Published Jun 25, 2024

How the coffee and tea industry is brewing up success with automation

3 key takeaways
  • Automation is shaping the coffee and tea industry and streamlining ecommerce processes.
  • Intelligentsia and Tea Forte experienced significant growth with Celigo.
  • Automation helps boost efficiency, enhance customer experiences, and drive growth.

Automation is transforming industries worldwide, and coffee and tea businesses are no exception. For business owners looking to streamline operations and thrive in the wholesale and ecommerce space, automation offers a promising path. 

In this blog, you’ll discover how automation is revolutionizing the coffee and tea industry, explore real-life examples of successful implementations, and gain insights on navigating this technological shift.

The rise of ecommerce in the coffee and tea industry

The coffee and tea industry has seen exponential growth over the past decades. From emerging, third wave coffee shops to global brands, the demand for coffee and tea remains robust. Alongside this growth, ecommerce has emerged as a vital channel for coffee and tea sales. Consumers are now more inclined to order their favorite brews online, driven by convenience and an expansive selection.

In this digital age, coffee and tea businesses must adapt to meet customer expectations. Automation is a critical component in this evolution, enabling businesses to manage operations efficiently while providing superior customer experiences.

The role of automation in the coffee and tea business

Automation encompasses various strategies and technologies designed to streamline processes and reduce manual labor. In the coffee and tea industry, these strategies include automating ecommerce processes, streamlining wholesale and retail operations, and supporting data management. By integrating technologies, coffee and tea businesses can enhance productivity and focus on delivering quality products.

Automating retail operations, for example, ensures that daily closing processes go from a manual, daily task into an automated weekly reconciliation. Similarly, automating inventory management helps to better track stock levels and predict demand, preventing shortages and reducing waste.

Benefits of automation

Automation offers numerous advantages for coffee and tea businesses. Firstly, it significantly reduces operational costs. By automating repetitive tasks, businesses can allocate human resources to more strategic roles, ultimately saving money.

Efficiency is another major benefit. Automated systems can operate around the clock, processing orders, managing inventory, and handling customer inquiries without breaks. This constant availability translates to faster service and improved customer satisfaction.

Additionally, automation minimizes errors. Human mistakes can be costly, especially in high-volume environments. Integrated systems ensure accuracy in order processing, inventory tracking, and other critical functions, safeguarding business reputation and customer trust.

Successful stories of ecommerce integration

Several coffee and tea companies have successfully streamlined their operations using Celigo. Take Intelligentsia Coffee for example, they leveraged automation to boost their ecommerce processes and enhance customer satisfaction. These innovations enabled Intelligentsia Coffee to efficiently handle inventory, process orders swiftly, interact with customers more meaningfully, and launch a new retail website with minimal support. The result? Increased growth and heightened customer satisfaction. By embracing automation strategies, Intelligentsia made significant strides in their ecommerce operations, cutting order fulfillment times, enhancing the customer journey, and expanding their online business—all achieved with just one-sixth of the budget initially allocated for integration projects.

Another example is Tea Forte, who implemented NetSuite to streamline lot code management. They seamlessly integrated it with their warehouses and 3PLs through Celigo, enhancing operational efficiency and elevating the overall customer experience. Tea Forte implemented custom data flows to send orders efficiently to various warehouses, including Amazon and smaller Tea Forte warehouses, thus significantly improving their operations and logistics. The team’s switch to NetSuite and the subsequent integration efforts led to improved operational efficiency, better data management, and enhanced customer experience, setting the stage for Tea Forte’s future growth and expanded capabilities.

The future of automation in the coffee and tea industry

The future of automation and integration will significantly transform the coffee and tea industry by enhancing efficiency, improving customer experiences, and fostering growth. Key impacts include:

  • Enhanced supply chain management: Real-time inventory tracking and optimized logistics will reduce overstocking, prevent stockouts, and ensure reliable, faster deliveries, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Personalized customer experiences: Advanced AI and machine learning will offer tailored product recommendations based on customer preferences, while automated customer support will provide 24/7 assistance, improving overall satisfaction.
  • Marketing and engagement: Data-driven marketing campaigns will become more effective, utilizing detailed customer data to drive higher engagement and conversion rates. Seamless social media integration will ensure consistent communication across multiple channels and could even open up brands to consumers who have never been to a physical cafe or store.
  • Operational efficiency: Streamlined order processing and improved data accuracy through system integration (ERP, CRM, ecommerce platforms) will reduce errors, speed up fulfillment, and enhance overall efficiency.
  • Innovation and new business models: Automation will support the management of subscription services and enhance sustainability efforts through transparent tracking and reporting, appealing to ethically-conscious consumers.
  • Scalability and adaptability: Automated systems will enable businesses to scale operations and adapt to market changes smoothly, such as launching new products or entering new markets, providing necessary operational flexibility.


Automation is reshaping the retail industry, offering a pathway to increased efficiency, cost savings, and enhanced customer experiences. By leveraging automation technologies and an iPaaS, coffee and tea businesses can thrive in the competitive ecommerce landscape.

For coffee and tea business owners, now is the time to explore automation opportunities. Assess your needs, consider the benefits, and take the first step towards a more efficient and successful operation. The future of coffee and tea is automated, and your business can be part of this transformative journey.