Talitha Coffee: Overwhelmed D2C Subscribers Benefit From Handholding

cup of coffee

While true coffee aficionados may know exactly what they are looking for on eCommerce platforms, Talitha Coffee notes, the average consumer may find the range of options confusing, and by being more hands-on, brands can help ease the pathway to purchase.

The mission-focused brand recently announced the launch of its new eCommerce storefront for its direct-to-consumer (D2C) and wholesale businesses. In an interview with PYMNTS, Mark Becklund, the brand’s vice president of product and growth, spoke to how, in order to reach a more mass market, coffee sellers must keep the process simple for consumers.

“Coffee in general can be a little bit overwhelming for everyday folks,” Becklund said. “Like, if you ask my wife, ‘How much coffee should you buy every month so that you can drink it every morning?’ She’d be like, ‘I have no clue. When I run out, I’m going to buy another one at the grocery store.’”

He noted that additions of things like quizzes that ask about coffee drinking frequency and about flavor preferences, the brand can recommend subscriptions and products tailored to consumers’ habits and tastes — ones that will not require much effort on the customer’s part.

Granted, there is a sweet spot, and overshooting the mark — asking consumers too many questions — can have its own drawbacks. Findings from PYMNTS’ study “Building A Better Online Checkout Experience: The Key Features That Matter To Customers,” created in collaboration with Checkout.com, showed 8% of shoppers experienced the pain point of being asked for too much information for their most recent purchase directly from a brand.

“Everything that we’re doing is trying to make it easy putting the control into the hands of the person that’s actually drinking the coffee every day,” Becklund said.

Overall, consumers are becoming more comfortable purchasing consumables online. Research from PYMNTS’ study “Changes in Grocery Shopping Habits and Perception,” which drew from a survey of more than 2,400 U.S. consumers, found that nearly half the population (46%) purchases at least some of their groceries via digital channels.

Additionally, with the stickiness of the rise of remote and hybrid work seen in 2020 and 2021, coffee companies are continuing to notice elevated levels of at-home consumption — an advantage for brands that rely on consumers brewing their cups of Joe at home.

In fact, The J.M. Smucker Company CEO Mark Smucker noted on the firm’s earnings call Tuesday (Aug. 29) that more than 70% of coffee drinking occasions are at home.

Moreover, Data from PYMNTS’ survey of more than 1,200 restaurant customers in March for the “Connected Dining” series revealed that between 70% and 80% of diners — depending on the generation — have been eating at home more often in response to rising prices.

As Talitha moves forward, it is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to get more effective at targeting its wide range of customers, from consumers via its D2C channel to grocery stores to hotel chains to cafés.

“Each one of those customers and how they think about coffee, how they think about what they’re buying, how they’re serving their customers, is different,” Becklund said. “We’ve been intentional about making it so that, when they log in, they see products that are right for, that are customized to their experience, and then doing that same exact type of experience on the consumer side.”