Do I Need a License To Sell Coffee Online? You may have researched coffee and even tried roasting your beans if you enjoy it. You could have even thought to yourself, “I should start selling this”…
…and you should, too. At the very least, the possibility is enormous: in 2019/2020, the United States consumed 26.7 million 60kg bags of coffee.
We’ve put together this guide to provide you with all you need to know about putting up a successful online coffee business, whether you’re an established coffee seller without an online store or someone just getting started in the coffee game.
Obtain the Required Permits
Before you start creating a super-successful online coffee shop, make sure you follow all of the government’s guidelines and regulations.
The licenses you’ll need will vary depending on how you want to set up your store. For example, suppose you opt to collaborate with a supplier to send products directly to customers when you make a sale (dropshipping). In that case, you may need to go through the formalities connected with starting a business in the United States.
However, if you want to roast the coffee yourself – or store it before shipping it to your consumers – you’ll need to be aware of several additional permits.
If you roast coffee at home, your business may be subject to Cottage Food Laws, depending on the size of your operation and the level of processing you’re doing. These laws were passed in 2013 to make it easier for people who create low-risk foods at home to start a business.
These laws are only applicable in some jurisdictions, and many states differ in many ways, so check your particular state rules to see if your budding coffee shop needs to conform.
Find Your Specialty
It’s critical to identify a niche that fascinates you and has a good market demand when beginning a coffee business. Because coffee is such a large industry, there is already a lot of competition — everyone is vying for a piece of the pie.
You may focus on establishing excellent USPs and refining your product to better appeal to your target market by focusing on a particular sector. Of course, you can always add more strings to your bow as your coffee business expands.
You could look into the following niches:
Variations in roasting (dark or light?)
(Is it a luxury or a budget hotel?)
the source (Central and South America, Africa, The Middle East, or Southeast Asia)
a client (location, age, income, or interests)
Decide What Products to Sell
Isn’t coffee just coffee? Well, not quite.
If you scratch the surface, you’ll discover that coffee can be sold in various ways. For example, you might elect to sell bulk coffee to coffee cafes or sell smaller bags directly to consumers. You can also sell beans in various forms, such as whole beans or ground coffee in a variety of coarsenesses to suit a variety of coffee brewing needs.
You might also try to keep up with the times by selling your coffee in pods that can be used in at-home coffee machines. The coffee pod and capsule business is expected to be worth $25.07 billion by 2020, and we can only anticipate it to continue to grow!
Locate a Vendor
You’ll need to choose a reliable source once you’ve selected what goods you’ll sell.
If you want to go all-in and roast at home, you’ll need to find a green bean provider who can send them to you. In this instance, you should look for a wholesaler like Sweet Maria’s or Mill City Roasters that can provide you with a competitive price, a wide choice of bean kinds, and match your quantity requirements.
There are a couple of fantastic options accessible to you if you intend to sell pre-roasted beans. The first step is to locate a distributor who can provide you with pre-roasted beans. The second option is to find a local roastery that can process the beans according to your unique requirements. Ask yourself the following questions when choosing a roasted bean supplier:
- Are they going to be able to keep up with demand?
- Is it possible for them to package coffee with my logo on it?
- Do they provide dropshipping services (if that’s your preferred method)?
Make a Brand
Your brand will determine the success of your online coffee business. Before you start designing brand assets like a logo, a website, or a colour palette, you’ll need to think about a few essential features of your firm. These are some of them:
- Your target market
- Your services are excellent.
- Your company’s values
- Your current market position
- Each of these factors will contribute to the development of your brand. The better you integrate them; the more your brand will communicate to your target audience, making it easier to sell – not to mention gain recognition and trust.
It’s also important to consider your competition when developing your brand. You can use their branding to get ideas for what to do (and don’t do!) with your own.
Make an online shop
You can utilize your well-defined brand to fashion your online store once you have one.
When it comes to setting up your store, you have a variety of alternatives, ranging from marketplaces to dedicated websites. We advocate developing your site since it provides you with a lot of flexibility and powerful tools to help you grow your online business. These are some of the advantages:
- The building of a professional-looking website is a simple process.
- A fully adjustable online store with the ability to grow in features as your online coffee business expands.
- Predictable price arrangements that help you stay on track with your spending.
- Built-in help and how-to instructions, as well as excellent customer service and technical assistance
Put Your Coffee Product on Display
You can’t rely on your product’s unique scent and fantastic taste to help you make a sale while selling coffee online, unlike in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. Instead, your photos and product descriptions must be meticulously created to entice your audience to make a purchase.
Here are some pointers to help you get started:
Images of the Products
Great packaging that adequately expresses your business is only one approach to catch your potential customer’s attention when selling coffee online. After you’ve produced excellent packaging, you’ll want to make sure you shoot high-quality images for your website that truly reflect the coffee’s charm and flavour.
Take several photographs to offer site visitors an accurate idea of your products’ aesthetic. These could include the following:
Various perspectives of packaged coffee against a white background
Images of the beans offer a feel of the roast and the flavour your customers can anticipate. Packaged coffee in a lifestyle environment, such as on a kitchen counter
Is it profitable to sell coffee?
Coffee may be incredibly profitable when done correctly, as long as your marketing plan and brand are well-developed. Coffee is a widely available product with many competitors, making it a fiercely competitive industry. Offering products like coffee at a high market price can attract many customers.