Many popular coffee shops use Shopify to launch online stores. And under the circumstances where going out is restricted or the cafe is not open, you will drink coffee more often at home.
With the growing demand for online coffee, there are special opportunities for existing cafe owners who want to focus on online sales and those who want to start a new coffee business.
If you’re thinking of opening a coffee shop or roastery e-commerce site, you’re wondering what to do now. Let’s check one by one.
Is Online Coffee Profitable?
With the right marketing strategy and strong brand power, the coffee business can be money. Coffee is a readily available product and there is a lot of competition in the industry, but don’t be scared.
Consider the benefits of coffee, a product that is in high demand.
- The purchasing base is huge. As coffee is widely consumed around the world, there are a huge number of potential customers that even existing coffee brands are untouched by.
- Take advantage of small brands. Larger brands are generally considered to have higher quality and better service. But this is not the case with coffee. Customers are more responsive to branding, and small brands also have an advantage.
- There is a niche opportunity. Coffee is branding-dependent, so there is room for creativity in niche areas. It is possible to sell to a specific minority group.
There are benefits to selling widely available products. In many respects, it’s easy to sell. Customers are already in a state of wanting a product, so all they have to do is make them want to buy it from you.
6 steps To Start a Coffee Business Online
If you are already a cafe owner and want to move to online sales, you can skip to step 6. For those who are new to the coffee business, the journey begins with beans.
- Decide whether to drop shipping or home roasting
- Find a supplier
- Identify niche areas
- Decide what kind of product to sell
- Build a brand
- Prepare an online shop
1. Decide Whether To Drop Shipping or Home Roasting
If you’re a cafe owner with a supply structure, this step is already complete. If you’re new to the coffee business, it’s important to understand your role in trading.
Online coffee shops will procure goods in one of two ways. Dropshipping or home roasting. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so consider which method suits you best.
Dropshipping is a business model that outsources product management and delivery to a third-party manufacturer.
- Advantages: Fixed costs are reduced and the amount of work that can be outsourced increases.
- Disadvantage: It is difficult to control the product.
- It fits People who want to focus on marketing and branding rather than coffee. Dropshipping beans makes it easier to spend more time building your business.
- Not fit Experienced roasters, cafe owners, or anyone interested in practical business operations.
If you prefer a hands-on approach to your products, you may want to roast your coffee beans yourself and sell them online. In the case of home roasting, the amount of work is of course increased, but it is also rewarding.
- Advantage: Direct control over the product is possible.
- Disadvantages: Increases the amount of work and takes time.
- It fits: If you are willing to learn roasting techniques and have the time or staff to help you.
- It doesn’t fit: If you don’t have much time to do business, you have limited resources, or you’re more interested in marketing or business operations.
Whichever method you choose, you will follow the same principles when it comes to marketing your business. Once you have made this choice, move on to the next step in finding a supplier.
2 Find a Supplier
Often overlooked, product procurement is not a minor factor. From the customer’s point of view, the supplier of the product is not a business separated from you, but an extension of you. If your supplier provides poor quality beans, your brand will be hit.
Marketing is very important in the coffee business, but once you offer low-quality products, no matter how hard you try in marketing, you can’t make up for it.
Even if you roast the beans yourself, you still need a supplier to provide the raw beans, so it’s important to know how to find one.
Keep the following in mind when looking for a supplier:
- Product quality. Order a sample to make sure it meets the standards you require. A good, experienced roaster will answer your questions about what makes your product better than the competition.
- Customer service. The supplier should be the one who will share the information you want with the process of improving the product in the future. If the customer service of the supplier is good, you can also deliver good customer service to your customers.
- price. I don’t think you’ll be dealing with a vendor that is far outside the expected price range, but keep in mind that sometimes you have to sell your product at a higher price. You need to consider a price that your customers will be comfortable with.
In the long run, we will build good relationships with our suppliers that are dependent on each other.
Find a supplier as if it were a job interview. It goes without saying that the other person is competent, but it is also important to look for colleagues to work with.
3. Identify 3 Niche Areas
Because coffee is a commodity product, consumers are more responsive to branding when making a purchase. In short, finding the right niche area is essential to brand development.
What Is a Niche?
A niche market is a small market that is often overlooked by specific needs and preferences. Large markets can generally be divided into more fragmented niche segments. It is usually sorted by price range, demographics, interests, values, hobbies, location, etc.
What Are The Benefits Of Narrowing The Niche?
When a new business sells to a niche market, it can be more competitive to lay the foundation because it can limit competition.
Large markets are usually already red oceans and it’s not easy to compete with the big ones.
However, if you focus on the sub-genre, you can get attention even for small brands by focusing on the purchasing group that the major brands do not support.
How To Find a Coffee Niche Market
This can be a bit tricky, but it’s a good idea to start by asking yourself about your potential customer base and your strengths and interests.
- What is your ideal customer?
- What are their specific needs and pain points?
