Over the past few years, the growth of the electronic cigarette market has led to a dip in sales for tobacco industry professionals. Faced with this new trend, cigarette vendors and tobacconists are doing their best to adapt to the new situation. A number of initiatives over the past few months have been implemented to promote the sale of vaping products in tobacco shops.
Tobacconists are now looking to reconquer the market shares they lost to electronic cigarettes. To achieve this, a new branding strategy has been developed, namely that of the “electronic cigarette tobacconist”. The idea is to re-brand tobacconists as e-cigarettes experts. Indeed, this status would help them make better sales when it comes to vaping products.
Training videos for tobacco vendors have recently begun to surface on YouTube. These videos present the basics of the vaping market and e-cigarette culture in the form of informational video productions. This highly superficial approach to product and sales training underlines the fact that tobacco vendors really don’t know much about vaping.
Tobacconists looking to reconquer market shares lost to vaping
Trying to make experts out of smokers and cigarette salesmen is not a new thing. For months now, this has been a major priority for the French tobacconist federation, known as the Fédération des Buralistes. President Philippe Coy has high hopes for improved and more extensive training for cigarette shop employees. Of course, the bottom line is sales, working to capture a larger cut of the vaping markets 2 million consumers.
In December 2017, Bernard Gasq, president of the Île-de-France tobacconist federation, expressed a similar opinion. He called upon tobacconists to be curious and work to develop expertise in the sector to better compete with vape shops. Strong positioning on this popular product is the key objective in order to make up for slowing tobacco sales.
Training in the subject of vaping is now offered by the Chambre Syndicale des Buralistes of Haut-Rhin, a regional tobacconist union. The 90-minute training is supposed to give tobacconists an “expert level of knowledge” on the subject. In the same vein, in October 2018, the tobacconist industry fair known as the Losange Expo will have be dedicated to vaping.