In three years, we’ve built the fastest growing coffee company in America according to Inc Magazine.
Our coffee company sold $16,738.04 in January of 2019. Less than three years later, the same business sold $2,602,734.31 in November of 2021.
Our sales growth through 2020 landed us at #80 on Inc Magazine’s 2021 list of the 5,000 “fastest growing companies in America” (of the ones that apply anyway). We are #4 in the food and beverage category and the highest ranked coffee company.
Here’s what worked:
Benefited from luck. We had a great product with the right message at the right time. We were also one of the first to heavily market healthier coffee on social media.
Ignored the store and focused on building a good sales funnel. Instead of spending lots of time planning, designing, and optimizing the Shopify storefront, we focused on one single long page that contained all the information a potential customer needed to make a buying decision. No external links or distractions. Our funnel was and still is (1) click an ad, (2) visit the landing page, (3) add to cart, (4) checkout, (5) upsells.
Focused on a limited number of products. Because people have varying coffee tastes, we needed a basic selection of options including dark roast, light roast, medium roast, and decaf. But we didn’t go any further. (We have a lot of flavored coffees, but we didn’t offer those on the main landing page). We wanted the options to be clear, to be simple, and not require a lot of decision-making.
Worked hard to find the winning hook. We tested a lot of different angles with this one sales funnel. We tried promoting our charitable donations, environmentally friendliness, non-toxicity, and others hook ideas. For us, going as deep as possible into the healthiness and low acidity of our coffee proved the winner. That’s what people cared about the most (and what competitors are copying from us today).
Drove consistent traffic. To refine our angle and optimize our sales funnel, we needed consistent traffic. $20 per day Facebook ad campaigns were enough to get started.
Didn’t aim to make a profit upfront. 25% of first-time customers return for us. Some have made over 100 orders (which is kind of mind-blowing). This means we don’t need to make a profit upfront on every customer. We can make it on repeat orders. Therefore, our goal has been to break-even on ad spend in the second month. We’re willing to lose a bit of money in the first month to get new customers.
Ramped up our average order value. 75% of customers don’t rebuy from us. This means we only get one chance to sell them our coffee. We added and tested order bumps the In Cart Upsell and Zipify apps. We also added and split tested lots of one-click upsells using Zipify. Our current average order value is over $60 or around three bags of coffee.
Provided great customer service. A 25% repeat purchase rate is good. We couldn’t have gotten there with bad customer service. Coffee is personal. Some people like certain roasts and not others. So our team led by Charles, the CEO, and Michelle, our Operations Manager, swaps out bags constantly and makes sure people are happy.
The process is simple, the execution is difficult. We didn’t take a payout from this business for the first full year of working on it together. I put in 10-20 hours a week on this project with no compensation for twelve months. It was worth it. I’m proud of what we’ve built and am excited for the future of this company.
I know you achieve great results too if you learn from the steps we took above. It won’t be easy, unless you get lucky (which I hope you do), but you will scale on Shopify if you keep at it.
A special note for Amazon private label / FBA sellers: If you sell on Amazon and own your own brand, we just put together a free downloadable report to walk you through how to scale on Shopify. You can get it here.