- What problems can your product solve for your customers?
Finding a niche area quickly is difficult, but it’s easier to narrow down and segment your audience and think about their unique needs.
Here Are Some Exercises To Get Creative Ideas.
- Google search and suggestions. Use Google Suggest, etc. to find clues and try and error in order to grasp different perspectives, trends, pain points, etc. from existing competitors.
- Mind map. A mind map is a diagram that arranges related words and concepts around a central idea.
- Keyword search. Sifting search results can help you validate niche ideas and potential demand for a particular search word.
- Online community. People gather around topics of interest online. Industry bulletin boards, subreddits, social media accounts, etc. are great sources of niche discovery.
This step is brainstorming. Give a lot of ideas, good or bad, and then sharpen and combine them.Instead of seeking the perfect idea, we pick up a few ideas and pick the best one out of them. Being able to start with a good idea is an advantage, but “how to execute an idea” is more important.
How To Determine If It’s a Good Niche?
There are several ways to validate a product idea, but after all, a good niche area has an audience. Here’s how to find out if it’s an idea that has an audience.
- Build your own audience. It may take some time, but it is possible to increase the audience of SNS and bring them together.
- Test with a soft launch. Target a small audience to collect feedback and expand into larger operations.
- Further keyword search. Check the volume of your keyword search to determine if you can potentially generate high sales.
4. Decide What Kind Of Product To Sell
Once you’ve discovered a niche, you might want to start developing your brand, but don’t panic. At this stage, the priority is to establish the products to sell rather than branding.
It goes without saying that we sell roasted coffee beans, but by selling other brand products in addition to coffee, we can diversify our products and lead to a stable business over the long term.
The following are common products that coffee shops can sell. In addition, permission may be required to start manufacturing and selling each product, so please check in advance.
- Baked goods that can be shipped, such as bite-sized cakes and cookies.
- Products with a coffee scent, such as candles and air fresheners.
- Coffee flavored foods such as chocolate and ice cream.
- Related products such as coffee machines, kettles, pots, and canisters.
- Warm drinks such as tea and hot chocolate.
- Branded coffee mugs (Other print-on-demand products are also acceptable, but limit branded goods. Don’t be weird like “a T-shirt shop that also sells coffee.” )
What you sell depends on your branding. However, since it is a coffee brand, it should be limited to coffee-related products.
A sloppy product mix that is less relevant obscures the brand identity and makes it difficult to make the brand stand out.
5. Build 5 Brands
Once you’ve decided on a niche area, supplier, and product for sale, start branding. A strongly defined brand helps maintain consistency and credibility in marketing.
With so many coffee brands, coffee companies need to stand out. Your success depends on how emotionally your brand is associated with your niche element.
1 Understand Your Target Audience
A brand’s personality derives from features that can be imagined from a typical customer image. To move your brand forward, you need to have a good understanding of how your target audience speaks, what’s important to them, and what they sympathize with.
2 Think About How To Speak That Resonates With The Audience
Once you understand your audience, think about your brand’s personality and character. Extract words that are likely to be associated with your brand and factors that make a difference. Think about value propositions as well.
3 Decide On a Brand Name
Determining the name of the store will be the first big commitment. Logos, domains, marketing, and many other factors are influenced by your brand name. Try using a business name generator, get feedback from focus groups, and more.
4 Choose Brand Colors And Fonts
Color psychology is quite important in marketing. Brand colors affect the image your company receives from your company, and slight differences in color create a different impression. The bright neon green looks playful, while the calm forest green gives a more introspective impression.
5 Write a Brand Mission
Consider a catchy mission that defines your brand. Be careful not to make common copywriting mistakes. We also do our own e-commerce copywriting research, strive to understand the competition and refine your ideas until they are unique to your business.
6 Design Logo
The logo will appear on your branded products, social media profiles, packaging, storefronts, and many other places. Therefore, it occupies a very important aspect of marketing. Branding is especially important in coffee marketing, so you should take the time to create a good logo.
7 Adapt Branding As Your Business Grows
Strong brands can be consistent no matter where they interact with their customers. The selection of themes and the packaging of products are part of the brand. I’m not saying that a brand needs growth or evolution, but clear and coherent branding makes the company easier to remember.
6. Prepare An Online Shop
Whether you want to bring your physical store online or start your business from scratch, you need an online shop.
Once you have a clear brand concept and decided on colors, fonts, logos, etc., you are ready to design your shop.
The Latest Version Of The Shopify Store Opening Guide Has Been Released
Open an online shop on Shopify. This guidebook explains how to use Shopify to open your store.
Download the guidebook
1 Start a Free Trial Of Shopify
If you haven’t started Shopify yet, start a free trial to name your store. From there, you can start setting up your online shop.
2 Choose a Theme And Customize Your Online Shop
Go to the Shopify Theme Store and choose a theme that suits your brand. Later, you can further customize the theme according to the branding of the store .
