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How to Start a Coffee Brand Online in 2024 (Examples + Tips)

GemPages Team
10 minutes read
How to Start a Coffee Brand Online in 2024 (Examples + Tips)
Coffee stands among the most consumed beverages in the world, with Europeans being the most avid drinkers. With its rich source of energy, many people consider coffee a sine qua non in their daily routine. Since the coffee culture is so diverse, there is always a potential gateway to this market, and we will show you exactly how to start a coffee brand in this blog post.

Is Selling Coffee Online Profitable?

It is the age-old question: is selling coffee profitable since it is such a saturated market?

We understand that this concern is on top of every entrepreneur’s mind before dipping their toes in any industry, thus, let the data speak for itself.

Given the popularity of this beverage, the global coffee market is forecasted to amount to $690.09 billion by 2030. For an evergreen industry, the eCommerce sector is also thriving with the average consumer’s monthly order valued at around $40 per month. Whether you are a strictly online business, or a company with numerous physical locations that is looking to expand virtually, coffee and its adjacent byproducts are a goldmine to capitalize on. Online shopping opens up ample opportunities for different business models, such as coffee subscriptions, customizable product bundles, and more. Although you will not likely introduce a new line of products to the market, your coffee business can still flourish by simply offering first-rate quality and doing clever marketing. 

Start Your Online Coffee Brand In 7 Steps

Coffee is a prominent eCommerce niche around the world.

Turn your passion for coffee into a profitable business by following our quick guide. Source: Shutterstock.

If you are a novice entrepreneur with limited resources and budget, selling coffee from home is the way to go. As long as you possess a true passion for the art of coffee and a go-getter mindset, your business will be up and running in no time by following the steps below.

1. Conduct Research and Planning

You won’t be able to handle the heat of running a business, sans matter how much money is poured in, if proper research and planning are not guaranteed. Market trends, competitors, and customer preferences - these are the three pillars of a favorable strategy before starting a business of all kinds. For coffee eCommerce, this step requires extra scrutiny. Depending on where you are located, the coffee scene might be tame, or highly competitive, and there is only one way to find out what you are about to run into: roll up your sleeves and make yourself familiar with the current state of your chosen niche.

Starting with limited resources? Check out this blog post from GemPages to find your footing more easily:

Start an eCommerce Business with No Money: The 2024 Complete Guide (+ Exclusive Promotion)

2. Decide Your Business Model

We use the term “coffee brand” loosely since each company has its own business model. You might find that some brands self-roast their beans, while others opt for a while labeling method. The handy thing about owning an eCommerce storefront is that it is easy to have trials and errors and reinvent yourself later on if necessary. There are more common business models than others, but it is imperative to take them with a grain of salt since each business calls for unique propositions. With that being said, here are some of our suggestions for your upcoming coffee business:

  • Self-roasting: why not try selling coffee beans with an in-house roaster? Despite the intimidating upfront investment, you will in turn receive complete control over the products. The eco-friendliness aspect also makes this method worth consideration.
  • Dropshipping: granted its title as a GOAT in eCommerce, dropshipping is an excellent business model for rookie sellers with its all-in-one operational model. That said, not being fully in control of the products could hinder quality control and long-term brand image.
  • Private/White Labeling: by partnering up with an exclusive supplier, you can forgo the whole equipment ordeal. It is an alternative to dropshipping since you have more control over the taste and fulfillment of your coffee goods.
  • Wholesale: if you have the means, shoot for the stars by becoming a wholesaler. Your duty is to provide a large quantity of coffee products to smaller retailers, local cafes, bakeries, etc. This is a good measure to build a long-lasting company, but there is a risk of low-profit margins at hand.

