sell.
Before selling hemp or hemp-derived products on Shopify, review and monitor federal, state, and local laws. You should also monitor updates from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Set up your store to sell hemp or hemp-derived products
If you sell CBD products, then you can only set up email-only order and shipping notifications. SMS notifications are not supported for merchants who sell CBD products.
- Log in to your Shopify store. If you haven’t created a store yet, then go to www.shopify.com/sell/cbd to sign up for a trial store.
- Carefully review and submit the Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products. You need to be signed into your Shopify account as the store owner to complete this form. If you’re not the store owner, or your store address is not located in the United States, then this link will automatically redirect you to the Shopify admin. Before you sell any CBD products, make sure that you understand and submit the attestation form. After you have submitted the form, the attestation process is automatic – you don’t need to wait for a response from Shopify regarding the attestation form.
- Select and apply for a third-party payment gateway. Shopify Payments is not available for hemp or CBD products at this time. However, Shopify has partnered with third-party payment gateways that support the sale of certain hemp and/or hemp-derived CBD products. The requirements for approval may vary for each gateway. Review the requirements and apply directly to any of these gateways using the following Shopify-specific links:
- Set up email-only customer notifications for orders and shipping. You can only send notifications related to CBD products and shops by email. SMS messages aren’t supported. For steps to enable email-only customer notifications, refer to Disable your customer’s SMS notifications.
This list may not be exhaustive, and may change over time.
Hemp-derived CBD transactions are vetted more carefully by third-party payment gateways than other transactions, so the application and approval process might be more involved than usual. Third-party payment gateways take into account many factors in approving payments and rates for shops selling CBD products, including product type, whether the business was recently created, transaction history, volume, product mix, and others. Approvals are at the discretion of each third-party payment gateway, and Shopify can’t guarantee the approval of your shop.
Additionally, it is important that you know your responsibilities. Like all Shopify merchants, it’s your responsibility to follow federal, state, and local laws and the respective policies of Shopify, our app and partner ecosystem, and any third-party providers. If you have additional questions, then contact the third-party providers directly, or consult with an attorney.
Merchants using Shopify Plus can contact the Merchant Success team for guidance and dedicated support in completing the steps required to sell hemp or hemp-derived CBD products on Shopify.
Disable your customer’s SMS notifications
You can only send notifications related to CBD products and shops by email. SMS messages aren’t supported. For information about customer notifications, refer to Set up your customer’s notification options at checkout.
Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Which CMS to Use for Your Online CBD Business
Save yourself time and avoid mistakes. Contact us today to set up your eCommerce store selling CBD Oil.
As the CBD industry continues to grow, more and more businesses are looking to get involved by selling CBD products online. But before you can start selling, you need to choose which eCommerce platform to use for your website. In this article, we’ll compare two of the most popular options: Shopify and WooCommerce. There’s no getting around it: CBD is officially everywhere you’re looking, especially online. CBD’s popularity has skyrocketed, transforming from a niche alternative health treatment to a worldwide craze. There is a whole array of revolutionary CBD products, from lattes to makeup, bedsheets, pet treats, and even bath bombs.
Now, this industry’s growth shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. Quite the contrary, CBD sales are expected to reach $80 billion by 2030. So, with that much money on the table, it’s no wonder that CBD sellers are popping up everywhere online. Where online exactly? On popular CMSs like Shopify or WooCommerce.
This article explores the ins and outs of starting your own CBD shop on either of these two CMSs.
Shopify For CBD Explained
Shopify is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to start, grow, and manage your own online business. It’s a subscription-based software that enables you to sell CBD on Shopify and receive payments for your CBD products from anywhere in the world.
Now, Shopify makes it simple to enter the eCommerce world, even if you don’t have any experience selling online. The eCommerce platform allows you to manage products, inventory, payments, and shipping easily. You also don’t even have to worry about the hassle of hosting because the platform takes care of that. What’s more, Shopify even allows online sellers to use their own domain name and connect it to Shopify from their store’s admin or buy one through the platform if you don’t have one yet.
Simply put, Shopify makes it simple to start and manage your own online store and get your share from a thriving industry like CBD. No coding or development is needed, and there are many other pros.
Pros for CBD sellers
- Launching your own online shop is easy. There’s no need for developing skills or help to get our CBD business only as Shopify’s subscription comes with web hosting, store themes, and easy-to-integrate features.
- Shopify plans are customized, allowing you to scale your plan as your CBD business grows.
