Trinity Terpenes Finds Good Vibes for High-Risk Verticals on BigCommerce
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Have you ever received a message that stopped you in your tracks?
That’s exactly what happened to Trinity Terpenes one winter day. While browsing a local grocery store aisle, their Digital Marketing Director received a message that the brand’s Shopify site had been shut down out of the blue.
In the middle of aisle 12, this high-risk retailer was forced to find a quick solution to get back up and buzzing.
With over 20 years’ experience in the biotech industry, Trinity Terpenes founders Wayne Green and Justin Freyre decided to leave their nine-to-fives and find a niche that had yet to be tapped. That niche was terpenes. They created their own patented technology to ‘Redesign Cannabis’, and launched the brand Trinity Terpenes.
So what exactly are terpenes? And what makes them at risk for shutting down a company’s entire ecommerce website?
Terpenes are natural aromatic compounds found in many plants that give their characteristic scent or flavor, and even form the basis of many essential oils. It’s how you recognize the smell of lavender, pine or a fresh orange peel — and even cannabis.
“If you don’t know about terpenes, they’re basically the essential oils. So, the chemicals that give the aromas and flavors,” said Green.
Many people commonly associate terpenes with cannabis because cannabis plants contain high concentrations of them. As a compound of cannabis, terpenes are what make certain strains smell or taste different from others.
“Cannabis is a very diverse plant. They can produce smells like lemon or strawberry all the way to diesel or skunk. So, we’re very interested in tapping into the plant and extracting the essential oils of cannabis and hemp. It’s really one of the coolest ingredients in the world, and it’s been fun to play with,” said Green.
By tapping into terpenes, the company has created a diverse set of unique products ranging from terpene-infused beer for Colorado’s Oskar Blues brewery to terpene-infused olive oil, as well as terpene-infused cannabis products in California.
Trinity Terpenes had signed on for Shopify’s Hemp Qualification Program in order to sell their hemp-derived products online. Up to this point, they had no glaring complaints about the platform. It was fairly easy to use and integrated nicely with their POS system.
Then one day, they received an email stating their ecommerce site was shut down due to references and promotion of cannabis.
For a small business, losing a $10k investment in a split second has big implications. Beyond the impact on revenue, the time and research required to get back up and running can be almost as detrimental to a small team.
According to Green, it feels like a “donkey kick.”
“Those kinds of hard stops are really hard to come around, but we’ve been through so many, like the government passing new bills or regulating new compounds of cannabis. You have to really be agile,” said Green.
Third-party apps and tools associated with your website — like payment partners or social media accounts — can also get shut down in an instant, adding another layer of pressure to selling in a high-risk vertical. For Trinity Terpenes, the company’s Instagram account has been shut down four times to be exact.
When their only-talk-about-cannabis-but-never-sell-cannabis Shopify site was shut down, Trinity Terpenes was able to keep their cool after a quick search led them to an ecommerce platform that would support their high risk vertical.
In less than 24 hours, Trinity Terpenes had a new site up and running on BigCommerce.
The trust and reassurance they received from the BigCommerce legal team was the main factor in their decision.
“[BigCommerce] is a home we can invest in for our website,” said Green. “Having the knowledge that if anything changes, they’ll talk to you before shutting you down. That is the biggest thing I think for our company.”
Trinity Terpenes credits BigCommerce’s ease of use and native functionality for helping the brand get back up and running so quickly.
The brand is able to manage everything from products to orders to customer relations directly through the BigCommerce platform. The platform’s seamless checkout experience is also a primary benefit the brand notes for their success on the platform. Additionally, Trinity Terpenes leverages BigCommerce native capabilities to educate customers about their products through their Vibes blog and their Terp TV YouTube channel.
Looking ahead, Trinity Terpenes is focused on expanding their reach on the B2B side of the business through dispensary partners and brand collaborations. The company also has plans to expand their product catalog to new offerings like seasonal flavors and health and wellness products while organizing their catalog by flavor, effect and benefit on their storefront.
Because of BigCommerce’s support of high-risk verticals, Trinity Terpenes is now able to reap the reward of moving their high-risk brand to BigCommerce.
Looking to grow your CBD or Hemp business online? Learn how BigCommerce can help you here.
Krystin Gresham is a Content Marketing Manager at BigCommerce where she focuses on thought leadership content. Krystin holds a BBA in Marketing from Texas A&M University. With a background in both retail and tech, Krystin enjoys staying up on the latest retail and technology trends in the ecommerce industry. When she's not crafting content, Krystin enjoys traveling with her husband and volunteering with the Junior League of Austin.