Cloud helps staff-free coffee start-up to adapt

The analytical power of the cloud is being brought to bear on many different industries at the moment, but a particularly interesting use of big data is being deployed at a new chain of coffee shops opening in London at the moment, according to V3.co.uk.

The Honest Cafe locations are unique because they do not employ any members of staff whatsoever, instead relying on vending machines to deliver coffee and other consumables to customers.

While this may help to save the firm money, it does mean that there are no staff to engage with customers and potentially build up trust and familiarity with the brand. This is why cloud computing is being used to analyse the data that is harvested from the purchases made at these outlets, to create a more personal experience for those who are frequenting Honest Cafe outlets.

Company spokesperson, Mark Summerill, explained that it was important to assess customer habits, even in a staff-free environment. That means identifying which people are sticking around after making a purchase and who is rushing straight off to another location, consuming coffee on the go.

The power of the cloud being available to the connected vending machines means that analytics can be deployed, to offer context-sensitive offers and opportunities to customers, based on a range of factors, including the time of day.

As well as sales data, the cloud is being used to combine this with information gleaned from social media, which all feeds into building up a picture of how Honest Cafe customers behave and how they might be likely to act in the future.

There are only three locations in the capital open at the moment but there are more on the way, meaning cloud-driven retail of this kind may continue to flourish.

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