You know CBD. We know EDI.
If you are a cannabidiol (CBD) brand, you know that more and more retailers are stocking CBD products. No longer found primarily on the shelves of small health food shops, CBD has landed on the shelves of retail giants such as CVS, Whole Foods, and The Vitamin Shoppe. The market is growing rapidly, as more and more consumers embrace the health benefits of CBD. Looking forward, the brands that will enjoy lasting success will be those with reliable supply chains. An essential part of that? EDI for CBD brands and products.
Get EDI right now and be ready for growing CBD sales in the future.
Whether you’re a nascent brand or an established company, getting EDI right is essential. When it’s done well, you save valuable time, reduce or eliminate costly chargebacks, and enhance relationships with your trading partners. After all, while retailers are always looking for products that will appeal to their customers, they also want to work with suppliers who give them confidence. Can they comply with the specific EDI for CDB brands and products standards of the retailer? Do they have accurate inventory counts? Can they ship to multiple locations quickly?
The global market for CBD products is expected to grow by more than 30% over the next five years. Whenever an industry moves quickly from small category status to common consumer good, there is inevitably shakeout. A few companies may gain the lion’s share of the market, while many others will fall away, unable to compete in a more demanding environment. CBD companies that have an expert EDI provider in place will have an immediate edge on brands that continue to operate as small, niche players.
What should a CBD brand look for in its EDI provider?
Well, when a market is expected to grow rapidly, the ability to scale is essential. You want an EDI provider that can help you manage a growing number of transactions without investing significantly more time—hello, batch processing—and the ability to integrate with the other systems your company will adopt is also essential. With expansion, you may move to a robust ERP, or bring on a 3PL. Even if you don’t need complex integration now, make sure your EDI provider has the experience to make it happen when you do.
What else? Consider provider size. As much as CBD brands are growing, this is still not a market filled with giant companies. At least not yet. You may find yourself lost in the shuffle at a larger provider, or need more customer support because you’re new to the process of EDI for CBD brands and products. Make sure to choose a provider that has customer service experts and a background with brands that have entrepreneurial roots. That doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be a tiny outfit or rule out larger operations, but investigate the company culture and decide if it fits with yours.
What does EDI compliance mean for CBD?
Exchanging order data through EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) has been a staple of the supplier-retailer relationship for many years. It will be for CBD products, too.
If you’re new to EDI, one of the first terms you’ll hear is EDI compliance. And even though EDI is a standardized data exchange format, nearly every retailer handles transactions in a slightly different fashion. To do business with them and maintain productive relationships, you need to meet their EDI requirements.
We’re guessing that entrepreneurs in a burgeoning category have other things on their mind besides EDI compliance. The good news is that with the right software provider, you shouldn’t have to worry about it. Compliance is all about meeting the standards the retailer sets for various details—packing, ship dates, ship locations, etc. In our world, meeting these standards is all about “mapping.” We have mapping to hundreds of retailers already, and we can quickly add new ones. So have more time to focus on marketing your products effectively and continuing to grow.
Bake in your EDI. Capitalize on an emerging market.
New and emerging markets are exciting. And CBD certainly fits into that category. The health benefits appear to be substantial, and the natural qualities of CBD hits the right notes with today’s consumers.
It’s also a bit of Wild West at the moment, and it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of it. But if history is a guide, the companies that emerge from this kind of market as leaders are the ones that get all the details right. With CBD products moving into more established retailers, one of those details is EDI.
Find a provider that will take the time to understand the CBD marketplace and has the expertise to make EDI something you don’t need to worry about. Here at eZCom, we would welcome an opportunity to start a conversation about your CBD products and our EDI software.