As a coffee lover, few things are as delightful as my first morning sip of my favourite coffee from my favourite local café or convenience store. It’s a simple but essential step I need to get my day underway.
And I’m certainly not the only one, with Business Insider once highlighting that coffee is the second most sought-after commodity in the world, behind oil, but incredibly, ahead of other assets like gold!
Even despite the changing work patterns caused by the global pandemic, coffee consumption is set to continue, with revenue predicted continued to grow by 6% annually in the United States.
Even more importantly, by 2025, 89% of that coffee spend is expected to be consumed “out-of-home” in bars and restaurants, so with this growth in mind, it’s not surprising that an increasing number of stores are offering subscription packages as a superb way to help us enjoy our daily coffee even more quickly and easily.
In this article, we’re sharing why so many coffee lovers are starting to subscribe to a monthly package of unlimited coffees, instead of simply buying one cup at a time as most of us did in the past. Subscribing on a monthly basis for unlimited drinks is certainly changing behaviour in mature markets like North America, but equally in the UK and across Europe where coffee is also king.
From its humble origins in the magazine and newspaper industry back in the 17th century, subscriptions for our favourite products have always been popular and of course, they are also a powerful business tool that drives recurring revenue for brands across a multitude of industries.
While the business benefits are clear for coffee shop owners, this article discusses the value of an unlimited coffee bundle for customers, and why a coffee subscription is now seen as the “ultimate convenience”.
Superb Value for Money – It Makes us Feel Smart
With 92% of us “constantly” looking for great value deals, the idea of unlimited cups of coffee from our favourite local café or convenience store for one monthly affordable fee is simply delightful!
In fact, research from Panera Bread claims that while over 160 million Americans drink coffee every day, “nearly half …. feel conflicted because of what they spend on coffee”.
It’s exactly this pain point that Panera Bread, Pret a Manger and Espresso House identified as a great opportunity, creating a simple subscription option for daily coffee, supporting those millions of customers who feel guilty about how much they’ve been spending on espresso-based drinks, particularly before the pandemic.
A subscription package means we know exactly how much our daily coffee fix will cost. Of course, most of us will also work out how many coffees we typically buy each month, and after that, each extra coffee feels “free”. An awesome approach, so we feel super smart and savvy.
An unlimited coffee deal is a smart solution for savvy consumers who know they’re getting great value.
Subscriptions are Simple
As Leonardo da Vinci famously said “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication” – and the same idea was shared by Harvard Business Review in their article entitled “To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple“.
We all know that customers are overwhelmed by options, and “craving a way to combat choice paralysis” so the simplicity of a subscription package does exactly that.
When a local café or convenience store offers a monthly coffee package for unlimited coffee, my decision whether to buy one, and if so, where to buy it (where the crowds are least likely) is eliminated.
Instead, my morning ritual of collecting my delicious coffee simply becomes a moment of joy to look forward to.
Subscriptions are Quick
Even better, with my drink pre-paid, I simply skip the line when I get to the store, knowing that my favourite drink is ready and waiting for me. There’s no need to queue to order or even queue to pay.
The simplicity of picking up my drink, and scanning my code before leaving saves me precious moments, so at times like this, I wonder why it’s taken so long for us all to discover this simple idea!
Perhaps we first had to realise the simplicity of subscriptions from trusted eCommerce brands like Amazon Prime and Netflix, but with research showing that consumers increasingly value automated purchasing, it’s no wonder that this solution now appealing to us in physical stores in the same way it always has done with online stores.
A simple subscription package allows us focus on the important moments with our coffee.
Contactless is Just Cleaner
Pre-covid, most of us simply assumed that our favourite coffee stores and convenience stores had the highest possible hygiene standards when preparing our food and drink.
However since the emergence of Covid-19, we prefer to visit fewer stores. We are avoiding cash transactions and most people are now only truly comfortable when the purchase is contactless. For me, using MY phone, with MY pre-paid coffee subscription package, I feel so much safer. I don’t need to lean in to order, hand over money, or accept a paper receipt or change.
A coffee subscription has the expected added benefit of not just bypassing the queues, delays and payments, but also all of the health risks that would otherwise arise.
A Convenience Mindset
As customers, we focus on ensuring our needs and wants are met in the easiest and quickest way possible. Once we trust the product quality (it has to be a great cup of coffee), we value speed, simplicity, convenience and familiarity. A subscription package gives us all these and more.
No wonder it feels like the only way I want to buy my daily coffee in future!
Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialising in the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.
How we do it:
We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.
Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.
One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.
Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:
Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Host of “Let’s Talk Loyalty” Podcast
With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing content. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my consulting clients have included Telefonica O2 Priority, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer Group (UAE), as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a former judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards and proud host of the “Let’s Talk Loyalty” podcast – the industry’s first podcast for loyalty marketing professionals.