Capturing the Coffee Craze: 5 Ways for C-Stores to Take Advantage of Rising Coffee Trends

Posted by Laura Miller on Mon, Aug 17, 2015 @ 10:51 AM

at-a-coffee-shopMore than 3 out of 4 of U.S. adults are regular coffee drinkers and more than half of them choose coffee as a daily beverage. The amount of those opting for gourmet coffee has grown in the past five years despite economic uncertainty, which shows that a growing amount of consumers are choosing to pay an extra buck for a better quality cup. How can you utilize this growing trend and bring more of those coffee drinkers into your convenience store? Here are 5 tips to take advantage of this rising trend:

Go for Quality
The third wave of coffee (a term referring to the rising trend of specialty coffee) is pushing consumers to view coffee as an artisanal food stuff, much like wine, rather than just being a source of energy. Finding a coffee roaster that puts heavy consideration into details like the origin of their coffee, ethical sourcing, and the coffee to water ratio will be imperative in bringing that quality into your store. Details like these will raise the value of your product in the eyes of your consumers and may be the factor that determines whether they stop by your store or a competing coffee shop

Allow for Customization
If the coffee at your store can taste just like your customer’s favorite Starbucks frappuccino, they will have no reason to run elsewhere for their coffee after stopping by your location. How do you accomplish this? Customization. Do you have a good selection of flavor shots? Do you have options for creamer, half and half, as well as nondairy alternatives like soy and almond milk? The more ways your customer is able to make their drink their own, the more they’ll want to stop by for coffee and other things.

Include Coffee in Your Loyalty Program
It is much better to have a loyalty program that combines rewards for different items, rather than to have a typical punch card system of buying 10 drinks and getting 1 free. This will encourage your customers to not only pick up coffee, but to also pick up lunch, oil for their vehicle, and other odd and ends that they might need.

Ensure Proper Training
Your employees are the human face of your business. Are they able to articulate to your customers the value that your coffee has to offer? Find a coffee roaster that is willing to train you and your employees on the important details that bring quality to your coffee. Empowering your employees to be passionate about the product you offer will play a heavy role in enhancing your customer’s experience.  Employees should know some quick facts about the quality of your brew and should be able to suggest their favorite blend.

Consider Your Décor
Visuals are the first part of your customer’s experience, and first impressions are everything. If your employees are busy manning the cash register, are your customers still able to see the quality in their cup? A clean and attractive display will add value and make their experience more enjoyable. Make sure the key points that indicate your coffee’s value are clearly laid out for them to appreciate. They want to feel good about what they’re buying.


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Tags: Loyalty Marketing, Convenience Stores