Showing brand loyalty is a wonderful way for your customers to express their appreciation for your business. Walk in to just about any café or even some restaurants, and you’ll find that they have their own merchandise on sale next to the register for this very reason.
If you’re looking to sell your own merchandise, but don’t know where to begin, you’ve found the right guide. We’ll be illustrating some popular merchandise to sell in a coffee shop.
Should you Sell Merchandise?
Is selling merchandise worth it?
In short, the answer is a resounding yes. Selling items related to coffee is actually one of the top trends in coffee shop marketing.
So to begin with, selling your own merchandise will keep you on top of this profitable trend. Beyond that, it allows your customers to express their love for your business.
If you’ve got a few loyal regulars, chances are, they might be interested in wearing a shirt with your shop’s name and logo on it. They might want to put a shop sticker on their car, or they might want to drink from a cup with the shop’s name emblazoned on the side.
Aside from letting customers show off stylish gear from a coffee shop they love, it’s a little like free advertising for you. We’ve all heard the expression a picture is worth a thousand words, and if word of mouth is excellent for growing your reputation, then imagine how much your logo on a shirt might do.
Best Coffee Shop Merchandise Ideas
When most people think of merchandise, they think of clothing. It’s potentially a good option to offer in your own merchandise store.
You can find patterns, colors, and styles that fit the feel of your business. That way, when a customer wears them, they take a little of your shop with them wherever they go.
A few types of clothing you could sell include t-shirts, sweaters, hoodies, and hats. Of course, you should absolutely feel free to express yourself a bit here.
Scarves, bandannas, and accessories like bracelets or necklaces could also be wonderful choices for your shop.
Reusable Cups and Travel Mugs
Customers can be encouraged to save the environment a bit of litter by using their own cups and mugs on the road. If they don’t have any yet, or if they’re a fan of your shop, you can be the person to offer these mugs to them.
Think about selling reusable cups and travel mugs with your shop’s name on them. Look at interesting and fun patterns and color combinations that fit with your shop’s aesthetic.
As an extra, some coffee shops even give customers who bring in their travel mugs again for more coffee a slight discount on their drink. While you certainly don’t have to do that, it’s a thoughtful gesture on your part – and incentive to buy some of your merchandise.
Ground and Whole Bean Coffee Blends
Despite the popularity of huge coffee chains, this survey showed that 79% of its participants had still brewed their own cup of coffee at home recently. Brewing coffee at home can be an inexpensive alternative to the frugal drinker.
It’s also ideal if their favorite coffee shop is closed when they get a craving for caffeine.
By selling your own coffee blends in bags, you can ensure your customers get a taste of your coffee whenever they want. Feel free to offer it as whole bean or ground, depending on their preference.
Key Chains and Buttons
You don’t necessarily need to have a “go big or go home” mentality when it comes to merchandise, either. Some customers won’t want to buy anything particularly big, anyway.
For those who just want some trinkets to carry around, or anything that won’t be burdensome to bring with, key chains and buttons are convenient items. Most people carry car and house keys with them, and a cute or bold key chain would be perfect to add to their key ring.
Buttons, on the other hand, can go on pretty much anything. Backpacks, purses, jackets – all are prime candidates for a stylish brand button.
A fair amount of people prefer tea as their go-to drink. 80% of consumers drink tea, so this is fantastic marketing aspect to get into if you sell tea in your shop.
Package some of your most popular teas in attractive boxes. Like selling ground or whole bean coffee, this will allow your customers to purchase and brew their favorite teas from you in the comfort of their own kitchen whenever they wish.
Stickers and Decals
While this category tends to apply most to bands, stickers or decals are still applicable to coffee shops, too. Out of all the types of merchandise you could possibly sell, stickers can have the highest profits because they cost so little to make.
If you’re concerned that ordering customized merchandise will break the bank, think about starting small with stickers. They’re extremely cost-effective, and still provide your customers a means with which to demonstrate their love for your coffee.
Locally Made Products
Coffee shops are oftentimes great places for locals to meet over a soothing hot drink before heading into work or on their downtime. Like bars, they can become central to the community, a place where people sit and socialize.
You can strengthen your ties to your community by also lending your coffee shop as a sort of storefront to other businesses in the area. For instance, if you know any candle makers, soap makers, knitters, or anyone who privately sells their own goods, your counter could be just the space they need to take off.
As far as selling their products goes, make sure you cooperate with them on the sales proceeds. Another thing you could think about doing for them is displaying their business cards by their products so customers know where to get more, too.
Locally Sourced Artwork
We’ve written about how coffee shops are a wonderful place for artists to display their artwork before here. Art and coffee is just a good combination – it’s as simple as that.
And art is incredibly important, too. This isn’t a unique way of thinking – 70% of Americans believe that art helps unify our communities, and your coffee shop can be used to put the unity in your community.
Display some gorgeous artwork from local artists on your walls. Talk to the artist about what kind of price they’d want to sell each piece for, and list prices by each piece, along with the artist’s information so customers can look them up.
Albums from Previous Shows and Bands
If you host live music in your business, there’s another marketing opportunity: albums. With the musician’s permission, sell some albums from previous shows in your store.
It’s kind of a win-win situation. Customers who might have attended a show but weren’t able to get merch at the time or who don’t remember what the band was called will see the album in your shop and be reminded of the band.
Customers who are unfamiliar with the band entirely might see the album and consider it because it’s in your store. Depending on how you look at it, it’s both a way for the band to potentially grow their fan base and for you to promote your business.
Sometimes, you need a little bit more than just a mug of coffee or tea. This is especially the case if you’re going out on a fishing trip, a hike, or just have a long shift at work that requires a bit of a boost.
For those days, you need something like a thermos that can store more and keep it warmer longer.
You could have some stylish thermoses for sale on your counter top. It’s perfect for your most dedicated coffee fanatics.
Choosing not to sell merchandise in your business is a huge missed opportunity. If you’re worried about the up-front cost, there’s always tons of affordable options, like stickers, buttons, and key chains.
Your business, no matter how small, is your brand. Having merchandise for sale in your shop allows your customers to display their enthusiasm for the brand you represent.