Many cafes and roasteries have already opened online shops using Shopify. Here, we will introduce an example to you.
3 Creating a Basic Page
We will start by designing the homepage, and then create basic pages such as notation based on the Specified Commercial Transactions Law, shipping FAQ, return policy, and inquiry page.
4 Add Products And Collections
Take a product photo, write a product description, and create a product page. Collecting products into a collection makes it easier for customers to browse the store.
5 Set Shipping Options
Unexpected shipping costs can result in profits, so you need to make sure that your shipping charges are set properly in advance.
First, add a delivery area to identify the deliverable location. Then select the option to set the shipping charges.
- Setting and warehouses of goods by shipping When there is more than one dispatch from the location closest to perform the setting that is, delivery profile use.
- Use manual shipping charges to customize shipping charges according to weight and total purchase.
- By setting up local delivery, you can offer the option of delivering products directly to customers who are close to your business location.
Be sure to check out our detailed guide to over- the- counter pick-up options for safe shipping options that minimize contact.
6 Set Payment Options
Make sure Shopify payments or external service payment methods are enabled so that you can make payments and complete transactions.
7 Announcement Of Shop Opening
When your supplier, branding, and online shop are ready, let your existing clients and social media followers know about the opening. There are several ways to signal the opening of a shop.
- Email marketing. Notifications will be sent to the mail list. You may want to offer a discount for first-time buyers. This will help you grow your email marketing and retain your loyal customers.
- Notice at the store. If there is a store, put a notice on the door to let them know that the online shop has started. It’s a simple method, but it’s an effective way to get customers directly online.
- Notification by SNS. A targeted campaign to announce the grand opening of an online shop is the best way to create a buzz.
- Local list update. Don’t underestimate Google search. Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to update your business listings on Google and the web. Customers use Google to collect store opening hours and information, so being able to inform these people about an online shop should be a great help in generating traffic.
Introduction To Coffee Marketing: About Online Coffee Sales
When you announce the opening of the store, the initial traffic may be pretty good. However, an effective marketing strategy is essential to maintain continuous sales. You need to appeal to the niche areas and industry trends of your choice.
While there are marketing principles that apply to any product, coffee is a bit unique and marketing importance is essential to business success.
Why Marketing Is Important In The Coffee Industry
Marketing will also have a fundamental role in any industry, but in the case of coffee on the nature of the product, 2 you will be strongly dependent on the marketing of results for one big reason.
1 Commodity product. Since it is a general commodity product, branding is likely to be a trigger when deciding which product to buy.
2 High personal preference. Coffee, in contrast to well-established brands, is a product that people are willing to buy from small brands.
The combination of these factors is a great advantage in building brand loyalty, but it also means that marketing is paramount in the coffee industry.
How To Promote Coffee Online
When it comes to the coffee business, narrowing down your niche is especially important in your marketing strategy. You need to find a coffee enthusiast community to differentiate yourself from other brands.
It’s up to you how to brand your products, but be aware that there are common elements to attract coffee lovers.
1. Utilization Of Social Media Is The Key
Social media marketing is paramount online. SNS accounts are the main axis of brand differentiation.
Brand strategy awareness on social media contributes to brand awareness, helping to maintain an existing fan base and quickly communicate important information to customers.
2. Photo And Video Content Is Effective In Attracting Coffee Lovers
On social media, brand growth relies heavily on photo and video marketing. Video content is more engaged than content in other formats. Videos are also an effective learning tool because they are easier to understand visually than text.
If you’re looking for content marketing ideas, consider what your audience might be interested in or want to learn. User-participatory videos, such as hands-on recipes and commentary videos, are also effective for branding.
You can think of videos of making sweets that you want to enjoy with coffee, and content that shows behind the scenes of cultivation until the product is made.
3. Post Regularly
Post your content regularly, at least once a week. You don’t have to use all SNS platforms. As a matter of fact, first, 1 collected the audience to concentrate on one of the platforms, it is best to migrate from an increasing number of followers to other platforms.
You should not underestimate the importance of posting regularly. Users who see more content tend to like your brand more. This is a phenomenon called the mere exposure effect. If you like the brand, you will have a lot more chances to buy it.
4. Try To Get a Good Impression
The “social” part of social media is important. According to research and research, social media users are very concerned about brand credibility when following a brand.
Especially in the case of small businesses, being honest about the weaknesses of the company and the substance of its operations is effective in gaining trust and loyalty.
Communication with the audience is also important. Respond to comments on your post or like it. Listen to the lively conversations in the social circle.
Keeping in mind that coffee is a personal product, building a personal relationship with users will greatly contribute to the growth of your business.
Let’s Launch An Online Shop!
Coffee is loved all over the world. Whether cafe owners shift to online sales or new businesses enter the industry, your new coffee shop can provide a rich experience for coffee lovers.
Creating a distinctive brand is not straightforward. But by using the right tools to get an accurate picture of the challenges you face, you can create your dream coffee brand from scratch.