As establishments continue to reopen, lift restrictions and ramp up, consumers are turning to their familiar favourites, like a hot or iced cup of coffee. While many consumers begin to get out and about again, they still anticipate a slow return to “normal,” with safety top-of-mind.
How can c-store retailers attract coffee consumers in today’s environment, allowing them to make their own customized coffee while they’re on the go?
Utilize technologies that support contactless
Even though there have been changes to many c-stores’ operations in today’s environment, consumers are familiar with receiving products they can customize and still want their typical coffee. Super automatic coffee machines—where all the coffee, milk and syrups are self-contained—do all the hard work, dispensing a consistent, quality beverage on every visit.
Additionally, super automatic coffee equipment utilizes leading technologies that not only minimize contact but will also elevate a c-store’s coffee program.
Retailers can utilize paper screen protectors on the touchscreen so with just one touch of a button, consumers can become a barista. Espresso based beverage equipment can include anything from espressos, to cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and more.
Gain repeat traffic by offering variety
It’s no surprise that, according to the Allegra World Coffee Portal, black coffee is the most commonly purchased beverage on a consumer’s last visit to a coffee shop. Following black coffee, the most purchased beverages are all espresso based: latte, cappuccino, mocha, espresso and macchiato. This data shows that offering only hot, drip coffee no longer fits the bill.
Additionally, another growing category is iced beverages. This includes iced coffees, along with cold-brew and nitro coffees. By offering all hot beverages in iced versions, retailers can attract a whole new group of consumers into their store.
C-stores should offer a variety of not only traditional coffee blends, but also an array of espresso-based beverages. “C-Stores are quickly becoming a destination for specialty coffee consumers,” says John Notte, vice president of sales at Franke Coffee Systems Americas.
“Those C-Stores that are offering variety and elevating their coffee program with Bean to Cup equipment, coupled with Espresso Based equipment, are seeing success with increased cup counts and repeat traffic.”
Leverage marketing and communications
In today’s environment, it is important to maintain consumer trust with transparency. Telling consumers what changes they can expect at your establishment will provide clarity and, ultimately, comfort on what they can expect when visiting. Your transparency showcases you are taking consumers’ safety seriously.
Additionally, it is important that your marketing reflects any changes to your coffee program. If a retailer rolls out a new way to minimize contact at their coffee bar, they should communicate this change across all their media channels.
Additionally, the touchscreen features on the super automatic coffee equipment itself includes the opportunity for operators to develop advertisement images and screensavers that play on the screen while drinks are being prepared, which operators utilize to display important messages or cross-selling opportunities.
The flexibility of these applications not only makes them easy to use, but most importantly offers consumers speed and consistency with every coffee they pour. Branding on and beside the coffee bar is another marketing key, with items such as menu boards.
Finally, another way to leverage marketing is to run promotions to further drive traffic and sales. Things such as coupons, coupled with sampling, can encourage customers to visit your establishment and try something new.
Through utilizing technologies which minimize contact and offering a wide variety of espresso based beverages coupled with leveraging communications and marketing efforts; retailers can attract coffee consumers in today’s environment.
They can make their own customized beverages, which they will keep coming back for day in and day out.