The move to multicategory has opened up new revenue streams for us, and other vape retailers across the UK.
Vape, nicotine pouches, heat-not-burn products – the UK is maturing rapidly into a market of smoking alternative stores, offering a wider range of smoke-free categories rather than specialists focused on one category.
Adding depth to our range of smoke-free products has brought untold benefits, both to our expanding business but more critically, to the customers that visit us in-store and online.
Providing a product that meets every consumer need or preference has stemmed the flow of customers who walk through the doors to never return – something we didn’t achieve when we were stocking e-cigarettes exclusively. Listing products like IQOS, the UK’s number one heat-not-burn product[i], as well as other categories, complements our vape offering.
If, for instance, a smoker wants to switch completely to a less harmful alternative but still enjoys that real tobacco taste and cigarette-like satisfaction, we can convert that customer on the spot with IQOS. Otherwise, they’d leave our store and take their business elsewhere – an outcome that no retailer can afford.
Listing a range of smoke-free products doesn’t pit one category against another; it maximises our ability to switch that customer to a better alternative. It’s that simple. And, with the heated tobacco category growing 86 percent in 2021 versus 2020[ii], it’s clear our offering must evolve to meet that demand.
“Whilst over a quarter of smokers will explore smoke-free products in 2022, 58 percent haven’t yet found a satisfying alternative to cigarettes.”[iii]
[i] As of January 2022, IQOS – Philip Morris International’s heated tobacco system – had a value share of the Heat not Burn segment of 99.726%, meaning IQOS was the UK’s number one product in that category, encompassing all devices and consumables. (Nielsen data)
[ii] Nielsen Scantrack, Total Coverage (UK), MAT to December 2021
[iii] Independent survey carried out by Lake Research and commissioned by Philip Morris Limited (PML) of 1,834 adult cigarette smokers across twelve areas of England between 10th November and 16th December 2021, with at least 150 adults from Birmingham, Brighton, Coventry, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Portsmouth, Sheffield. The survey took up to 10 minutes to complete and all taking part smoke at least three cigarettes in an average week.
Disclaimer: This sponsored content was written by Lee Howard, Store Manager at The Vapour Hut Limited, Doncaster.