DripApp – Coffee retail innovation for London – and beyond

22nd February 2016

As the burgeoning café society and cult of coffee continues to grow in the UK – along with a piqued interest in retail innovation and gadgets, this week we were interested to hear about a new app that allows shoppers to buy their coffee without fumbling for change, by using their phone to pay for their daily cuppa.

Photo by David Dvo?á?ek on Unsplash

Photo by David Dvo?á?ek on Unsplash

DripApp is the brainchild of Ruben and Jeremy, two self-reported ‘coffee addicts’ who ‘appreciate a nice cup of coffee in a nice independent coffee shop’ who developed the app in order to support local independent stores. The app enables customers to save up to 50%, whilst discovering hidden stars in the independent coffee firmament. The duo describe the app as an ‘Oyster card for London’s best cafes.’ Enabling people to order coffee without all the hassle of looking for change, whilst also encouraging them to check out small, independent coffee stores rather than the larger chains. As the prices are fixed, there are lots of opportunities for discounts and this app gives great value for money as well as convenience.

Consumers can choose from a number of pre-paid coffee plans from ‘original’ for water-based drinks including espresso and tea, ‘Fancy plans’ for other drinks including cappuccinos and lattes – right up to the ‘unlimited’ monthly plan – at £89 per month for ‘all kinds of drinks’ – which at less than £3 a day is very reasonable when you consider that one of the larger speciality coffees at Starbucks can cost more than four pounds. Presumably the app has some kind of safeguard in place to prevent people buying a round of coffees for the whole office six times a day – or staggering from shop to shop on a caffeine-fuelled excursion.

At present the app is only available in London, where more than 120 independent coffee bars have signed up so far, but according to their website they are aiming to take it global – with expansion to Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol and Oxford expected in the coming months. Location–based technology combined with an in-app map shows DripApp users where their nearest participating café is, offering them the chance to explore and enjoy great coffee in stores which they might otherwise have missed so it’s a win-win for both consumers and retailers – especially if the service is rolled out to more areas.

We think this is a very interesting and innovative way to encourage people to discover and support independent stores and wonder how the principles could be applied to support other similar businesses. If you’re already using DripApp – either as a consumer or retailer – then we’d love to know how it’s working out for you…