With holidays just around the corner, the frenzy in coffee shops has gone from just your normal caffeine-loving crew to a hoard of frantic customers looking over all the merchandise that your store has to offer for last minute stocking stuffers. If you are looking to get a leg up on the gift giving game then consider offering specialty classes, tastings, and demos of your products to be purchased for loved ones. Your coffee shop has a lot more to offer than just it’s products for customers looking to give their loved ones the ultimate coffee lovers present. Or even a treat for themselves, in the hectic buying season your customers may be trying to slip away from the frenzy and just enjoy a moment to learn and of course, sip an excellent cup of coffee. The holiday season may seem like a time where hundreds of faces blow in and out of your store, but it is also an excellent time to connect, or perhaps reconnect with loyal customers who are looking for a friendly oasis. In this article, we will break down three different offers you can provide your customers, and how to prepare for them for the ultimate experience that may just provide you extra customer loyalty.
One of the most interesting things you can offer is personalized or group demos of the coffee making process. Select special ways that you create the perfect cup of coffee, or let your baristas select their specialties to demonstrate to your guests. Not only will this bring in loyal customers, it will bring in new customers eager to learn and sip a cup of coffee in the meantime! You can either offer these demos for free during the height of holiday shopping, or you can sell individual passes for after hour or early morning group demonstrations. These demonstrations should include something out of the ordinary for your customers to enjoy, whether it’s your baristas special latte art or a demo on how to grind and blend your way to your own perfect cup of holiday blend. Or perhaps you sell specialty brewing devices covered in interactive buttons, pulley levers, and hissing hoses, a great way to break the ice between complicated systems and a nervous customer is demonstrations of these machines in a fun and friendly manner. If even after a demo you notice that these complicated gizmos are not flying off the shelf, consider offering your demo machine at a discount, to give you a little space at your own counter, and to really convince a customer that the delicious espresso they tasted is just a discounted purchase away. As long as there is a clear takeaway in your advertisement and it highlights your cafes abilities to produce excellent products, your costumers will be thrilled to give this special gift to a friend.
In the same vein as demonstrations, offering tastings can provide a great gift for your favorite coffee fanatic. A flight of new coffees or even a popular coffee cupping session in which your customers can learn to expertly sip and try new blends is a great way of showing off your product while also teaching a new skill. When prepping for a cupping or tasting session think of ideas that make it both fun and educational. Perhaps try a cupping with a pairing, or create a game out of the session to encourage conversation amongst your clients. The last thing you want for a holiday-themed tasting gift is a room full of quiet and shy customers and a very unenthusiastic employee talking about aromas. The actual skill of cupping allows for customers to learn the differences between each brew by identifying key factors like flavor, aroma, and acidity. A fun cupping event is a quick lesson about soils and regions and then having your customers try to guess the region where the coffee came from, utilize your preexisting chalkboards or pushpin boards to allow for a little movement and hands-on creativity. If a customer raves about one certain type of bean, this might be the perfect opportunity to launch a loyalty program with your customers.
Finally, all-encompassing classes are big crowd pleasers and an excellent gift for a loved one during the holidays. These classes are a little more difficult to organize and require a bit of extra thought before the attempt. A good class, if your space allows, is to not only teach a new technique for brewing coffee but also a food pairing to keep it light, fun and beginner level friendly. Your classes can also focus on the roasting process, or what “single origin coffee” is. Think of all the ‘buzz’ words you use to advertise: single origin, sustainably sourced, fair trade, and invite guests to learn what these terms really mean and why they are important to you and your shop. Don’t forget to offer samples of coffees, have plenty of visuals, and an interactive component to your class! Keeping your guests engaged and excited will make for happy students and potentially loyal customers in the future.
Whether you are a coffee shop owner, or a shopper on the prowl for the perfect gift, looking for a fun alternative present that allows for a fun, interactive experience with your loved one, is an awesome opportunity. Offering something other than the run of the mill coffee mugs and gift cards will not only boost customer loyalty but also provides an opportunity to bring in new coffee geeks. If your roast is something you are proud of then show off a bit to demonstrate your passion for an excellent cup of coffee! Just remember that your goal should be advertising your companies flawless roast, excellent equipment, and to provide educational opportunities for your guests. Holiday seasons don’t have to mean panic and frenzy when you plan a bit ahead to offer some gifts with a twist to your clientele.