Finding the right balance of technology for any business can be hard. It’s especially difficult for coffee shops and cafes, where ambiance is just as important as what’s on the menu. If you have too much technology, you may lose customers who are looking for a cozy place to sit and write the next great American novel. Have too little technology, though, and your business could be suffering.
While some technology like digital menu boards and online ordering depend on a business’ individual needs, there are some things that are must-haves for every coffee shop and cafe.
If there’s one thing customers have come to expect in coffee shops and cafes these days, it’s free wi-fi. The romantic ideal of going to a cafe to order your favorite coffee drink and relaxing with your laptop hasn’t gone away. While wi-fi does result in customers taking up seating space for a longer amount of time, it also could help boost sales. People are more likely to come back up to the counter and place a second order the longer they hang out.
While most customers will still only stick around for a little while, the select few who do stay longer than an hour will no doubt order multiple times in one sitting. This not only increases your sales that day, but is also helpful in helping turn new faces into repeat customers.
More people are accessing the web via smartphones and tablets than desktop computers. That means your website needs to look good on mobile devices. If potential customers are out and about and search for a coffee shop nearby, you want your online to catch their eye. If your website looks good on mobile, it may be the thing that makes them choose your shop over someone else’s.
The best way to get customers coming back into your coffee shop is through a loyalty program. With coffee being something that some people buy every day, having a loyalty program that regularly rewards members will help increase daily sales. Enticing people with a free pastry or a discount on their next latte is the best way to turn every-now-and-then customers into everyday regulars.
Connecting your program to your coffee shop’s CRM is also crucial. People expect to be able to provide their name or phone number at checkout instead of worrying about keeping track of another card. This is a double win for you, as it helps you keep track of what your repeat customers are ordering and what they prefer.
In-Depth Business Analytics
With over 30,000 specialty coffee shops in the United States alone, it’s important to keep track of exactly what’s happening in your cafe. Knowing what your customers like is important. As specialty and gourmet coffee drinks become more and more popular, you need to stay on top of which drinks are selling and which are just taking up space on the menu. Most POS systems offer some form of business tools, but being able to see in-depth data instead of just a few select weekly reports is what differentiates a decent system and a great system.
Sometimes it’s not necessarily about what sells the most. Real-time analytics help you determine not only what’s popular, but what’s most profitable for your business. If there’s a specialty drink that your customers love but is costing you too much to make, you’ll be able to see that in your reports. This can also help you determine which drinks might make good seasonal selections as opposed to year-round menu options.