In order to get more customers to your coffee shop, you need to create awareness of your coffee, your shop location, and your products. With a plethora of options to choose from and all your competitors doing the same, it’s super challenging to know what’s going to work and what’s going to be a waste of your time, energy, and money.
So you need to wade through all your options and pull out some choices that aren’t expensive or challenging that will help increase customer base and revenue. Something that can help set you apart from the other coffee shops in your area and the larger chains, without being a complete time sink. You might be pulling your hair out thinking this isn't possible, but it certainly is. There are many little things you can do which will get you the required effect. Here are 5 simple coffee shop marketing ideas that will actually work for your business:
4. Host Events
1. Offer Free Wi-Fi And Outlets
So you may be wondering how providing free Wi-Fi and outlets for plugging in and charging devices could possibly be considered a marketing idea. Surely it’s just a service? Well, it is and it isn’t. But you can certainly utilise this service to get all sorts of marketing from it.
In the first instance, if you provide free Wi-Fi and outlets around your coffee shop, then your customers will stay in your shop longer, and the longer they’re there, the more likely they are to buy something. So on the very basic level, free internet is a fantastic ploy to keep your existing customers for longer and make them want to come back again and again. Studies have shown that customers spend over 60% more time in shops with free Wi-Fi and spend 50% more money, too.
There are also some additional things you can do with the free Wi-Fi you offer so that you really get the most out of it. You can have your Wi-Fi open up your Facebook page when your customers log on. You can arrange to have it pop up with a request to leave a review, or a 'like' for your shop’s page. Some confident shop owners even make customers leave a review or a like before they get full access to the internet, which could work wonders for your business. Other coffee shop owners require customers to create a log-in which allows them to capture that person's email address and asks if they would like to 'opt in' to receiving promotional information or newsletters via email. All of these are great additions to get the most out of your free Wi-Fi.
But don’t go cheap. You can’t get a basic home package with almost no speed at all. You have to get a business package, designed for multiple devices, otherwise, your customers will be annoyed by the slow loading speeds. It might seem like a big expense which might worry you, but you can almost guarantee a high return on investment. A recent study by Samsung found that 37% of customers choose coffee shops on quality of the free Wi-Fi over the quality of drinks, which really pinpoints just how important free Wi-Fi is for your business. Probably more than you thought.
2. Utilise Your Coffee Supplier
Another head scratcher? How can you utilise your coffee supplier in terms of marketing? Well, your supplier is exceedingly unlikely to just have you as a customer. They’ll serve other people in your area, and many of them will be private individuals who like that particular coffee over others, say supermarket brands. Give your supplier some leaflets or vouchers, and ask them if they wouldn’t mind handing them to their private customers in the area. Chances are, they’re the kind of customers who’ll be really interested as they’ll be able to have their home coffee taste they know and love.
Your supplier won’t be adverse to it and they’re unlikely to think your request crazy or cheeky. In essence, they’ll be promoting their own coffee and gaining more customers and revenue for your shop, which only serves your supplier more. It’s a win-win situation for you both.
3. Use Social Media
Social media is the biggest marketing tool of the century and you’d be wise to follow suit. You may already have a Facebook page, but are you posting? Having a barren, empty, hollow Facebook page can be worse than having none at all. Posting regularly will get your page more likes and, therefore, more potential customers.
Posts can range from various topics. You can share videos of your baristas in action, photos of your products, or seasonal menus. You can share industry news but better still, you could share blog posts from your own website. You may include daily specials, coupon codes, and even promote your blog posts on your social media account. Customers also like website links, opening hours, reviews, and photos to be posted on social media.
Social Media is fantastic for customer engagement, too. You can encourage visitors to take a picture of themselves or their drinks in your shop and share on social media and even check-in at your establishment online. All of these situations offer great marketing and promotion for your coffee shop while also being able to engage and interact with your customers.
4. Host Events
Having activities and events held at your coffee shop is a fantastic way to create awareness of your business and increase the amount of customers coming through your door. Events can be anything from poetry readings, book signings, book clubs, and other artsy events. You’d be amazed at how many people go to a coffee shop they’ve never been to before for an event they’re interested in, who then return to that shop regularly after discovering it through these means.
While visitors are at the event, not only will they buy your products, but if you hand out vouchers for 20% off, or buy one get one free, or whatever you can afford, just for the people who came to the event, you’ll also increase the likelihood of them returning in future. And you’ll get to see just how many of them came back when you count the number of vouchers handed in over the following weeks. Then it’s really easy to determine your return on investment from the costs of hosting an event and decide whether you’ll do it again in the future.
5. Put Out Pavement Signs
We’ve saved the best one for last. Pavement signs have proven to be a huge marketing strategy recently and a huge trend on social media for good ones. On the very basis, studies have found that the top way customers go to a new shop is by passing the physical location and deciding on the spot that they fancy a coffee. So you need to have a shop front - and interior decor - that’s going to grab your potential customers’ attention and make them think of that hot, delicious, satisfying lifeforce you’re supplying. And pavement signs are the perfect way to do that. You can have so much fun with it, too.
Coffee puns are fun ways of grabbing a passerby’s attention. Displaying a deal you have or a new product you have available at the minute is also good. You can be as crazy or as sane as you like; either way, it’s getting you noticed and will increase the number of customers through your door. A simple chalkboard sign is exceedingly inexpensive and then you can change what it says every so often to keep your shop fresh and innovative. There are even chalk pens available so you can create more elaborate chalkboard creations with artistic flair (that aren’t easy for people to erase).
It is possible to fork out for a plastic or metal, suave-looking sign with your coffee shop name and brand on. But for the price and the fact that you’re stuck with what is says forever, it doesn’t really make all that much sense in comparison to the chalkboard alternative. Have a look at some fantastic examples below and have fun while increasing the footfall of your business.
These coffee shop marketing ideas are really simple to execute and you should begin to see noticeable increases in your custom and how busy your shop is in general.
How Else Can You Keep Customers Coming Back To Your Shop?
Decreasing the number of slips and trips in your coffee shop is an important way of ensuring your customers return again and again. Long wait times due to dropped frappes or lattes spilled all over the table (or worse, the customer!), is not the way to gain loyal customers. You need to protect yourself from slips and falls with specialist coffee shop shoes.
Take a look at our free guide on how to turn your restaurant/coffee shop from good to great!