More from GemPages: Dropshipping vs Wholesale - Discovering The Most Lucrative Business Strategy

3. Find Your Niche

Coffee comes in many forms: beans, grounds, pods, instants, you name it. Unless you intend to craft a coffee empire from scratch, it is advised to pick a niche and build your brand around it. Here are some recommendations:

  • Coffee beans
  • Flavored coffee
  • Read-to-drink coffee
  • Coffee pods and capsules
  • Coffee-flavored snacks and treats

Learn more: 10+ Top Trending Niches in eCommerce [with Statistics] - 2024

4. Identify Your Target Audience

You have locked down the product niche and business model, so it is only natural that the next step is to identify exactly who you are selling to. Here is a fact: a lot of people drink coffee, but what will make them drink yours?

To answer this question, aspects like age, gender, income, location, lifestyle, shopping habits, etc. all need to be factored in. Online surveys and focus groups will be your best bets at this stage. Since your business is already based online, take advantage of online forums like niche Facebook groups or Reddit to acquire insights from the consumers themselves.

By pinpointing your target audience, you will be able to develop customer personas, observe the results, and further improve your data. Thus, it becomes tenfold easier to learn how to start an online coffee business once you have gotten this facet nailed down.

5. Build an Online Presence

Your coffee company deserves an A1 online presence, and the good news is, we know exactly how to assist you in achieving the digital storefront of your dream.

Here are the must-haves if you want to be known online as a business in this day and age:

  • eCommerce website: a professional website is crucial in forming your coffee brand. Joining a multifaceted ecosystem like Shopify will alleviate the need for extensive website-building knowledge, especially when there is an abundance of third-party apps that shoulder all the hard work for you.
  • Social media: Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok, and YouTube are all great platforms to grow your coffee business. But don’t just stop at creating an account, be sure to engage with your customers to build a community and boost brand awareness.
  • Blog posts: written content is often overlooked since short-form visual ones are more prevalent than ever. However, blogging is an efficient marketing tool that could expose your brand to thousands of potential visitors without any large investment.
  • Collaborations: why not recruit a new customer catalog by collaborating with relevant brands and influencers? In this digital era, words travel fast, and word of mouth is a foolproof marketing approach to get people talking about you.

6. Develop a Marketing Strategy

When it comes to marketing, there are different strokes for different folks. While some companies pour in thousands to promote their business, other brands prefer organic traffic over traditional marketing methods. Nonetheless, staples like SEO marketing, social media ads, and email marketing are surefire methods for businesses of all stages.

7. Scale and Promote Your Business

Once your coffee business has been up and running, the work has only just begun. This is the period where you start to scale, readjust, slow down/boost production, and so on to keep your business consistent. Major changes like domain name change or logo redesign should be considered during this time as well since it’d be more complex to deal with these matters later on.

More on how to do branding for your eCommerce store:

How to Build Small Business Branding — Strategies, Examples, and Ideas

And there you go! It goes without saying that a company does not materialize overnight. Thus, a thorough business plan is a necessity to learn how to create your own coffee brand and keep it going for years to come.

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4 Best Shopify Coffee Brands for You to Emulate Success

A little inspiration doesn’t hurt anybody, does it? The Shopify-powered stores below are living proof that your future coffee brand too can succeed. Let’s see what they are doing right.

Death Wish Coffee

Screenshot of Death Wish Coffee’s website.

Death Wish Coffee made a reputation for itself as one of the most recognizable indie coffee brands by ensuring top-notch quality in every bag.

If you can’t already tell by the name, Death Wish Coffee prides itself on having the strongest coffee in the world. Entering the industry in 2012, the company focused on producing high-caffeine products with bold flavor profiles. As a result, it has garnered an impressive customer base who get their fuel from this intense line of coffee products.

Branding-wise, Death Wish Coffee sports an edgy skull logo and a dark-toned website. You can find beans, ground coffee, pods, cold brew, and more on its user-friendly storefront. There are endless details to pick up from this successful coffee brand.

Chamberlain Coffee

Screenshot of Chamberlain Coffee’s website.

Discover your new favorite brew with Chamberlain Coffee - an ethically sourced coffee brand.

Emma Chamberlain allured the whole internet with her relatable and quirky personality, and once she channeled it by opening up a coffee brand, we all fell head over heels for it.

