Drop yourself into the arched oak trees that line Savannah, Georgia streets. It’s 2014. Two recent S.C.A.D. grads sit in their starter apartment, weighing the risks and rewards of a relatively untouched industry. Six hundred dollars down and the online smoke shop journey begins.
Now it’s 2019: America celebrates an unprecedented 4/20. Online headshop Smoke Cartel, now worth over $5 million, celebrates their software’s acceptance to the Shopify App Store. The data backup and recovery add-on is just the first the company’s full app suite called Warely.
But what the hell happened in-between? What do bongs have to do with the software industry?
CEO, Darby Cox, explains: “We run a successful e-commerce operation because we develop effective e-commerce software.”
Bringing Tech to the Cannabis Industry
The quintessential story starts with two college kids and $600. But bootstrapping a cannabis accessories business isn’t easy. Navigating public perception adds to the industry hurdles in advertising, banking, and credit card processing. Innovative thinking and creative problem solving are a necessity.
Today, the tide has shifted regarding public perception of cannabis. Canada, Georgia, South Africa, and Uruguay have already legalized cannabis for recreational use, while only three US states still make no legal accommodations for THC and CBD sales. The market opportunity is easy to spot for anyone with the entrepreneurial spirit, but keeping up with the rapid market expansion means an infrastructure that can support scaling.
Co-founders Sean Geng and Darby Cox grew Smoke Cartel into a multi-million dollar company with its own OTC Markets ticker (“SMKC”) through creative marketing, detail-oriented business practices, and software designed to sustain expansion.
Sean Geng applied his programming background to develop this system from the ground up. Now, adaptable warehouse software empowers the team as it drives direct sales and business-to-business services (such as smokeshop wholesale and drop-shipment) through nineteen web domains that offer an ever-growing product selection.
Tapping into such a fast-growing market–strong brands largely linked to the spread of cannabis legalization–requires internal systems that can seamlessly add new brands and distribution channels without disrupting the existing operation.
From Online Headshop to E-Commerce for All
Smoke Cartel’s software infrastructure has been critical to its success in tapping into the expanding cannabis market. However, all e-commerce requires fast, efficient technology. To get a step ahead of the competition you need cutting edge tech.
Warely, Smoke Cartel’s e-commerce app suite, enhances the abilities of popular e-commerce platforms such as Shopify. Real-time warehouse tracking, actionable customer analytics, advanced accounting reports, and website optimization tools are just a few software services that have been tested and tailored using a cannabis customer network of more than 125,000 individuals and over 1,000 wholesale clients in 50+ countries worldwide.
The result? Next-level SaaS (“software as a service”) all entrepreneurs can implement in growing an e-commerce business.
Smoke Cartel & Their Position for the Future
As the push for reform moves forward, Smoke Cartel is positioned to take advantage of cannabis legalization with direct sales and B2B ecommerce platforms already in place.
The company credits its capacity to keep up with this dual-market expansion to its proprietary Warely software.
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