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Coffee shop loyalty cards

Building a sound base of loyal customers should be at the heart of any cafe owners business objectives. Although not quite the same as guaranteed money, loyal customers are a cafe’s next best thing. Before discussing how to build successful loyalty schemes, it’s important to highlight the 3 main factors driving the consumer’s purchasing decision, as outlined by EuroMonitor in a recent report.

What drives customers to purchase coffee?

Ensure you have every single factor covered with your shop’s coffee blend


Top of the list, customers demand high-quality products. To compromise may save you a few pounds in ingredients, but you run the risk of having no-one to sell to!

Value for money

This doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, but a price that is perceived as being fair given the product on offer. A well presented homemade cake and single origin flat-white served in lovely surroundings for £8.00, may still seem better value than a coffee made from an automatic bean-to-cup machine and cellophane wrapped muffin for £5.00. Basically, don’t try to rip-off your customers!

Ethical considerations

Although not viewed as important as quality and fair pricing, sourcing products that reflect consumers growing green issues may give you an edge other competitors who don’t. But – given ethical considerations ranking as third in this list, don’t use it to compensate for poor quality or over-the-top pricing!

Assuming you can balance these three factors better than the competition, there’s a good chance you won’t need any fancily designed loyalty schemes to help gain repeat business – you’ll already have the best offer in town. But given the intensity of competition on today’s busy high street, you can pretty much guarantee every coffee shop will already be trying their hardest to outdo each other in these areas.

What loyalty schemes are best for customer spending?

Stamp cards, apps, even spinning wheels!

Well, traditional card-based loyalty schemes still work, in theory. But given how easy they are to replicate, you can assume your competitors will already be offering them too. Instead, given the rise of mobile use, why not think about a loyalty card app for use on your customers’ phone? Alone, this will just be a techy version of the many standard loyalty cards already leaking out of our wallets, and not offer any real advantage. But, having a direct digital connection with your customers brings with it plenty of opportunities to add value over and above your traditional offering.

As well as the obvious ‘buy 7 drinks get your 8th free’, you can target customers with specific offers when they enter the door or send them more information on the coffee they’ve just purchased (or anything else that might add value). A well designed digital loyalty program can help increase customer expenditure as well as offer traditional loyalty features.

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