In March 2022 180 Smoke conducted a vape customer survey to get a better sense of who makes up our community of vape consumers, and where they stand on some of the prevalent issues facing the vaping market these days. Back then, the survey targeted our customers in general and provided some invaluable insights into how we can and should be communicating with them.
Continuing on the path to learning more about who our customers are, sales data over the past two years indicates a significant shift in category interest. While our last survey targeted vape consumers in general, the spike in interest around disposable vapes (from almost non-existent two years ago, to 180 Smoke’s #1 category in terms of sales) had us wondering what customers who focus on that category (we sent the survey to opted-in customers who had bought a disposable product from 180 Smoke in the past six months) are interested in and, perhaps, how they’re different from the “average” vaping consumer.
Who are 180 Smoke’s disposable vape customers?
Out of the gate, 180 Smoke’s disposable vape customers seem to be younger (most falling in the 19-29 category, where the more general vape consumers were landing in the 30-39/40-49 brackets), with most identifying as she/her (versus the last survey’s primarily male respondents).
Both vape consumer groups are very educated (with a college or university degree at the very least), with a majority being employed full-time.
What are the disposable vape customer’s buying habits?
- 80% have bought disposables from 180 Smoke within the last two months
- 12% have not, but have bought disposable vape products elsewhere
- 35% currently use refillable vape devices as well
- 62% have used refillable vape devices at some point in the past
- 16% currently use pre-filled vape devices
- 83% have used pre-filled vape devices at some point in the past
- 63% prefer fruit flavour profiles
- 24% prefer mint/ice flavour profiles
- 74% buy more than one device at a time
- 80% purchase every 1-4 weeks
A key, but unfortunate finding was that a significant number of the survey respondents (disposable vape users) admitted they were unaware that disposable vape products can be recycled at 180 Smoke stores, telling us that we need to raise awareness around that opportunity/obligation:
Aside – Find out more about our recycling programs here:
- The 180 Take: Smoke-free and sustainable!
- The 180 Take: Vuse ‘Drop the Pod’ Recycling Program in Effect
Interestingly, while the category has skyrocketed over the past two years, over 30% of disposable vape survey respondents also said they were unaware of our bulk disposable discount.
Sales pitch in the middle of a survey post! Save 5% when you buy two disposable vapes, 10% when you buy three, and 15% for four or more!
What disposable vape products are customers looking for?
By its very nature, the disposable vape category is ideal for customers who like to experiment. They aren’t necessarily committed to a particular brand or flavour (yet), and they are trying to figure out which brands, flavours and devices give them the most bang for their buck.
Puff count seems to be the benchmark disposable vape customers measure against, with 40% of respondents asking for higher puff count products in the 180 Smoke catalog.
That said, it’s important to note that while puff count comes across as good way to determine if they’re getting good value for their dollar, 180 Smoke staff suggest that e-liquid capacity is typically a better indicator. The more e-liquid, the longer it will likely last, depending on your personal vaping habits.
A significant number (over 35%) are looking for more/new flavours, and over 20% want more brand selection.
Why are disposable vapes so popular?
As we mentioned above, the category makes it easy for customers to experiment in general, and for people transitioning from one device or format to another, or who are new to vaping, disposables are overwhelmingly the type of vape device customers try first.
Convenience is another factor. No refilling or maintenance is required, and you don’t have to worry (as much) if you lose it when you’re out and about.
All that said, while the survey findings didn’t specifically indicate one reason or another, we can speculate that the new federal vaping tax is also a likely motivator for disposable sales. Compared to buying e-liquid in bulk to refill traditional vape devices, disposable vapes have much less e-liquid in them, which means they are taxed less.
The federal vaping tax means retailers are being charged significantly more for products, and have to adjust pricing at the consumer level as a result meaning vape consumers will typically have to pay an extra $1 per 2mL on the first 10mL of e-liquid, plus $1 per additional 10mL. This works out to:
- $2 – $3 extra for most brands of prefilled pods, usually depending on the pack size
- $3 – $4 extra for most brands of disposable vapes, but will range from $1 – $5
- $7 extra for a 30mL bottle of nic salts
- $10 extra for 60mL e-liquids
Here at 180 Smoke, we’re going to continue sending out surveys to find out more about you, our customers, but also to learn what we can do better. With that in mind, here are some of what we feel are the more important takeaways from the disposable vape survey:
- Whatever your preference, the disposable vape category provides a lot of options
- While it seems like you might have to buy more often, due the excise tax, and, potentially, your need to try something new, the disposable category is more affordable and flexible
- Due to the, well, disposable nature of the category, it’s important to recycle and know what recycling options are available