- CBD is linked to marijuana which can make online sales a bit tricky. Yet, Shopify is based in Canada, which means it is not subject to US federal law.
Cons for CBD sellers
- At the Shopify store, you may experience some payment restrictions. Even if the eCommerce platform is cannabis-friendly, some of the Shopify payments gateway provided are not. This includes PayPal and Stripe.
- Selling CBD products on Shopify comes with specific transaction fees. The platform takes up to 2.9% of each sale you make and $0.30 per credit card transaction.
- The biggest con of using Shopify for your own CBD online store is that you’re not really in control of your site. The platform can close down any site at any time, and you may not even get a warning before. Plus, Shopify sellers are subject to the platform’s results and regulations.
WooCommerce For CBD Explained
WooCommerce is a great alternative to Shopify for creating and managing your own CBD online store. WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that allows sellers to transform their WordPress website into an eCommerce store that offers the same functionality as Shopify. More precisely, sellers get all the tools they need to sell their products from anywhere in the world and manage their brands.
Yet, there’s a big difference between having an online shop on Shopify and WordPress. More precisely, with WooCommerce, online shop owners have complete control of their websites. There’s no such thing as WooCommerce shutting your site down.
WooCommerce functions as a set of open-source files, meaning it can be installed on several hosting platforms. That’s one of the main reasons why WooCommerce is a full-featured Shopify alternative for setting up a CBD online store and beginning selling.
Pros for CBD sellers
- There are no subscription fees. WordPress is free for everyone.
- WordPress allows you to use cannabis-friendly payment gateways, as a few offer plugins for WP.
- WordPress supports all sorts of plugins and themes that allow online store owners to customize the appearance of their CBD sites as they like. Plus, WordPress also offers the possibility to customize the functionality of a website or even create a custom theme for it from scratch.
- WordPress offers a lot of flexibility through its code, plugin support, and themes. Sellers can constantly change their websites to meet the growing needs of their CBD online business.
Cons for CBD sellers
- Setting up an online shop on WordPress involves a few more steps than setting it up on Shopify. Sellers need to: buy a domain, sign up for hosting, install a default WordPress version, buy a theme and install all sorts of plugins to handle promotion practices, install WooCommerce plugin, and lastly, configure their eCommerce store from details to payment gateway integration and products.
- There’s no support offered for all the things mentioned above. CBD sellers who want to sell on WordPress need a website designer to help them with all the technical parts of setting up your online shop.
- WordPress plugins and themes require frequent updates.
Payment Gateway Integration
Whether you decide to use Shopify or WooCommerce as your eCommerce shop platform, it’s time to figure out a crucial aspect: how will you accept payments?
CBD is classified as “high-risk,” so using popular payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe is not a good option. In fact, many CBD sellers had their accounts closed without notice or their funds frozen.
Recently, it has become easier to sell CBD products on Shopify, but sellers are required to use a payment gateway other than the platform’s default payment processor. Shopify’s default payment merchant is underwritten by Stripe, a US-based company that does not support the processing of CBD products.
So, although Shopify supports stores that sell CBD products on the platform, the payments system still doesn’t support these products. To sell CBD on the eCommerce platform, you’ll need to use payment gateways from third-party payment processors. For WooCommerce, you’ll also need to use a third-party payment gateway processor, but the main benefit is that you’re in complete control of your website, so no one can shut it down for selling “high-risk” products.
What Makes WooCommerce Different From Shopify?
The main difference between WooCommerce and Shopify is that WooCommerce is self-hosted, while Shopify is a service. With WooCommerce, you must have a hosting account and domain name and manage your online store yourself. With Shopify, on the other hand, all of this is taken care of for you by the service.
Additionally, WooCommerce is a bit more customizable than Shopify. This means that if you want to make changes to the design or functionality of your online store, you will likely be able to do so with WooCommerce, while this may not be as easy with Shopify. In general, both WooCommerce and Shopify make it simple for anyone to sell CBD products through an online store, accept payments, manage inventory, and more.
Several factors must be considered when deciding which platform is best for you based on your needs and requirements.
What are your options?
Getting paid for your online CBD products can be tricky on both Shopify and WooCommerce. Yet, don’t despair. You can use a very viable payment solution to get paid: Viva Wallet.
The leading CBD-oil-friendly payment gateway for selling CBD products is Viva Wallet, and you can use it whether you set up your online CBD store on Shopify or WooCommerce:
Using Viva Wallet on Shopify
If you’ve decided to start your own Shopify CBD store, Viva Wallet can be the payment gateway solution you’ve been looking for. One of the key benefits of using Shopify and Viva Wallet for the CBD payment processor is the recent partnership with PayPal, allowing CBD sellers to integrate PayPal via the Viva Wallet for their Shopify CBD stores. Yet, this option isn’t available for WooCommerce stores.
