Can roasters use TikTok to sell coffee?

Esther Gibbs
June 2, 2023
An image of a coffee consumer holding a mobile phone with TikTok logo in an article on whether roasters should use TikTok to sell coffee

Businesses are always looking for innovative ways to expand their reach and increase sales, and social media platforms, such as TikTok can be the perfect opportunity. With over 1 billion active users worldwide, TikTok has become one of the most effective social media platforms for businesses to market products. 

Launched in 2016 by the Chinese tech company ByteDance, TikTok allows users to create and share short, 10-second videos. The app only gained widespread popularity when it merged with a similar app called in 2018.

Since then, TikTok has become one of the most downloaded apps worldwide. The app’s algorithm serves content that is based on user preferences and interests, making it an ideal platform for businesses looking to reach specific audiences. There are several ways specialty coffee roasters can use TikTok’s features to boost e-commerce sales and create viral marketing campaigns. 

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Which tools on TikTok should coffee roasters use?

One of TikTok’s unique features is the editing tools built into the platform. These allow users to add music, filters, and special effects to videos. They are incredibly easy to use and help beginners create engaging content. Another interesting aspect of TikTok is its ability to create viral trends through challenges and the use of hashtags. These trends often spread quickly among millions of users, increasing brand awareness.

When used in video marketing, TikTok provides coffee roasters with a fun and creative way to showcase their products and connect with new customers. More so, it has become a popular platform for people to earn money. The app has a “creator fund”, which allows content creators who meet certain criteria to earn money based on the number of views and level of engagement. There are options for sponsored posts, influencer and affiliate schemes, and live-streaming. 

Sell coffee through the TikTok shop

Additionally, there is the TikTok shop: an ecommerce platform where consumers can buy directly from the app. This is a relatively new feature that allows users to buy products seamlessly. Customers can add items to their basket while they scroll through content, as products can be linked at the bottom of each video. 

Customers can easily check out and pay through the Apple and Google Play app stores, or PayPal. This provides coffee roasters with the opportunity to make impulse purchases extremely convenient for consumers. Roasters can invest in custom-printed coffee bags and use them in videos to showcase different blends. Alternatively, the videos can be used to highlight limited-edition promotions or discounts. 

Create exclusive content

Notably, TikTok has become the ultimate platform for viral content. Due to its algorithm, videos can go “viral” in a matter of hours, reaching millions of viewers worldwide. Creating educational videos or content that follows trends on the platform can be an effective way to grab attention and increase brand awareness. 

Some examples include latte art tutorials or a behind-the-scenes look at the roasting process. Roasters and baristas can also create unique recipes, or join the challenges that are already trending on the platform. The algorithm will direct coffee-related content to people who have already shown interest in the topic. 

An image of coffee roasters using TikTok to sell coffee with specialty coffee boxes in foreground in an article on whether roasters should use TikTok to sell coffee

Real-time engagement with consumers

Another feature coffee roasters should take note of is TikTok Live. This allows users to broadcast live videos to their followers and actively build brand loyalty. For specialty coffee roasters, this can be a great way to engage with your audience and highlight products in real-time. 

During a TikTok Live session, viewers can interact with the host, leave comments, send gifts, which can be converted into money, and buy products. Roasters could use the feature to grow their audience by hosting Q&A sessions with guests, roasting coffee live and encouraging users to buy it, or doing demonstrations of recipes and cupping classes.  

Affiliate schemes and commissions are popular and easy ways for businesses to generate sales through an online presence. Affiliate marketing is a performance-based model where the business rewards affiliates, which are individuals or other businesses, for each sale they make by giving them a percentage of the sale. 

Coffee roasting businesses can leverage affiliate schemes on TikTok to increase their reach and drive sales. This can be done by encouraging affiliates to create content or “go live” and directly attach a link to a particular coffee. By partnering with influencers or other coffee-related accounts, the coffee will be seen by a wider audience. This incentive encourages affiliates to promote the product in creative ways on the platform, such as creating viral videos or live-streaming with the coffee. Another bonus is all the administration work is managed through the app itself, making it easy for the roaster and the influencer.

Popular products marketed on TikTok include clothing, makeup, home and kitchen accessories, gadgets, and cleaning products. Most of these products are promoted through videos that showcase a problem users can relate to, and showcase the product as the solution. Research indicates TikTok users favour convenience and ease. As a result, several coffee businesses on the platform have made successful sales for equipment, cups, and glassware. However, the sale of beans to date across the app has been relatively slow.

The Tiktok shop is set up to support businesses and enable growth. The feature has been executed well, with shipping, payments, complaints, and refunds handled within the app. The app also has its own dedicated team who can help businesses navigate the ins and outs of selling on the platform. They have videos, online classes, and Q&A’s, and will provide businesses with a personal account manager for additional support. 

The Help Center also provides guidance on advertising policies and best practices for creating engaging content. More so, it provides thorough reports for performance analysis to help roasters improve and track sales and see who they are reaching.

Using coffee packaging to appeal to TikTok users

Roasters only need to search the word “coffee” to see TikTok has a large presence interested in the topic. Many videos have gone viral and accounts are able to gain large followings. Notably, the most popular videos appear to be lifestyle and aesthetic videos, tutorials, impressive latte art, or comedy sketches relating to coffee. While there are millions of people on Tiktok that love coffee, there is a market within the apps shop that is yet to be harnessed.

Gaining followers on the platform requires dedication, as roasters must post videos regularly. The platform is only growing in influence, popularity, and convenience, with certain products selling in large quantities. Investing in customised coffee packaging can exemplify a luxury product that appeals to the platform’s users.

MTPak Coffee has a dedicated design team that will work with you to create bespoke packaging that will help your brand go viral. If you want to invest your time to promote your brand on Tiktok and make use of the most advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence on social media, there are 1 billion users that are waiting for you to reach them. 

Our range of coffee packaging is 100% recyclable and made from renewable resources such as kraft paper and rice paper. Our line of coffee bags contains recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable options to boost your eco-friendly credentials. 

Additionally, we are able to digitally print custom coffee bags to convey your brand’s personality. We offer a 40 hour turnaround and 24-hour shipping time, as well as low minimum order quantities (MOQs) no matter what packaging size or material used.

For more information on digitally printed sustainable coffee packaging, contact our team. 

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