How to Develop a Custom Coffee Shop App for Your Cafe Business?

Updated on Dec 15th, 2023

People love their coffee worldwide; it has often been seen that coffee shops are the most common hangout spot for the younger generation. Coffee shops around the world are popular hubs for healthy discussions, meet-ups, brainstorming, and whatnot. As the technology became advanced, these cafe businesses became modernized, equipped with cutting-edge technology to deliver an amazing experience to their customers. One thing people love more than coffee is convenience; as a cafe business owner, you should deliver convenience to your user base with an astonishing coffee shop app.

Whether it is Starbucks or any other coffee joint, they offer their users a custom app suitable to the joint’s business needs and deliver an ultimate level of convenience to the users simultaneously. The concept of custom app development is nothing new; it has been there for years. The market is brimming with custom mobile solutions for various businesses as it helps them in fulfilling their user’s expectations which ultimately translates to great revenue figures with massive popularity. With a custom app, you will have no boundaries in terms of features, delivering offers, and much more. A custom app delivers the freedom to the cafe business owners of customizing their buyer’s shopping experience; for instance, Starbucks introduced a coffee app and has recorded a significant increase in the overall sales. Let’s understand the coffee app development trail.

Coffee Shop App: What is It?  

Coffee shops are in existence for a long time and have been serving as a perfect hangout spot for customers. As time changed, coffee shops also changed in terms of operating hours, recipes, ambiance, etc. Implementation of technology that serves the purpose of bringing customers close to the business and delivering an ultimate level of convenience can be termed as a Coffee shop app. These apps are mobile solutions for cafe businesses that help in strengthening the trust between brands and users. A custom app for a specific coffee shop creates a sense of community among the users and makes them feel valued. Customized app development allows these shops to integrate a ton of features that aligns with their user’s interest.

The way these cafe business apps works are extremely simple and elegant. Mind you, having an app doesn’t mean that the physical shop is not operating. People can install the app on their devices and enjoy various perks. They can sync their offline purchases with the app to gain reward points that can later be redeemed in future purchases. If users are short on cash while purchasing their coffee at the shop, they can easily pay with the app. They can gift various coupons to their friends and relatives, and much more.

Coffee Shop App: Benefits for Cafe Businesses  

The list of benefits that comes with custom app development is huge. From smart ordering to easy payments, it does it all. In terms of business, it is the most prominent option to enhance user engagement. When you integrate user-centric features into the app, the number of benefits will increase automatically. Here are some of the top benefits a cafe business gets with custom app development.

1. Enhanced Customer Loyalty  

With an efficient app, the customer is able to order in advance and earn some reward points to spend on the next purchase. Delivering such kind of offers and discounts through an app to the users make the users loyal towards your business.

2. Easy Ordering Process  

Customers can now order their coffee without being physically present in the coffee shop. Advance orderings benefit the customers and the business simultaneously. Customers can run their daily errands while their order is being prepared, and the cafe businesses can avoid overcrowding in the shop.

3. Easy Access to Data  

Customers as well cafe owners can easily access their data such as past purchases, favorite orders, amount spend in a certain number of days, etc. With some advanced integrations, cafe businesses can personalize the experience of the user by analyzing their behavior on the app.

4. Real-Time Scenario  

Cafe businesses can easily monitor their sales and inventory in real-time with efficient app development. On the other hand, it can benefit the customers also in tracking their’s order’s preparation in real-time.

Coffee Shop App: Development Timeline  

The development of a custom app for a cafe business is not that complicated as you may think. However, it involves a number of challenges that can affect the course of the development process. With the right methodologies, technology, and a reliable custom app development company, you can come up with an efficient app with tremendous capabilities. Let’s go through the timeline of the development process.

1. Define Your Idea  

Before starting any app development, you should be clear about the concept or the idea. In the case of a coffee shop app, you should be clear about the idea, what kind of app it will be, what purpose it will serve, etc. When you are clear about the concept, draw a clear picture of the app’s overall functionality, features, and potential prospects. However, coffee lovers will be your primary audience, but you always have the option to target a specific section of the coffee spectrum, such as a specific flavor, concentration, etc.

Now that you have finalized the basics of the app’s overall purpose, move towards planning. This section involves diligent market research to reveal all the primary factors such as competitors, market trends, etc. Perform diligent market research to know your competitors, their strategies, the features they have in their app, etc. Understanding the market strategy of your competitors will be beneficial in the long run. Follow the market trends, what users want or expect from a new cafe business’s app, find out the points where other apps lack to satisfy the expectation of the users. With all the relevant arrows of information in your quiver, carve out a road map that depicts your vision of the app.

2. Planning  

Now that you have all the information in one place create a road map for the development process. Being well aware of the user’s expectations, you can proceed with finalizing the essential components of an app, such as platforms, features, and technology stack.

Finalizing the number of platforms on which your app will be launched is an important decision. However, it is also crucial from a financial point of view. Mobile app development for a single platform can cost less as compared to cross-platform development. Location plays an important role in this decision, a vast number of people in the US use iOS as compared to android, and it varies as per the location.

The next important component of any app is its features, that’s responsible for the feasibility and the user’s interest in the app. The number of features totally depends upon the expectation of the cafe business from the app. There are some features that are common in all mobile apps, such as onboarding, user profile, order history, etc. Here are some features that are considered mandatory for a coffee business’s app.

