We as ColdHotDrinks, help the roasteries have a voice. We take care of everything, client relationships, marketing, product management and maintenance, automation, etc. And the roastery focuses on the highest quality and freshness of the coffee. In this blog, you will learn the entire finalization process of our new subscription model and free shipping.
The integration of our new coffee purchasing model allows you to have a recurring subscription to the coffees of your liking.
With the new subscription model, the primary point where it all started was the question of how we could make all the products accessible to the smaller roasteries across Switzerland. So basically our vision and idea was to make the coffee available to everyone.
What we noticed along the way is that there are a lot of amazing roasteries but they are too small as companies, and they operate in very low-key “underground” neighbourhoods, so their brand awareness is still at an infant level, even though their coffee quality is top-notch.
Owning or managing a roastery requires a lot of hard work and usually, it is a one-man show. From coffee bean selection to roasting, preparation, packaging, and selling. That’s why most of these small roasteries, most of the time, don’t have the chance to have a big adequate platform where they can sell their coffee and have proper maintenance of it online.
This is where we come and support these roasteries to have a louder voice in the coffee market by allowing them to sell their coffee through our online platform.
Our first brainstorming and ideation
At first, we thought “Let’s build a platform, contact all the roasteries, and see if we can buy and store their coffee and ship them afterwards.” This was the starting idea that we thought could work but we came to the conclusion that it would cost a lot to store all the coffee and that would reflect on the product itself. Then the product would automatically reflect our client’s satisfaction – so we decided that that was not the best strategy to move forward with.
For us, it clicked that storing the coffee for a long time would not make sense because it wouldn’t be fresh, as how our aim was, to begin with. So, this was our first iteration which didn’t work.
Our two main challenges and questions to ourselves were:
- How to ship fresh coffee?
- How to lower the costs?
After we decided to move on from the storing idea, we thought “How about having the roastery deliver the coffee for us?”. We implemented this approach which was good until a certain point when we realized that there was a problem. Basically, the cost was too high to deliver the packages. Even though the coffee was fresh and it shipped directly from the roastery, we couldn’t find a way to lower the shipping price.
Shipping a below 2-kilo package through the post office was 7 CHF, and 9 CHF for a package above 2 kilos which we thought it’s pretty expensive when all things were put together. So, basically, if we would’ve onboarded coffees from two or more roasteries, we would’ve paid two or more extra times for each roastery.
Another challenge we encountered was how to collect all the roastery information in a single platform and how to keep them up to date. Besides this, we’ve also finalized the taste wheel by specialty coffee. Now we are currently working on preparing and collecting the information, and the main challenge we’re experiencing is how to implement and showcase it in the best possible way.
Finding a solution
Specialty coffee is beautiful to be experienced but very hard to be understood by most people. What it requires the most is being invested in the coffee world, understanding the terminologies, and the technical aspect. And what we are doing, is simplifying the entire process.
The whole process starts with a coffee quiz that is designed to recommend you the most adequate coffee of your own favour.
The quiz’s purpose is to provide beginners of the coffee world with the most matching product for their taste. Nobody needs to have deep coffee knowledge but everybody will be provided with several recommendations. Imagine how awesome it is to be able to handpick the recommended roasteries even though you may be a beginner.
In a nutshell, we walk you through every step until we find the best and the most suited product for you.
With every purchase, we improve our algorithms to find the perfect coffee. The challenges were quite tricky, but they didn’t stop us nevertheless.
We looked at all the possibilities when it comes to packaging. After a grounded deep dive, we decided that shipping envelope packages would be the best decision to make. The next step was to find an agreement with the post office which we did.
Finally, we could ship for free through envelope packaging. In this form, we solved the roastery issue. Now, everyone can order however many packages they need from different roasteries, with free shipping, and fresh coffee.
Innovation and development
The best and the most appropriate way to manage our roastery information was to build a roastery dashboard. The slight challenge there was that it took too many clicks to arrive at the roastery information. This problem didn’t stop us from finding the perfect solution once more.
So, basically, what we needed to do is to find a shortcut in order to make the user experience as efficient and direct as possible. We automated the whole process to turn it into a single click for every order.
Our innovation primarily took part in these aspects:
- Quality (fresh coffee)
- Ordering (free shipping and unlimited roastery purchasing options)
- Simplifying and making life easier for the roasteries as well
We have created a dashboard for our clients so they can fully control their purchases, product reviews, etc. Through their personalized product reviews, we have created a system that recommends other coffee types for their liking.
We wanted to provide our clients with a particular product review system, but the coffee taste is subjective. It changes from one person to another. What someone likes, perhaps the other doesn’t. Therefore, we thought to implement a meaningful review system without it being damaging to the roastery because as we just mentioned, the taste is subjective.
In conclusion, our clients now have access to:
- The dashboard
- The purchased coffees
- Personalized taste review
- Automated coffee bean recommendations
Design and marketing
The design of our website is a recurring improvement. Its aim is to simplify the user journey, in the sense of reducing the complexity without removing any functionalities.
The cart page is basically the continuation of our single product page but adapted for the purpose of subscription.
We are still working on a lot of improvements behind closed doors so we can elevate the design elements of this page into a world-class user interface. While the user experience and the user-centric approach are already completely there.
We’ve created and continue to create juicy and easy-to-make recipes for the clients to read and replicate in their homes. Besides that, we regularly publish original blogs that encompass the whole coffee world.
We were creating the monthly newsletter for a long time, but we stopped it for the moment until our user base grows a bit more along with the interest for the newsletter. While with our general blogs, the main reason we haven’t been posting so frequently was the development aspect of our website under construction.
We are not done yet. There are many things we are working on improving on a daily basis, and there are many things we still have to learn.
We have opened a specialty coffee brewing support group that is exponentially starting to become a sweet community of coffee lovers on Facebook. There we try to gain as much feedback as possible and keep in touch with our community for various coffee updates and innovations.
The feedback from our community and our clients helps us a lot. We try to stay as active as possible in implementing our audience’s feedback from their purchases or social interactions which relate to our company’s core values.
- For the near future, we’re thinking to enhance our subscription model even more by including the option of subscription through your taste profile. As a client, you will be able to create your own coffee taste subscription profile. Your subscription will be dedicated to tastes only, and you will be filled with adequate coffee options to choose from.
- A juicy functionality that’s about to be implemented is the taste wheel. We’ve already finalized it, but the main improvement we are working on is the taste accuracy so the recommended coffees can be as closer as possible to our client’s preferences.
How we envision our future
Our vision is to make this amazing service and product available to everyone, therefore, with ColdHotDrinks, we plan of expanding internationally across Europe. In order to do that, we have to take this foundational action:
Elevate ColdHotDrinks into a high-level platform where every client, no matter their coffee knowledge, can be able to find the perfect coffee for their taste.