In store coffee experiences to drive footfall and sales
In today’s retail environment, where consumers are king and you don’t even need to leave the house to make a purchase, the experience is vital. The saturated market offers many options and alternatives for consumers, so a first-class customer experience is the foundation of success in the retail environment. But how can you make your retail environment stand out from the rest?
It’s all about the experience…
According to a recent Barclaycard survey, more than half of UK consumers would rather pay for an “enjoyable experience” rather than a material item. The same Barclaycard survey also found that the same number of people would recommend a good brand experience to their friends over the product itself. In recent years, there has been a shift towards an experience-led retail environment, where retailers offer unique or interactive experiences in-store in an attempt to not only entice new customers into the shop, but to improve loyalty amongst existing clients.
Modern technology makes it quick and easy for consumers to download a smartphone app, or go to a web address, and shop their favourite brands from the comfort of their own home, so it’s no surprise that the British high street is struggling. According to Deloitte, 2018 saw a 36% increase in store closures compared to 2017. To entice your customers to visit your stores, rather than purchase online, you must offer something different and put a focus on the end-to-end retail experience, not just the specific products or services they are buying. With an increasingly competitive market, it’s imperative that what you offer is better than your competitors. Perhaps the most effective way of improving and diversifying your retail offering is by offering an in-store coffee experience.
The in-store coffee experience
The concept of selling or offering coffee in a retail store is not a new one. Back in the early 1990s, book shops began to partner with coffee shops and coffee roasters to provide in-store coffee. They were onto something. Aside from diversifying your retail experience, offering coffee to your clients can help keep them in the shop longer and build brand loyalty to keep them coming back. A first-class coffee experience can also help build a sense of community, which is particularly important in big cities, such as London, Manchester or Birmingham. In these places, not only can consumers choose between visiting a physical shop or ordering online, they also often have a variety of stores to choose from. To ensure a consumer chooses your store, rather than one down the road, it’s crucial to offer something that will enhance their experience.
Choosing the right coffee experience for the consumer is important, but so is partnering with the right brand. Your coffee offering must be aligned with your company brand and values or you risk alienating loyal customers. The bottom line is that regardless of what you’re selling in-store, to survive both local and digital competition your survival depends on your ability to adapt to what your customer wants.
Developing the right in-store coffee experience for your brand
Traditionally, coffee offerings in retail spaces have been sub-par. However, this will no longer be accepted by the modern consumer. Consumers in the UK are developing a much deeper understanding of the coffee they drink, and consequently the expectations of the average consumer have grown massively. We are becoming coffee connoisseurs. We know our flat whites from our lattes and our cold brew from our frappuccinos. We won’t put up with anything but the best, whether we’re drinking coffee at home, in a coffee shop, in the office, or even a in retail space. In order to maximise on the potential returns of offering an in-store coffee experience, you must be certain that you’re providing a great cup of coffee.
It won’t matter if you have the best coffee beans in the world if you’re using a cheap and ineffective coffee machine to brew it. Similarly, your professional, high-quality machine won’t matter if you buy substandard beans. Find a partner that can offer both the best coffee machine, and the top quality beans to go with it.
So, how do I do it?
You don’t necessarily need to forgo space that could be used to sell your products, or spend a fortune to kit out a huge area to offer in-store coffee. Start with a top-quality coffee machine that you can rely on to deliver in a busy environment, and add a few chairs nearby. Of course, a dedicated “cafe” space can be useful, but many shops offer a great cup of coffee with the expectation that it is consumed whilst customers are browsing. There are no hard and fast rules to providing an in-store coffee experience, so you have the freedom to work it around you and what your customers want. Perhaps combine your coffee experience with your digital retail platform by allowing customers to browse your products online whilst they sip their favourite beverage?
Similarly, the decision to sell cups of coffee or offer as complimentary is completely unique to you and your business. Offering a complimentary drink as your customers browse can be a great way to attract customers and build loyalty, however selling coffee can help bolster your sales and income.
Introducing TopBrewer – Innovative retail coffee concept…
The revolutionary app-controlled TopBrewer coffee tap is centred around offering a premium coffee ‘experience’ with the ability to personalise drinks, making it ideal for retail spaces looking to offer hassle-free barista quality beverages with a difference. It is minimal and modular to make creating a self-sufficient coffee unit (with optional branding) simple, and is ideal for self-service (with or without contactless payment). With this in mind, you can be sure that customers will receive a first-class experience in a unique way, without taking up precious floor space. All TopBrewer coffees are made with specialty grade, directly-traded coffee beans which are picked and blended to complement the TopBrewer. There’s a coffee to suit every taste, whether you prefer a delicate, sweet Ethiopian single origin coffee, or a rich, full-bodied dark roast blend.
Providing great coffee isn’t the only way to offer a unique retail experience. Perhaps offering filtered water or fresh juices is more aligned with your brand, products or services? No worries, the TopBrewer coffee machine can also serve fresh, filtered still and sparkling water, and its sister product, TopJuicer, serves fresh still and sparkling juice in 6 delicious flavours. Leading sportswear retailer, Asics, offer premium still and sparkling juice free of charge to guests in their flagship London store using the sleek TopJuicer at the till points.