For many people around the world, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee is a favorite daily ritual. And as subscriptions gain momentum and consumers become increasingly interested in recurring purchase options across verticals, the coffee industry has followed suit. 

In fact, the global coffee subscription market is estimated to value $1.98 billion by 2032. And as the world’s coffee consumption increases, there’s a lot riding on coffee merchants’ ability to create and market valuable subscriptions.

But how can these brands stand out, and what tactics can they implement to showcase their unique value? In this post, we’ll talk about the crucial strategies and tools that you, as a coffee or tea merchant, can use to not only acquire more customers, but also retain your existing ones for longer.

Key takeaways

  • The coffee subscription industry, research shows, has seen enormous market growth in recent years.
  • Coffee and tea merchants who are considering launching or already offering subscriptions should focus on offering flexible subscription management, customizable bundles, and a personalized customer portal.
  • In doing so, they can stand apart from the competition and reap the benefits of increased AOV, improved customer satisfaction, boosted retention, and reduced churn.

3 marketing & sales strategies to grow your tea or coffee subscription business

Considering launching subscriptions for your tea or coffee business? Or looking to optimize your existing subscriptions? There are a multitude of ways to add value to your business through your marketing strategies.

Verve Coffee Roasters features a Coffee Subscription Calculator on their site that helps customers see the quantity of coffee they typically consume and the frequency they’d need it delivered.

Below, we cover three of the most important tactics—subscription management, product bundles, and the customer portal—as well as their associated technologies and tools.

1. Reduce churn with flexible subscription management

Regardless of the product, today’s subscribers require flexibility around their orders. Our State of Subscription Commerce report found that in 2022, 35% of subscribers made adjustments to their orders like swapping an item, changing the quantity or frequency of their order, or skipping a delivery.

For your customers to stick with your business, they need to be able to make these types of changes quickly, easily, and independently. Without having to engage your Support team, they should be able to intuitively figure out where and how to make changes so they can get exactly what they want.

 For tea and coffee drinkers, these flexible subscription management actions might include: 

  • Changing up the flavor or style of coffee delivered in a subscription
  • Adjusting the frequency of their order if they’re finding they have too much or too little tea in each order 
  • Reducing the number of coffee bags in their order if they’re trying to cut back on caffeine or on a tighter budget
  • Adding a one-time product—like specialty coffee filters or a bar of chocolate—to a coffee subscription order
  • Skipping a delivery if they’re going out of town

The right subscription management platform can empower you to offer this type of flexibility to your customers. While subscribers may still need to contact your Support team for certain issues, investing in your subscription management can make it significantly easier for them to make most types of changes. This not only reduces churn and increases customer satisfaction, but also cuts back on Support tickets for your team.

Regardless of the flexible options you offer, you can learn a great deal about your customers by tracking the types of changes they most frequently make. By measuring this over time, you can hone your approaches to product development and marketing to make more sales and better retain your customers. 

2. Boost retention with a personalized customer portal

As the home base where your subscribers go to manage their orders with you, the customer portal is a key element of your site. This is where they’ll go to make changes to their orders with you, as described above—but it’s also a place where they may regularly engage with your brand, especially since their orders with you naturally recur.

Therefore, it’s crucial to optimize the customer portal, not only in its functionalities but also in your communication and branding. Ensure that this page of your site looks and feels consistent with your brand identity to make the most of it as a major customer touchpoint. Include personalized communication elements, like greeting your customer by name. 

If your coffee subscription program has a loyalty program, this is an excellent place to showcase it. Here, you can show subscribers how many points they’ve accumulated, any rewards they can choose, or any other elements pertinent to your program.

3. Increase AOV & customer satisfaction with bundles

Product bundles are a natural fit for coffee subscription companies. These can take the form of build-a-box bundles, where the customer selects the items they want to go in their bundle, or curated bundles, where the merchant organizes the items in the bundle around a certain theme.

For example, several coffee subscription providers offer curated bundles of their bestselling bags of coffee beans. Some may sell curated bundles focused on the style or roast of the coffee beans. They might also offer build-a-box bundles where a customer adds three different flavors or styles of coffee to their box for a set price, then selects the frequency and quantity of each delivery.

Square Mile Coffee Roasters guides customers through the subscription purchase process with an interactive quiz flow to help them build their subscription coffee box.

Bundles can be offered either as subscription offerings, one-time purchases, or both. Some coffee subscription services may even choose to offer a combination of the two. 

One popular type of curated bundle to offer is a variety pack, which customers may be interested in trying as a one-time purchase to determine which types of coffee they like the best before committing to a subscription.

Tea Drops’ build-a-bundle option can be purchased either one time or as a subscription. Customers can then customize the flavors, quantity, and extras they want for their box.

Depending on the product bundling solution you choose, you may be able to bundle products directly within your existing subscription platform, and add discounts and other adjustments to your bundles.

When created effectively, bundles don’t just increase AOV. They can also enhance trust in your business, boost brand loyalty, and streamline your internal processes. 

Going above & beyond with tea & coffee subscriptions

Subscriptions are a powerful business model for both coffee enthusiasts and coffee roasters alike. As home-based coffee consumption continues to gain momentum, merchants must invest in the proper tools and tactics to set them up for success.

By carefully researching the market, implementing these tea and coffee marketing strategies, and tracking the results over time, merchants pave the way for increased AOV, retention, and customer satisfaction, as well as reduced churn.