Chamberlain Coffee is more than just a coffee retailer. It prides itself on sourcing only the highest quality beans while prioritizing Earth above all. Users can freely browse different types of beans, powders, cold brew, and a nifty collection of matcha and tea. The vibrant packaging makes the products pop, and the flavor profile of each one is unmatched. With a Shopify-based website, Emma is truly a virtuoso entrepreneur in building a digital storefront that oozes personality and charm. If owning an ethical coffee brand is on top of your to-do list, feel free to head over to Chamberlain Coffee’s website to see how she is killing the game as a newcomer to the scene.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Screenshot of Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ website.

Enjoy first-class coffee from around the world by purchasing from Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters not only shines in its exceptional selection of ground coffee and beans but through its genuine commitment to using only ethical resources as well. Instead of finding a supplier that mass produces, Stumptown dedicates its time to directly connect with the coffee farmers that they source from. As a result, the company managed to build bona fide relationships and secure the highest-quality beans - a win-win situation for an experienced brand.

Another feature of Stumptown is its physical locations. Since customers are offered a come-at-able outlet to browse, as well as to sit down and enjoy a flavorsome cup of coffee, a community was created. As a whole, Stumptown Coffee Roasters goes beyond a coffee business. It defines quality, community, sustainability, and more. For that reason, it is our top pick for a rich source of inspiration for first-time sellers in this niche.

Verve Coffee Roasters

Screenshot of Verve Coffee Roasters’ website.

Verve Coffee Roasters offers high-quality coffee products to satisfy the most demanding palates.

If you have been wandering on eCommerce blog sites, the name Verve Coffee Roasters should make a frequent appearance among the best coffee stores on Shopify. By basing its business around specialty coffee, the brand has built a solid reputation in such a jam-packed market. With flavor being Verve’s number one priority, the quality is evident in every single bean. Single-origin beans, instant, and cold brew are Verve’s specialties, which can be swiftly purchased from the brand’s seamless storefront.

Verve’s business model is also noteworthy. The implementation of a subscription service helps it stand out from the crowd. Instead of making repetitive purchases, customers can have their favorite products delivered straight to their doorsteps with this effective service.

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Tips to Build a Thriving Online Coffee Brand

Pinpoint Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

Finding a niche just does not suffice sometimes. With a clear-cut UVP, your coffee business will have more chance 

to step out from the mass. Some unique features could be a special roasting technique, rare coffee beans, distinctive packaging materials, customizable subscription service, and the like.

Partner up with a Quality Supplier

Having a trustworthy supplier makes all the difference in the way you operate your business, and it is more than just one who can produce what you want at a reasonable price tag. Sustainability, ethics, reliability, and communication are the keywords you should look for when it comes to choosing a supplier. As mentioned above, building genuine relationships with your supplier will also enforce trust and guarantee the best product quality in the long run.

Implement a Subscription Service

Coffee is consumed daily, similar to our everyday items like toilet paper or toothbrushes. If lucrative subscription businesses like Who Gives A Crap and Bristles exist, it is only reasonable for a coffee business to get the same rep. A subscription service will provide your customers with flexibility, and you with a solid client repertoire and a higher customer retention rate.

Get into the Coffee Industry with GemPages Today

Whether you have a burning passion for coffee or just want to challenge yourself as a business owner with a thriving niche, it is never too late to start a coffee brand online with GemPages. Our intuitive interface and built-in features will help you hit the ground running in no time. So let’s get down to brass tacks and light up your coffee empire today!

Not ready to commit but still want to kick the tires?
No problem! Get started with GemPages' free plan. Explore wonderful features that can do wonders for your store.

FAQ about Starting a Coffee Brand

Is selling coffee profitable in 2024?
Yes, selling coffee is profitable in 2024 and will be for years to come. The coffee industry is predicted to steadily grow, thus, there are always opportunities for newcomers to enter the market and rise to the top.
Can I sell coffee drinks from home?
You can sell coffee from the comfort of your own home with the assistance of Shopify. Everything from finding suppliers, building a digital storefront, doing marketing, shipping products, etc. can be done with limited resources.

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