I'm curious about how other coffee shops utilize the internet, and how they present themselves online. What does your cafe website look like? What do you primarily focus it towards (or what are your goals with it?) What sort of upkeep do you practice, how often is it updated, and by who?
We just got our site up yesterday. I haven't made any changes and didn't prep for his photos. Keep in mind that we are in the Canadian prairies and don't have a large espresso crowd. Manitoba sells the most Slurpee per capita in the world. If that sums up the mentality here. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks forbiddenflavours.ca
We will have our web designer update it. Otherwise it wont get done. There are to many other things to do.
We currently have two. Our origial site www.merdekacoffee.com, was designed mainly as an educational site revolving around Indonesia and Indonesian coffee. The designer built it so I could do updates- newsletters, news, add product, add photos etc myself. It still runs well but, being built in 2003, it may seem a little outdated. I try and update something every wek- important apparently for the bots that crawl the web.
Our latet site is for the NZ operation and is www.merdekacoffee.co.nz . This site is both informative but more importantly our first effort at web retailing. Keeping things in line with our old site, we made sure all of it was updatable by either our NZ crew or myself.
Its purpose is to create interest in and answer questions about our store. That's the reason for all of the pics on the main page... trying to give people a real feel for our store. It sees the occasional update to change the seasonal look and feel. All design and updates are done by the owners.
We also have a Facebook page that is meant to provide real-time information - brews of the day, special events, etc. That one is updated daily. It is meant to be a method of more direct communication with our current customers.
We used to half-heartedly maintain an email list for blast updates, but that fell by the wayside...
Right now it's missing minor elements and descriptors, and has a few bugs. However, it is new and my time (I developed and maintain the site) is sorely limited (4 yr old, daytime job, pulling shifts at the cafe, other money making endeavors so's we can break even, chores, honey-do-now's, etc)...
Our ultimate goal is to tie into our marketing campaigns that are currently in the development stages. Because of the stigma associated with the brand from past histories, our focus with the site is to let our customers know that we are under new ownership, service & quality are our number one goals. When consumers come in contact with our ads (print, TV, radio, internet), he/she may not be ready to walk through our doors. With most people having access to the internet in some way these days, our website is a fantastic way to help imprint our brand into peoples minds.
Even though I have not had a lot of opportunity to maintain, I have done enough so that if a user googles 'coffee paragould', we are the number one local coffee business/mapped hit. That took a bit of doing and a couple of months worth of patience. Listing our URL on sites like Urbanspoon, Yahoo!Local & MerchantCircle helped alot...We are even getting hits on starbucks as a search term.
We are also utilizing facebook. Our fanbase isn't doing us a lot of good yet, but time will pass and we will win. I spend about $7 a week for an ad with facebook and get over 20,000 ad impressions per week in an audience of roughly 25,000 users. After the summer vacation season, that figure should go up.
Crop to Cup: www.croptocup.com
although we're a wholesaler, not a shop, we always encourage our wholesale customers (e.g. a cafe) to use any of our media (origin data, farmer info, photos, videos, etc) on their own websites. for example, a wholesale customer could embed one of our farmer profile youtube videos on their page showing other details about the coffee(s) currently on offer. anyway, something to think about - ask your roaster if they have have any info/media that you could use on your site so you can build that bridge between farmer and drinker.
One of our regulars does graphic design, and another one does websites for a living. The website went up fairly quickly after we got them both involved with it. I wish it were updated more frequently though, because we've had a few employee changes since it went up. I'd also like to have a blog, which we don't have right now.
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