It was never our intention to sell retail. Even now, our wholesale operation provides the bulk of our revenue and allows us to concentrate on the thing that we value the most- growing quality hemp. However, it became apparent very quickly that the gap between wholesale and retail prices was extreme. A 600% markup was not uncommon, and like many growers, we were reluctant to give up that much potential revenue.
We had the choice to open up a brick-n-mortar store, or develop an online presence. We chose the latter simply because we didn't have the resources (money or credit) to open a shop, nor did we want to compete against well-established hemp stores in our area.
We initially looked at Shopify.com. At the time, they were the only user-friendly platform that supported CBD/Hemp companies. None of us were savy enough to develop a website on our own, so we needed a product that would guide us through the process quickly and easily. Shopify fit that bill. Their graphics were good, their templates were easy to understand, and their tutorials and step-by-step instructions made building the site very easy.
However, they would not allow their credit-card processing software to be used for CBD/Hemp purchases. They recommended a few processors (none of which would communicate with me), and basically left you on your own to find a processor that could integrate with their platform. Although, I would have loved to use their website platform, I was never able to find a credit-card processor to use with them.
Luckily, Squareup also owns Weebly. Once we were accepted into the Squareup CBD program, we were also free to use the Weebly website builder. It is very similar to Shopify, but truthfully, I felt that Shopify made a better finished product. For some reason, the Shopfiy website simply looked better.
But, as a CBD/Hemp company, you use what you can get!
Bottom line- we recommend Weebly for new businesses (like ours). Its seemless integration with Squareup and its easy user-interface make it a winner. If you have a different experience, share it with us in our comments. We'd love to hear from you.