All you have to do is to enable PayPal as the payment option by linking your PayPal account with your Viva Wallet account. Remember that all customer CBD transaction payments using this option will be deposited to the PayPal account, not the Viva Wallet account.
Using Viva Wallet on WooCommerce
CBD stores on WooCommerce can also use Viva Wallet as a payment gateway solution to get their money for their products. The partnership between WooCommerce and Viva Wallet has led to an extension that allows CBD merchants to accept payments instantly. While, unlike Shopify, you are yet to be able to connect to PayPal, you can, however, set up a subscription model for accepting payments. This you cannot do if you use Shopify.
To set up subscriptions, you must purchase the ‘WooCommerce Subscription plugin to enable this feature.
6 Things Consider When Selecting an eCommerce Platform
While Shopify and WordPress are both excellent platforms for selling CBD products online, there are important distinctions to consider when deciding which one to use. When you want to customize the design of your own new CBD store website, both cost more, but WordPress offers several CBD Oil website templates.
Both Shopify and WordPress are great platforms, but they do come with different price tags. Shopify is expensive to get started, but it does have more features and is easier to use. You can use WordPress for free, but you have to pay for hosting and any extra features or themes you want to use.
2. Ease of Use
Shopify is more user-friendly than WordPress, especially for those unfamiliar with coding or website design. However, WordPress has many plugins and themes that can make it easy to customize your website without needing any coding knowledge.
Shopify has more features than WordPress, including built-in payment processing, shipping calculators, and a wide range of themes, plugins, and templates to choose from. WordPress does have some features that Shopify doesn’t have, such as the ability to create custom post types and taxonomies.
Both Shopify and WordPress allow for a high level of customization, but Shopify is a bit easier to use if you want to change the look and feel of your website. With WordPress, you will need some coding knowledge to make changes to your site.
Both platforms are good for SEO, but Shopify may have an edge because it was built for eCommerce websites. Make sure to do your research and use the correct keywords when setting up your website so that you can rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
If you encounter problems with your CBD website, both Shopify and WordPress offer support options. With Shopify, you can contact their customer service team via phone or email, while WordPress provides support through their forums and extensive documentation.
Is Shopify more SEO friendly than WooCommerce?
While both Shopify and WooCommerce are popular eCommerce platforms, there may be some advantages to using Shopify over WooCommerce. For one, Shopify is built on the WordPress platform, which is known for its high level of SEO compatibility.
This means you can easily create custom pages and posts for your website to improve your search engine rankings. Though Shopify offers a wide range of features that can help you to streamline your business process, including multilingual support, Shopify CBD payment processors or automatic shipping calculations, or configurable checkout processes.
WooCommerce also has many appealing features such as an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, user profiles with role-based permissions management, import/export capabilities for PST files (or any other file format), automated marketing campaigns via email or social media channels, and more. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference regarding which eCommerce platform best suits your needs.
But Which is Better?
Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer a range of features that can help set up and run your business. But, when it comes to ease of use, Shopify may be the better option. It is widely accepted among merchants and praised for its intuitive design and user-friendly interface. Additionally, Shopify offers more customization options than WooCommerce, which means you have greater control over your website’s appearance and function.
WooCommerce also has a broader array of plugins that can enhance your site’s functionality. So, suppose one feature is lacking, or you need to make an extensive modification to your website. In that case, WooCommerce should be your first choice, as there is likely to be a compatible plugin available on the market.
Ultimately, it becomes important to choose the platform that best meets your needs before investing any time or money into it!
Can You Sell CBD On Shopify?
Before you start selling CBD products on Shopify, you must ensure that CBD is legal to sell in your state.
You can do it by checking the state laws for CBD. If CBD is legal to sell in your state, then you need to ensure that you follow the regulations for selling CBD online products. You can find these regulations by checking the state laws for CBD and the FDA’s guidelines for CBD products.
If you do not follow the regulations for selling CBD products, you could get in trouble with the law.
While both Shopify and WordPress are great options for selling your CBD products online, there are specific differences between the two you should consider before deciding which one is right for your online business.
While Shopify offers a simpler alternative to starting an online store (Technically speaking), WordPress doesn’t have additional fees and provides more cannabis-friendly payment gateway options.