With so many coffee drinkers all around the world, knowing how to start a coffee shop online can be a great business idea.
However, many people who dream to start a coffee business are usually intimidated by its substantial startup costs.
Buying equipment, renting a space, and hiring employees are all high costs that make a brick-and-mortar coffee shop a little risky. But with today’s digitally inclined world, almost any business can be run online successfully.
We have created this guide to tell you how to start a coffee shop online so that you can sell lots of coffee and have a great brand name without even opening a physical store.
If you have a passion for coffee and an entrepreneurial spirit but don’t want to break the bank, this could just be the thing for you.
Let’s look at 10 things you need to consider if you’re wondering how to start a coffee shop online.
1. Find Your Target Audience
The first step in how to start a coffee shop online is finding the right target audience for it.
As an online coffee business, you will have two types of customers: individual customers and local coffee shops or other kinds of businesses.
Every group has different needs in a coffee provider, and it is essential to know your target audience before deciding what type of coffee you will sell.
Cafes might prefer buying large bags of whole beans which are easy to grind fresh daily, a busy restaurant might prefer pre-portioned ground coffee for consistent brewing.
Individual customers would likely buy single-serve capsules or bags of ground or whole coffee beans to use at home. Choosing a niche market for your online coffee store is usually the best way for narrowing your customer base.
Search your .store domain NOW!
2. Decide On The Type Of Coffee
Once you know your target audience, you can determine what type of coffee to sell to best suit their needs.
Decide if you want to offer cups for Keurig, coffee beans, pods for Nespresso, or a combination.
While some coffee drinkers own single-cup machines, and some use drip-brew machines, you have to decide what type you want to provide.
A great way of deciding what products you want to sell is by looking at what your competitors are selling.
You will need to offer products that set your business apart on one hand but also keep up with current coffee trends on the other.
3. Build Your Brand Image
Irrespective of how delicious your coffee is, a poor brand image can have a considerable negative impact on your sales.
Building a strong brand image is an important step in how to start a coffee shop online because customers won’t get the chance to try your product before buying.
Your brand image should tell people what your company stands for and what your coffee is about.
Many coffee companies have gained success by articulating specific values through just their name, website content, logo, and even their packaging.
A creative and memorable name, a unique logo, how you package your coffee, will all play a role in creating a particular impression about your brand on customers.
Find that special something that distinguishes your brand and your coffee and use it to inspire your brand image.
4. Build A Stellar Website
Since you won’t have a physical store to sell your coffee this is the most important step of how to start a coffee shop online.
Your eCommerce website would be your storefront, and you should design it with the same thought and care that you would spend in decorating a physical coffee shop.
Create an appealing website with an easy-to-use interface so that your customers enjoy their experience on it.
Make it look professional and clean so that your customers feel confident in placing an order.
Having a streamlined website will encourage purchases if customers can easily find and buy what they are looking for.
Ensure that your site looks great on both desktop and mobile and loads quickly as well.
Search your .store domain NOW!
5. Consider Starting With An eCommerce Platform
If setting up a website seems like a lot, you could consider building your storefront on an eCommerce platform when thinking about how to start a coffee shop online.
Your online store must have a shopping cart feature that allows customers to complete their purchases and make their payments easily online.
Popular eCommerce platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify, and Squarespace can help you design an attractive site for your coffee shop, as they provide customizable website designs and user-friendly checkout functions.
6. Build A Business Plan
Before starting any business, you would need a business plan, and the same applies to an online coffee shop too. Your business plan should cover details like:
- What is your business exactly about
- How will it be profitable
- Your target market
- Your competitors
- Sales and revenue projections
- Milestones and goals
It’s always a good idea to create a single page pitch before writing the traditional long-form business plan.
It will allow you to validate your business idea and quickly get a good sense of your target market, how you are going to reach it, and the ways in which you can differentiate yourself from competitors.
7. Find A Great Coffee Supplier
Choosing the right coffee supplier is important to the success of your coffee shop online.
The taste of your coffee and the quality of your service are majorly dependent on your supplier.
Consider the following things when deciding on your supplier:
- They supply the right quality coffee as per your needs
- They have fast turnaround times to quickly complete your orders
- They must function with low minimums to make it easy for you to start
- They provide outstanding customer service
8. Build Your Online Content
Just like any online business is dependent on digital marketing, so is your coffee shop online.
You will need to create and post good content to engage with your audience and tell them more about your brand, your coffee, or about coffee in general.
Create a blog that revolves around coffee so that you can optimize it for search and attract a huge audience for your coffee shop website.
You can also post high-quality pictures of your product and tasty recipe videos using your coffee or of snacks to munch with your coffee.
9. Build Your Brand
Building your brand’s presence on social media is another great digital marketing strategy to drive traffic and increase sales.
Social media sites like Instagram and Facebook allow you to connect with customers and even build a strong network.
Use social media to create brand awareness and build an audience for your brand.
The bigger your audience is, the larger your customer base, and ultimately the bigger grows your brand.
10. Build Loyal Customers
Ultimately what you would need for the success of your coffee shop online is a loyal customer base.
When your customers love your product, they will recommend it to friends and family, share your content, and even make repeat purchases from you, and that’s how you will grow.
Provide them with great customer service so that they are happy to stay with your brand.
You can also give them incentives to earn their loyalty and to get them to recommend you to others.
With this guide, we have told you in detail how to start a coffee shop online so that you can own a successful business without opening a brick and mortar store.
By following all the above-mentioned steps, you can grow your coffee brand into a lucrative business and convert your love for coffee into a profit.