Possibly the most popular drink in the world, more than 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day. That popularity gives you the opportunity to make a huge profit selling coffee online. In fact, as of 2018, coffee is the leading product under Amazon’s food and beverage category, with around $140 million in sales.
So obviously the online coffee industry is lucrative, but how do you start an online coffee business?
To start selling coffee online, you need to write a business plan and choose whether you will sell on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, on your own website, or on several sites at the same time. After that, proceed to set up the store and promote it. It’s actually that simple!
We’ll show you how in five simple steps.
1. Write a Business Plan
As for any budding business, you need to write a business plan before you do anything else. Your business plan will guide your new company — it keeps you on track and helps you avoid costly mishaps.
Although business plans vary from company to company, you should try to answer these questions as you build your guide:
- What will you sell? And where will your products come from?
Coffee beans are the obvious choice, but it might be a good idea to sell
coffee-relatedthings too, like mugs or pots. Having a few unique products is a great way to round out your online store and attract more customers. You should also plan where your coffee products will come from. Do you already have a source in mind, or do you need to do some research?
- Who’s your target customer?
A target customer is your ideal buyer. How old are they? What are their interests? By outlining who they are, you’ll be ready to market your coffee to them directly. In the case of an online coffee business, you’ll have the advantage of connecting with a wider range of customers than traditional,
brick-and-mortarstores. Use that to your advantage by outlining potential target audiences and ways to reach each of them.
- Where are you selling your coffee?
You’ll need to pick a marketplace before you sell coffee. Will you be selling it on your own website or on a
pre-establishedplatform? We’ll break down your options in the next section.
2. Pick an Ecommerce Marketplace
An ecommerce marketplace is where you’ll sell your coffee. Here are some great options:
Selling coffee on Amazon is probably the easiest method. First, you should know that you’ll need a special Amazon seller account — not just a personal account for shopping. You can make a seller account here.
Amazon focuses on
Unlike Amazon, you can use Etsy as an option for selling handmade products. For example, you can sell coffee beans roasted exclusively for each customer, or custom
Walmart’s online marketplace is one of the biggest in the world. The platform gets about 120 million monthly visitors and it’s an excellent option for selling coffee products. You can learn more about selling on Walmart on the Ecwid blog.
Your Own Site
If those three marketplaces don’t work out, you can always make your own site. At Ecwid, we help people sell online with two easy methods:
- If you already have a website, you can make a free Ecwid account to create and add products to your page.
- If you don’t have a website, Ecwid will provide you with one so you can start selling coffee right away.
3. Set Up Your Online Inventory
Once you pick a marketplace, it’s time to set up your inventory. In this context, setting up inventory means creating product listings — including product pictures, pricing, shipping info, and descriptions.
If you decide to sell on Amazon, Walmart, or your personal website, you’ll make your listings and then sync them with your chosen platform.
Alternatively, you can sell directly from the Ecwid platform.
Product listings look very similar no matter what route you take. Here’s what to expect.
What You Need for Ecommerce Product Listings
- Pictures and a description
Ecommerce relies on
high-qualitypictures and engaging product descriptions. Start by taking product photos in a well-litarea (like in front of a window). Then write a description that gets people excited about your coffee.
- Shipping and pricing info
Coffee makes a great ecommerce product because it ships so easily. From your Ecwid account, you can set standard shipping and product prices, or use more advanced features to offer discounts for large orders.
Keywords are a unique feature of ecommerce. Unlike traditional businesses, online companies have to take advantage of search engines to successfully sell their products. If you’re not familiar with keywords, they’re words or phrases that you can include in your product listings to help people find your store. You can learn more about using keywords here.
4. Promote Your Products
After you post your products, it’s time to start promoting. In some cases, just listing your coffee on an ecommerce marketplace like Amazon will quickly lead to sales. However, it’s always a good idea to promote your online coffee business — especially if you’re selling on your own website that people may not know about. Here’s how to get started:
Use Social Media
Social media is one of the best ways to promote your online coffee business. If you don’t have a marketing budget yet, start by making free accounts on major social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Both platforms offer free business accounts where you can post promotional content, engage with customers, and showcase your brand.
Take Advantage of Paid Ads
If you’ve got some marketing cash on hand, it might be a good idea to pay for online ads. Google Ads campaigns and Facebook Ads are two great online marketing tools. You can learn more about online advertising here, or you can have Ecwid do the work and manage a Google Ads campaign for you.
5. Manage Your New Coffee Business
With your products listed and marketing ready to go, it’s time to manage your new coffee business. In general, managing your online store involves three things: fulfilling orders, managing inventory, and helping customers.
Fulfilling orders will be a big part of your job as you sell coffee online. Although you can choose options like local pickup and delivery, shipping your coffee products is usually the easiest option.
When you make product listings with Ecwid, you can choose how far you’re willing to ship orders and how much the buyer pays for the service. When someone makes an order, you can opt to receive a printable, prepaid shipping label. Then you’re ready to package the coffee and send it on its way.
Managing inventory is a vital part of learning how to sell coffee online. Thankfully, inventory management is easy with Ecwid. From your dashboard, you can remove or add products, track how many products have sold, and hide
Check out this article to learn more about managing inventory with Ecwid.
Keeping your customers happy is super important. Customer support looks different for online coffee sellers compared to