Within the last few years, subscription services have moved from movies and TV shows to cheese, underwear, lotion, and yes, even coffee. How can you integrate that into your coffee shop? A coffee subscription service! If you're wondering what that looks like, we're here to tell you!
What is a Coffee Subscription Service?
A coffee subscription service works differently than most other subscription services -- rather than mailing something to your customers, they pre-pay for coffee each month and come to your shop to redeem it. You can either charge a monthly flat rate for unlimited cups of coffee or charge a specific price for a number of cups of coffee (ex. $20 for 12 cups of coffee). However you price it, a coffee subscription service is sure to bring returning customers to your shop!
Why Offer a Coffee Subscription Service?
Much like any punch card or loyalty program, the main purpose of a coffee subscription service is to give customers a reason to come back to your coffee shop. If they've already paid for your coffee, they won't want to get coffee anywhere else! With your coffee subscription priced reasonably, customers will be motivated to come back.
How Can You Offer a Coffee Subscription Service in Your Coffee Shop?
Much like rewards cards, there's a myriad of ways you can offer coffee subscriptions. You can do this with an app (like Recurring Billing by ReCharge on Shopify) or with a physical card like you would have a punch card. There are positives and negatives for both options.
Using an App
Pros: Apps are an easy way to integrate more services into your business. If you already have an e-commerce presence with online ordering or your digital loyalty program, an app will be the easiest way to add a subscription service to your business. Your customers can easily add their pre-paid coffee to any mobile order.
Cons: If you don't already use e-commerce for your coffee shop, you'll have to start. You can't have a digital coffee subscription service without using some sort of e-commerce platform. This can be more expensive than you want to pay.
Using a Physical Card
Pros: If you opt for a physical card, your customers will have the opportunity to buy it in-store rather than using mobile ordering. The only fees for physical cards would be the actual printing, you wouldn't have to worry about paying for an e-commerce platform.
Cons: When using a physical card, there's always a risk of the customers misplacing it or copying it. In this case, you may need to give each customer a number or ID so the cards aren't transferred or copied. Don't let this small bit of extra work stop you, though. It may still be worth it to have physical cards.
Should You Offer a Coffee Subscription Service in Your Coffee Shop?
Coffee subscription services are a great way to motivate customers to return to your coffee shop. When considering if you should implement a coffee subscription service in your coffee shop, you need to consider a few things: your regular customers and your most popular items.
Do you have a substantial number of regular customers? Are they responsive to rewards programs? If you do have a substantial number of regulars and they like rewards programs, a coffee subscription could be a great service for your business.
Your Most Popular Items
Do you have a few stand-out items? Do your regular customers buy one thing more than anything else? You could offer your most popular items or item to be prepaid for. Make sure whatever you offer is something your customers already love.
A coffee subscription service might be a great option for your coffee shop. It gives your customers more incentive to be loyal to your shop. They'll love how easily they can prepay for drinks. Not only can they buy this service for themselves, but they can also easily give this subscription as a gift too! It's a great idea for your coffee shop.