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Cafes & Restaurants

7 Reasons Your Coffee Shop Needs a Loyalty App

Written by 
Brad Davis
January 22, 2020

For cafe owners looking to increase their customer retention and expand their customer base, there’s no more useful tool than an effective and well-maintained customer loyalty program.

While coffee is an extremely popular commodity, competition between local cafes is often fierce. 

So how can coffee shop owners ensure people choose to consistently visit their cafe instead of their competitors across the road? By implementing a well-structured coffee shop loyalty app that customers find too good to resist!

What is a cafe customer loyalty program?

For coffee shops, a customer loyalty program is essentially any system that rewards its patrons for continuing to purchase food and drinks from that cafe.

Originally, the standard customer loyalty program for cafes was the paper punch-card, where every time you bought a coffee the staff member behind the counter punched a hole in your card and upon 9 stamps, your 10th coffee was free.

While this system used to be extremely popular among cafe owners around the world, it has quickly become defunct.

Why? Because it doesn’t provide the cafe owner with any information about their loyal customers’ spending habits, preferences or demographics, which is essential for knowing the right message to deliver to each customer, at the right time.

We are living in a digital age, and customers expect convenient solutions. This means they don't want to worry about having to carry around paper or plastic punch cards anymore (which they usually lose or forget about anyway).

Why are digital loyalty programs better than paper punch cards for cafes?

Considering that we can even pay with our phones these days, customers now expect businesses to introduce a digital aspect to their loyalty program.  

Having a coffee shop loyalty app offers many benefits to both cafes and their customers, especially now that contactless transactions are incredibly important.

Want to launch a cafe loyalty program but need a bit of help? Check out our free Digital Loyalty Program Launch Checklist!

Benefits of A Digital Loyalty App for Your Coffee Shop 

1. Repeat Business

Perhaps the most obvious, customer loyalty programs encourage regular patrons to visit the cafe more frequently, as the promise of a free coffee or some kind of reward motivates them to keep coming back. This helps you turn one-time visit into regulars!

2. Contactless Loyalty

There are countless reasons why a digital loyalty program is a good idea, in any economic climate. However, due to the current pandemic, there are even more reasons why cafes owners should considering offering a digital loyalty card to their customers, as passing around a paper loyalty card is not the most hygienic practice.

3. Standing Out in the Crowd

In a world awash with cafes, your coffee shop loyalty app serves as a point of difference. It is a promise to customers that beyond the steaming cup of excellence, their consistent patronage receives acknowledgement and reward. 

People sitting around a table in a coffee shop.

4. Boosting Sales With Ease 

A sophisticated coffee shop loyalty app not only retains customers but tantalizes them to explore. In fact, did you know that existing customers tend to spend 67% more than new customers?  

A customer loyalty program also provides opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. For example, if you wanted to sell more of a particular product, let's say... muffins. You could run a promotion like this...

"Earn 2 stamps with each muffin purchase!"

5. The Power of Advocacy 

A successful cafe customer loyalty program can help you boost referrals and get new business. Happy customers talk. Locals who are happy with their ongoing experience in a coffee shop are likely to promote the business to their friends, family and co-workers. Did you know a whopping 92% of customers trust peer reviews while only 14% trust advertising? So it’s crucial that existing customers are satisfied with the product and talking about it.

6. Access to loyalty program data

As a cafe owner, you probably already recognize the importance of building a rapport with your customers.

No doubt you’re on a first-name basis with some of your regulars, perhaps you pat their dogs when they come in, or ask how their grandmother’s birthday was last weekend.

While this excellent customer service is incredibly important for running a successful cafe, it doesn’t help you capture information on that customer, such as contact details and times and dates of their visits.

Capturing this information and knowing what to do with it, will vastly improve your marketing efforts and have a dramatically positive impact on your business.

A coffee shop loyalty app provides a plethora of information which you can leverage in order to create special events or offers, and most importantly, understanding what your customers enjoy most about your business and what you could improve on. 

Want to see a cafe's digital loyalty program in action? Take a look at our Quest Coffee case study!

A cafe worker smiling at a customer.

7. They can boost slow periods

One of the great things about a digital loyalty program is that it can help you boost quiet days and slow periods. Every cafe has its off-peak hours or quiet days. With insights from your coffee shop loyalty app, push promotions precisely when you need that customer influx. 

This could be in the form of targeted offers, event collaborations, exclusive menu items, and much more. Your coffee shop loyalty app can send out event notifications, important updates, and limited-time offers. 

Stamp Me Loyalty App

Stamp Me laptop and phone image.

Stamp Me is a straightforward and intuitive loyalty platform that’s trusted by cafes around the world. And with a 4.9 app store rating, you can be sure your cafe customers will be raving about more than your delicious coffee! 

  • Rewarding your regular coffee drinkers is made simple, safe, and effective with Stamp Me.
  • Taking a modern twist on the classic punch card, we've harnessed technology to elevate its effectiveness for cafes.
  • Engage directly with your patrons: announce a new coffee blend, special discounts, or simply send a warm greeting through Push Notifications and SMS.
  • Add some fun to your cafe loyalty program with features like Scratch & Win games.
  • Reward your customers on their special day with our Birthday Club feature. 
  • Access customer data & view activity from your Stamp Me Merchant Console 

Get started now!

Email Course: 7 Days of Customer Loyalty

Sign up for our free, 7-day email course and become a customer loyalty expert!

We’ll also send you loyalty tips, trends and resources from time to time (which you can opt out of whenever you like).

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