Website Design for Tobacco Retail Stores and Lounges

    Are you online yet? Here are seven tips for getting started on building an online presence for your tobacco retail store.

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    4. Include integrations.
    Continue to build loyalty by offering incentives for choosing your business over that of your competitors. Adding third-party integrations like TapMango makes it easy for you to build a reward system that works with your current point-of-sale (POS) system. With TapMango, customers can load money on their e-wallet; pay by credit card; and earn rewards, points and vouchers to be used for future purchases. Customize what those rewards can be used for, and tap into customer data to send personalized email and text marketing content to build important relationships that will help your bottom line.

    5. Leverage scheduling tools.
    Streamlined scheduling can go a long way toward offering a stellar customer experience. When you allow customers to take advantage of online scheduling tools, you can personalize their visit, ensure social distancing safety, and stock up on their favorite cigar brands. Acuity is an online appointment-setting tool that can be easily integrated with Squarespace and syncs with calendars already being used, such as Google or Microsoft Outlook. Your business can send branded and customized messages via email or text and even accept payment and tips via Stripe, Square and PayPal.

    6. Focus on the small details.
    There are plenty of big decisions to be made when developing or redesigning a website for your tobacco retail store and cigar lounge, but there are smaller details to think about too. Mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive sites allow shoppers to access your business from their smartphones or mobile devices, which is a requirement these days. Search engine optimization is also something that should be a part of the design process. This ensures that local customers can find you easily and quickly in search results. These “fine print” items are just as crucial to your success.

    7. Work with web designers.
    When you outsource your website building or redesign process to a ​team of web designer professionals​, you get a range of skills at your fingertips. Experts can design and develop a mobile-responsive website tailored to the specific needs and goals of your cigar lounge. Working with a local team means that you’ll get access to designers and local creators that understand your vision, goals and community in ways that will help your business grow and thrive. You’ll also get the peace of mind that technical support and maintenance are just a phone call away.

    This story first appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription to our magazine. Click here for details.

    Contributed by Maxi Benbassat, owner of Benbassat Digital Consultants (benbassatdigital.com) in Greensboro, North Carolina. Benbassat and his team work with other businesses to help them build and grow a strong online presence.