Putting breeders in control is a core element of our DNA. In this article, we’ll try to explain the various distribution approaches breeders can take, and explore how Strainly can help them.
Cannabis breeders have long been under pressure. Being a successful breeder while staying under the radar of law enforcement was (or still is!) a fine line to walk. With legalization, new constrains are emerging. Breeders can promote their lines more freely without being raided but are now facing growing competition as well as demanding clients. It is therefore crucial for breeders to maintain a certain level of control over the distribution of their gear, ensuring that promotion, reliability and customer service are meeting their standards.
This is easier said than done though. Handling the sales and logistics of a seed breeding business can be time-consuming. Managing online presence through own website or social media pages, customer care and order fulfillment are some of the duties breeders have to execute in addition of… growing and breeding. Some of these tasks can be outsourced to representatives, partners, distributors or retailers, but usually at a cost (in time, money, or liability).
Many breeders decide to handle everything themselves. From seed production to retailing. In such case, a breeder would indeed harvest, sort and package the seeds, but also advertise them online and/or during industry events, distribute them to retailers or sell directly to growers and, deliver or ship the genetics to destination. This can potentially become more than a full time job but has a lot of advantages.
The main advantage for breeders is that they remain in control of the entire process when it comes to when, where and how. From a quality perspective, the breeder can make sure no pack is altered during transit and therefore stand behind his product without hesitation.
From an experience perspective, it allows the breeder to ensure that all information provided about the genetics is accurate, and that they are available when and where they wish. It’s also a cool feeling for growers to directly interact with the breeder.
Financially, all revenues from seed sales go to the breeder. This means more value stays with the breeder and often a better control over retail price.
It’s more work. Breeders usually pride themselves -with reason- for all of the work from hunting parents to packaging the seed progenies. But there’s a lot more that can be less fun if your passion is to spend time with your plants.
Advertising their seeds online is a MUST for breeders. If there’s a plethora of solutions today to create your own website, it’s not always that easy to build one that looks professional and that is secured. On top of that, a LOT of those solutions are not available to businesses operating in the cannabis industry. The toughest part is not building the website though, it’s driving traffic to it. And on that front, the cannabis industry is not eligible to digital advertising on social media. Too many of us have lost their social accounts and all the time and efforts we put into building a following. Digital presence takes a lot of time to build and is still challenged in many ways, a time that few breeders, if any, can afford.
Traveling to trade shows probably yields better results but the logistics involved are costly and time consuming.
Rely on third parties
When things scale, a breeder may decide to outsource some of the tasks described above. Marketing and distribution efforts can be shared with third parties such as representatives, seedbanks or dispensaries. This can be convenient in many ways but bears a cost.
For some breeders, the marketing, sales and logistics activities can become overwhelming. Using the services of “reps” to handle sales, or wholesaling to seedbanks and dispensaries allows breeders to focus on core breeding activities. In addition, going through retail partners is sometimes a question of compliance with license requirements and regulations.
Relying on third parties implies losing some control over marketing, sales and shipping. It also requires a high level of trust in the partners and channels being used, as customer experience depends on the reps or retail channels handling sales and shipping (on behalf of the breeder). Finally, reps, seedbanks and retailers take their commissions for the work performed, leaving less money to the breeders.
How can Strainly help breeders?
Strainly is flexible enough to support both approaches. Many breeders have their own account on Strainly, through which they handle end-to-end distribution. Our clear transaction workflow and robust review mechanism make the whole process smoother and safer than on social media. The other major difference with social media is that we’ll never shut down your account for selling seeds! We even have dedicated plans for our members.
Depending on your distribution approach:
- You can share a single account with a partner or rep, by adding two or more admins to this same Strainly account. Each member linked to the account (as admin) will receive email notifications and be able to answer customers questions and coordinate sales. So you can have an entire team managing a single account, depending on the team members schedules and duties.
- You can also decide to collaborate with other members who have their own separate accounts but who carry your gear. These members can be your reps, seedbanks (such as Blockchain Novelties) or dispensaries. Following each other is an easy way to constantly stay in touch with each other and have visibility on channels and respective volumes while coordinating efforts.
In conclusion, you no longer need to buy a domain, design a website, create newsletters, or spend hours on social media to build a following. With a Strainly account, you can set up a flexible and reliable distribution channel adapted to your needs in a matter of a few minutes… for free! Your own profile page with your URL to share on social media, featuring all your gear, and allowing you to handle customers’ requests smoothly while building a following and getting reviews for each transaction you make. Some successful members even share their Strainly link directly on their Instagram profile. Do not hesitate if you have questions.