Industry Update
Opinion Article16 January 2020

5 Coffee Shop Trends Set to Dominate the Market in 2020

By Marie Nieves, Lifestyle Blogger

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Nowadays, it seems like there is a coffee shop at every corner no matter where you find yourself, and if there is a corner without a coffee shop right now, you can bet that there'll be one in 2020. Yes, the cafe industry is booming around the world, and unsurprisingly so, as opening a coffee shop in a day and age when people want to socialize more, work remotely, and de-stress in a friendly environment is a surefire way to build a profitable business in the hospitality industry. Oh, and the fact that coffee is the world's most popular drug can't hurt, either.

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That said, it's also important to remember that this ever-growing popularity is making the coffee shop business highly competitive, and that new as well as established companies need to build a strong business strategy in order to continue to grow in 2020. Let's take a look at the five things you should do in order to dominate in the new year.

Stand out with branding

There's no way around it, this industry is becoming so saturated that you need a strong brand presence if you are to rise above the noise, improve brand visibility and awareness, and engage with your customer base in order to attract new ones and keep existing ones at your side. After all, why wouldn't your customers check out other coffee shops from time to time, especially after they've experienced everything there is at your place? The first thing you need to do is to build a compelling brand identity that will inspire them to become your loyal long-term patrons.

To achieve this, you need to shift your focus from the product you sell, to the brand experience you provide. Most importantly, you need to create a set of values that complement the values of your target demographic, and weave those values into your brand's personality. Next, be sure to develop a unique tone of voice for your coffee shop that you will use in all of your marketing and communications efforts. And lastly, choose a theme for your brand, and create a set of visuals that will separate your brand from the rest.

Obtain and retain talented staff

Your staff members are the driving force behind your success, and they are your biggest brand ambassadors, so you need to invest in your employees and you need to invest in employee training and branding. The modern customer will have no problem leaving your establishment with no intention of ever coming back if you staff members made them feel in any way uncomfortable, or if the level of service was anything less than optimal.

You can expect the same thing to happen if your employees don't portray your brand in the best possible light. Your staff members should be immersed in your brand, they need to understand what you're all about, and they need to speak in the same language and tone of voice outlined in your brand book. In doing so, they will make your brand more memorable and approachable, and they will inspire the customer to come back to a familiar place.

Invest in technology and automation

One of the most important changes you need to make in 2020 is to finally stop managing your coffee shop manually and embrace technology and automation software. Not only is the cafe business becoming too complex to manage manually over a long period of time, but it's also important to leverage the features of an advanced cafe pos system to better manage workflow, save money, schedule shifts, and most importantly, reduce customer effort in the process.

What's more, technology such as this allows you to automatically collect and collate valuable customer data, extract relevant information and turn it into actionable steps that you can take to make your business more appealing in a saturated market. Growth and success nowadays are all about having the ability to adapt quickly to customer trends, and the only way to stay on top of those trends is to invest in technology.

Create a community

People stop by their favorite coffee shop for a number of reasons. Sometimes, pop in to get a cup of coffee before work, and sometimes they'll come by with their friends and stay for hours on end. Whatever the reason may be, it's important to remember that people love coming back to a coffee shop that nurtures a positive community, and a positive vibe. This year, be sure to work on building a community around your coffee shop through online and offline marketing, and you will drive repeat business forward.

Enrich your menu

And finally, when was the last time you added something new to your menu? Every year, customers seem to want more choices, and not because there's something wrong with the old ones, but because they want a reason to keep coming back, and to stay longer.

Now, instead of innovating coffee drinks, be sure to enrich your menu with some sweet and savory foods, and a couple of new drinks, including wines, cocktails, and a few craft beer options. Adding these choices to the list will incentivize people to come back no matter what they're in the mood for, and it will inspire them to spend more time at your coffee shop when they get peckish.

Wrapping up

The coffee shop industry might be on a constant upward trajectory around the world, but that doesn't mean that success is guaranteed, mainly because the increased market value also attracts new competitors. To make your coffee shop stand out and to make your business flourish, be sure to implement these solutions in the first few months in 2020.

Marie Nieves

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