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Behind Blue Tokai's Digital Strategy | Blue Tokai
Here’s how the brand strengthened its online presence.
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How Blue Tokai took their cafe brews online

Here’s how the brand strengthened its online presence.
  • When you start an online business, there are so many things you wish you didn’t have to worry about.
  • However, with the ability to start an online store easily, Shopify has given Blue Tokai partners more time at hand to find better ways to work together. Here is how they made it happen.
The Beginning

Started 2013, Blue Tokai was founded with a simple mission to introduce people to great-tasting coffee grown in India and set a coffee culture that told them the difference between beans that were roasted with utmost care and those that simply didn’t make for the perfect brew. They started out by introducing their coffee into the Indian market through cafes in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Noida and Goa. The idea was to be able to develop roast profiles and focus on the brewing of each cup they served to ensure their customers got an unparalleled coffee experience.

To further enhance this experience, right from making refractometers essential for cafe brewing to holding advanced sensory learnings for junior roasters and experimenting with processing at the farm level, Blue Tokai is constantly evolving the way Indian coffee is treated, experienced or communicated about.

Sharing the mission behind launching the brand, Matt Chitharanjan, Co-Founder at Blue Tokai Coffee, said, “We wanted to bring the best brews to our customers. So our mission has always been very simple - make high-quality coffee more accessible to everyone through our cafes and our website. When you start an online business, there are so many things you wish you don’t have to worry about and Shopify helped us not worry about this aspect of it. We were a two-person army; one would do the roasting and the other was focusing on the packaging so we had to make sure we were choosing a platform that wouldn’t burden our journey.”

On starting an online store

The long-term goal for the company was to make great coffee available to everyone and only so many people could visit their cafes. That’s when they decided to take their business online to be able to make their coffee a household name across the country and chose Shopify as their e-commerce platform.

As of today, Blue Tokai’s entire in-cafe coffee range is available on their online coffee store. The brand has also shared their story of starting a coffee business in India, how they chose the farms they work with today, their roasteries and more, to be able to set the tone for the culture they’re about to make their customers experience.

Unlike the in-cafe experience, Blue Tokai knew that it was important to share how each coffee variant available in their store was different from the others. In a country where the knowledge about coffee or how it is brewed is limited, the brand took it upon themselves to educate their customers.

Their online coffee store is not just a visit and buy experience. They have gone above and beyond to ensure they can help each visitor find their perfect brew. After all, selling coffee online does take effort!

Here’s how the brand strengthened its online presence:

1. Product pages that hold a conversation

Just as the baristas would when you walk into the Blue Tokai cafes, each of the product pages on their site holds a conversation with the visitor. They don’t just list the variants on their online coffee store but also have taken the time to explain their making, and how each one is different from the other. The product pages describe how the coffee is made, where it comes from and the taste one can expect from it. They’ve also added recipes to make the perfect hot and cold brew to ensure their customers get to experience coffee the same way as they could at their cafes.

2. Simplest guides to help brew the perfect cup of coffee

Not all of us know how to brew our coffees well. For most, it is just about adding a teaspoon of coffee into hot water and adding milk. But that’s exactly what Blue Tokai wanted to change while setting the coffee culture in India.To help their online customers learn to brew the perfect cup, the online coffee store doesn’t just offer a variety of starter kits and equipment, but also a blog with easy-to-follow guides. Clear coffee proportions and recipes for the perfect hot and cold brews.

3. Chatbot and live chat assistance to pick the right coffee

Think about the last time you walked into a cafe and took almost ten minutes to decide what you wanted. Now think how long it would take to make the same decision online when there’s no one to guide you in the right direction. Blue Tokai knew this was an important aspect of being able to deliver the same coffee experience as in their cafes, on their online coffee store. The brand implemented a chatbot and a live chat on the store to coffee recommendations, based on where the visitor is in their journey with coffee. It’s a simple chat that guides you step-by-step to finding the right coffee for you.


4. Hygiene page to address COVID-19 concerns

A more recent addition to their online store is a hygiene page, owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. Blue Tokai understands the concerns of their customers and knows it is important to face them head-on, instead of leaving it ambiguous. With a hygiene page, the brand shares how they’re ensuring quality coffee standards as usual, in addition to the safety measures being followed at their farms, their roasteries and the cafes that are slowly opening for dine-in.

With the ability to start an online store easily, Shopify has given the Blue Tokai partners more time at hand to find better ways to work together and with their roasters, focusing on what matters the most to their brand’s vision and mission - turning a cup of coffee into an experience with carefully roasted beans and slow-brewed coffee.