Order in Advance  

The users can easily order their favorite coffee prior to visiting the shop. This feature will deliver flexibility to the users and avoid overcrowding at the shop. Customers can set their preferred time slot to pick up their order.

Reward Points  

In exchange for purchasing their coffee from the shop, users will be rewarded with certain reward points to use on their next purchase. It’s totally up to you to come up with a catchy name for these reward points; for example, Starbucks calls their reward points’ stars’.

Table Reservation  

Coffee shops are now the place where most of the business meetings take place. Integrating the reservation feature will attract customers to book their slot and peacefully enjoy the coffee in the shop. Cafe businesses have the option to hang a price on the slots sprinkled throughout the day.

Easy Payments  

There are times when a customer is back from their morning walk and decided to pick up coffee and forget their wallet or ran out of cash. In-built payment options will allow customers to easily pay for their products. You can also add reward points on payment of a certain amount that will encourage users to buy more.

Find Store  

A cafe business nowadays has many branches sprinkled throughout the city, state, or country. It is sometimes difficult for users to find their favorite cafe in the new city or neighborhood. With a geo-location feature, users will be able to find the cafe easily on the map.

Social Feed  

Custom app development for a cafe is mostly projected towards building a community. Within, a community it is mandatory to allow the members to share their thoughts. Integrating a social feed where people can share their thoughts about a branch, product, or random thought will intrigue users.

Doorstep Delivery  

It is not a regular feature, but you can integrate it to impress your users. You can charge extra for the doorstep delivery of the coffee, cookies, powders, etc. Integrating a delivery feature will really put you on the map.

After the features have been finalized, move towards the backbone of the app development technology stack. Choosing the right set of technology for an app is the most important task of the development process. The overall functionality of the chosen features will depend on the technology stack you choose. For the purpose of application and data management, you can use Ubuntu, Ruby, Amazon CloudFront, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft IIS, Handlebars.js, .NET, Cassandra, Groovy, Azure Storage, Splunk, etc. Apart from the application and data management, you would have to measure the performance of the app, among various other things; hence, for utilities, you can use Google Analytics, Optimizely, Chartbeat, Flurry, etc.

The app would perform efficiently if the teams involved in your workflow are in sync. You can enhance your team coordination by implementing DevOps with the help of GitHub, Git, Docker, Jenkins, Kubernetes, Bitbucket, Visual Studio, Sublime Text, VirtualBox, Vim, New Relic, Terraform, Vagrant, Grunt, Datadog, Prometheus, SonarQube, Chef, PagerDuty, Puppet Labs, Rancher, Octopus Deploy, Concourse, Azure Service Fabric, K9s, etc. Apart from DevOps, an app requires a set of business tools such as Slack, Jira, Confluence, Skype, Qualaroo,, etc. Customers will be able to find the cafe easily with map integration, and to facilitate live location; you can use Google Maps API.

3. Design & Testing  

Now that we are done finalizing the number of features, platforms, and technology stack, we can proceed towards designing and testing the custom coffee app. UI design is the first thing a customer comes across while using your app. Make sure the design should be as per the industry standards and awe the customers. Before proceeding with the design development, draw a rough sketch of the app’s UI to make your developer understand your vision. For better results, test various sets of color schemes, fonts, shapes, illustrations, buttons, font size, images, forms, animation, etc.

The next level in the development timeline is building a prototype. It is a mandatory step in the app development process. Building a prototype gives you an actual feel of the app and its functionality. Initially, it is recommended to go with a low-fidelity prototype as the high-fidelity prototype is expensive and takes enough time. The time required to create an efficient prototype or the final app will depend on the capabilities of your app development team. A generic custom app development team consists of a project manager, developers, QA, testing engineers, and a business analyst. It totally depends on which team structure you want for the app.

After the completion of the development process, testing the overall functionality of the app is mandatory. You can’t risk the image of your cafe business by launching an app without testing. Complete testing of the app ensures the absence of bugs and errors in the code or design. To ensure extraordinary results, it is recommended to test the app through several stages such as functional testing, memory testing, performance test, security test, interruption test, and usability test.

Manage the Overall Cost  

A custom app development cost totally depends on your expectations. It is not practical to put an exact amount on customized app development, as it involves numerous factors. There are many factors that will drive the cost of development, such as the number of features that will drive up the cost. Every feature has its technicalities and requires a different set of technologies. In the case of the platform selection, a single platform development will cost you more than a cross-platform development.

The choice of the development partner will also affect the overall cost of the development process. Hiring a full-fledged and high-rated app development company will cost you a little extra than a company with average ratings. You can also go with the option of the freelance team, but the final quality of the app will be affected.

Final Thought  

Developing a mobile solution for a cafe business is the need of the hour. The coffee shop business is flourishing at an astonishing rate as it is now the hub for exchanging ideas and laughs for the majority of people. It can also be viewed as the modern time’s French salon. Today, these cafes hold business meetings, birthday parties, and various other events. A dedicated app for such a business can revolutionize the way people shop at these outlets. If you are thinking of developing a coffee shop app for your cafe business, it might be the right time.

Matellio has developed numerous custom mobile solutions for various businesses. Our highly trained team of engineers and experts is well-rehearsed in the custom app development genre. Our custom mobile solutions have received extraordinary feedback and ratings from our clients and their users. You can rest assured about the elegant quality of the app our team of professional developers delivers. Let’s discuss your idea of a custom app over a 30-min free consultation call. Fill the form now!

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