Digital Developments in the Coffee Industry

Coronavirus currently presents an unprecedented challenge to all sectors of the world economy, with coffee shop and hospitality businesses deeply affected. However, the coffee industry is one of the UK’s most resilient, and we are already starting to see step changes being made, particularly with regards to digital developments.

Here’s some of the most recent digital developments in the coffee industry.

Digital Subscriptions

Pret announced today that it will be introducing a new digital subscription service, which allows customers for £20 a month to have up to five coffees a day, seven days a week. With UK high-streets deserted this move by the chain is hoped to widen their customer base and reach those working outside of city centres.   Could this be the start of a move towards a digital marketplace for the coffee industry?

The Rise of Social Media

Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit many people had a love-hate relationship with social media and its effect on real human interaction.  According to a Allegra, 47% of customers believe social media has been a positive thing during lockdown and many people have become more engaged on social than previously, including older age groups.  This presents an opportunity for businesses in the hospitality industry to reach their customer base on social media, to advertise new digital services and ways of connecting.


 allegra research


Contactless Payments & Loyalty Apps

Ordering by app has now become widespread in the hospitality industry.  This move represents opportunities for greater customer engagement through digital channels.

In harnessing these technological opportunities, successful coffee shops will maintain hospitality’s fundamentally human focus. Understanding customer preferences will remain crucial – 40% of industry leaders surveyed by Allegra indicate consumer data capture is the greatest benefit of coffee shop loyalty apps. With 41% of consumers surveyed deterred by in-store queues of five or more, pre-ordering is another important facet of seamless in-store transactions.