The café and coffee shop wave has arrived. According to Allegra World Coffee Portal’s 2019 Project Café USA report, the café and coffee shop industry has ballooned to an over $45 billion dollar industry and shows a volume growth rate of almost 4%. It is no secret that café owners are looking to ride the waves of these favorable trends. The “hows” around how to maximize these opportunities, however, are what many café owners are struggling to grasp. That’s where fresh cafe technology ideas can help.
Small business technology brings a variety of marketing options to café owners that can be utilized to increase the number of customers walking through the door. However, selecting what tech is needed and how it should be used within your walls can cause a severe case of paralysis by analysis. Simplifying the process of blending your marketing ideas into applicable cafe technology ideas aids in demystifying the process and making it easier to manage and understand.
Getting Your Branding Voice to the Right People
An advertising campaign, while simple, can also be very costly and can definitely be very inefficient. You have an intuitive understanding about who your customers should be, what their expectations of you are, and a general understanding of which products are in demand and when they should be offered. Without solid data to back up your intuition, you may be doing a disservice to your café and your clientele.
Your branding voice is most likely defined and nuanced to a point where it reflects your exact business goals. It tells the story of how you want the customer to feel when they arrive, take a seat at a table, and sip on a warm beverage while immersed in conversation. A strong brand identity will draw consumers closer to you, while a weaker one might make them disengage and go elsewhere.
Neither of these is bad; in fact, it is beneficial for you to not pursue customers that aren’t engaged by what you offer. It is a hard lesson that many business owners must learn: not every potential customer is a good potential customer. In vetting out customers that have a higher likelihood of being fully engaged in your café, you achieve important boosts to your brand image. Your space will feel much livelier and you are assured of better reviews on Google and TripAdvisor.
Understanding this helps take your branding voice to new heights, and is why targeting the right people at the right time is such a critical component of engaging current and potential customers. Today’s POS options give you technology at its finest. The data mining and reporting abilities available to café owners provide insights into evolving trends and changing demographics. These in turn give you precise data points around who your customers are, and how their expectations are changing, creating opportunities to socially sync your brand voice to their daily lives.
Be Social! Stay Connected with Cafe Technology Ideas
Dynamic marketing and cafe technology ideas that are pinpointed towards a defined customer base is going to still be limited in reach unless you branch out into other avenues of engagement. Traditional marketing methods may illustrate who and where you are, but can these tell your story in a way that becomes a part of a potential customer’s day-to-day social interactions? This requires you to take your voice into the digital world, armed with the data that your POS solution is hopefully providing you.
Many café owners may have limited digital outreach at present. Emailing specials, new offerings, or promo codes is a great start, but still is fairly one-sided on the engagement scale. You are still relying on customers to open the email, respond to the email while trying to keep the numbers of emails limited so as to not provoke recipients to unsubscribe.
Social media’s tech growth allows customers to seek you out at their convenience, giving them control over how they interact with your café. Social media gives you some great ways to engage your customer base. To start, you can find out what your customers enjoy by asking them on your Facebook page. This can give you some valuable insights into their desires while keeping the line moving once they are at your counter. Additionally, social media outlets provide customers with review opportunities and multiple avenues for providing café experience feedback.
You can turn the data you obtain through transactions, match it to customer engagement levels on your social media platforms, to determine if targeted advertising is needed to re-spark interest in your café. The information in your POS platform will aid you in determining the right time for a social media-only promotional campaign, and to keep your customer rewards program evolving with the times.
Business Isn’t a Game, or Is It?
A striking trend that can no longer be ignored centers around gamification. Starbucks was an early adopter of gamification technology, driving its mobile app popularity to an industry best 48% usage clip, according to a Manifest survey. Starbuck’s gamble on gamification was initiated to increase customer loyalty in a fun way. While this may not necessarily be an offered functionality of most of today’s POS systems, it is a trend worth noting.
You can take advantage of gamification in your café technology ideas without the use of an app by using some creativity and accurate customer data. For instance, if you notice that there is a buying surge around the purchase of your café’s version of the pumpkin spice latte, but that sales tapper off a few weeks after reintroduction, make a game out of it. Offer a raffle ticket for every purchase of a pumpkin spice latte, with the prize being a holiday coffee sampler pack. These events, although low tech, can induce a spike in-store traffic and serve as a great way to introduce gamification to your customer base. Sometimes the most simple cafe technology ideas can work best.
Choosing the Best Cafe Technology Ideas
Getting your technical strategy aligned with your marketing goals requires in-depth planning and forecasting. Your POS solution must be scalable enough to grow with you, and flexible enough to allow you to add or remove functionalities as customer expectations dictate. Selecting and implementing this solution requires a high level of technical expertise and business acumen.
Leveraging cutting-edge technology in your cafe frees you to deepen your relationships with customers. Marketing becomes simplified and allows you to target campaigns with laser-like precision. Flexibility and versatility is the name of the game, and talech is ready to help modernize your business operations through the utilization of a modern point of sale system. Contact us today for a free demo and more information on how to bring cutting-edge technology to your customers.
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