How to Start Selling Tea Online – Part 2

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How to Start Selling Tea Online – Part 2

In the first part of the “How to start selling tea online” guide, we talked about developing an idea, creating a name for your business and how to make sure you will meet all legal requirements to start selling tea online.

Once you register your company, there are still 7 steps you need to take before launching. Most of them require creative and technical skills and may require outsourcing some professional help.

Just like with the first 7 steps, you don’t need to follow the set order, but you will need to work on all of them before executing the last step – launching your online tea business.

Read what are the first 7 steps to a successful online tea business here.

How to start selling tea online – the next 7 steps to sell tea online

8.      Source tea

Once you have registered a company, it’s time to work on your tea assortment. You may have already found a company to buy tea from in the beginning stages of your planning, but if you haven’t, now is the time to do that. You can source tea directly from farmers, or from a specialized wholesaler. There are benefits to both, and this will depend on your business model. Try samples first before making a bulk purchase.

Some questions to answer:

  • Will you be able to source all your teas from the same place?
  • Can you try samples before you make a bulk purchase?
  • Do you want special blends, or you want to sell pure Camellia sinensis or herbal tea only?
  • Is the wholesale company providing additional services to help you get started?
  • How many teas will you need in the beginning and how many should you have in stock? Can they meet your requirements?

source tea for online tea business

9.      Create a logo for your online tea company

Logo is a part of the brand identity, and it should match both your name and company’s personality. Spend some time on deciding on the logo and ask for an advice from a professional designer. A good logo, just like the name, is memorable. It will be visible on your website, in all your communication, invoices and business stationary.

Some questions to answer:

  • Can you do it yourself or do you need to hire a professional designer?
  • How will your logo look on stationary?
  • How will your logo look on packaging?
  • Can you easily change the size of your logo, so it doesn’t lose its clarity?
  • Is your logo too similar to someone else’s logo?

10.  Work on packaging for your tea

Having good packaging is as important as having good tea, especially if you plan to sell your tea in supermarkets or to a hospitality industry. Packaging will also need to follow legal requirements – such as ingredients list, company name or special warnings. Furthermore, different types of packaging will preserve the freshness of tea differently and may not be suitable for all types of tea.

tea label and tea packaging

Some questions to answer:

  • Are there any legal requirements for packaging?  
  • What type of packaging will you choose? Eco friendly? Paper? Plastic?
  • Can you use your packaging as an advantage?  
  • Who will do your packaging? Is your wholesaler offering this service, or do you need to source it yourself?
  • Do you need a designer to help you with a design?
  • Will your packaging match your brand personality?
  • Will your packaging keep tea fresh as long as possible?

Get help with packaging design.

11.  Define your marketing strategy

Once you have your plan, your company is registered and you are waiting for your products, it’s time to work on a marketing strategy. Marketing strategy should include ways to achieve your goals, including attracting customers, selling process and customer service. Include details about all parts of the tea selling process – from advertising to shipping envelopes and boxes.

Some questions to answer:

  • Which promotional outlets will you use to achieve your goal?
  • Who is your target market?
  • How will you attract customers?
  • Where will you promote your products – on your own website, in magazines or social media?
  • What is your customer service like?
  • What is your content strategy?

12.  Create content for your website and marketing purposes

Some of the most important content types are a website copy, product images, social media images, videos and articles. It’s a good idea to pay attention to SEO requirements before creating written content. Your website should be both optimized and match your brand’s personality.

Some questions to answer:

  • Do you need product images, and will you be taking them by yourself?
  • Do you have permission to use outsourced images?
  • What should be on your website?
  • Will you post content regularly or you only need a basic web copy?
  • Do you plan to send newsletters?

13.  Build a website

Although it’s always good to plan a website upfront, you will only be able to finish it once you have all the content ready. If you sell tea on your own website, you will likely need a web developer to make sure your shop is fully functional. Long term, it pays to invest more time and define a suitable budget create a fully functional website and good visuals. Keep in mind any potential additional content you may want to include later on too. You may not need a website if you plan to sell on marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon. In that case, a social media profile may serve as a simple website, too.

Some questions to answer:

  • Which platform will you use?
  • Do you need to hire a web designer?
  • Is your website SEO optimized?
  • Are there any legal requirements in your state/country or in the state/country where your visitors are from, such as GDPR?
  • Did you test it many times before launching?
  • What payment methods will you be using?

Get help with building a website for tea business.

14.  Launch and promote your tea business

The last step and the first one into the world of selling tea online is to launch your website. Once your website is on, you will need to start promoting your products following your marketing and content plan, to achieve the goals you set out for your company in your business plan.

Some questions to answer:

  • Do you have shipping policies in plan?
  • Do you have customer service policies in plan?
  • Is everything ready for a launch?
  • How will you raise awareness about your new shop?

What comes after launching an online tea business?

Tea market is an exciting place to be in – it’s both challenging and rewarding.

Once you start your tea business, you will probably come back to revise some of these steps, especially your marketing and content strategy plans, shipping policies, your website and even your product line.

Tea industry is an ever-changing industry, with unique ingredients and blends being introduced regularly, and tremendous opportunity to use creativity and offer high-quality products.

Need more help to decide which teas you could sell? Contact us for more help.



How to Start Selling Tea Online – Part 1

Starting and running any business is challenging. Tea business is no different. The global tea market is worth over 200 billion dollars and is estimated to reach the value of over 260 billion in the next 2.5 years [Statista]. In such an enormous market, selling tea can be both exciting and confusing. Maybe the online tea business will be your first business ever, or maybe you want to include a tea line into your existing business. How to start Selling Tea Online guide will be of help in both situations.

This guide will cover:

  • Questions you need to answer before opening a tea company
  • What you should keep in mind when choosing tea and deciding on your brand identity
  • What you need to think about in advance before launching

Your passion, knowledge and skills will play an important role in running a successful tea business and planning ahead will save you a lot of time once you launch.

We prepared a review of 14 essential steps to guide you in starting an online tea business. Although online tea businesses share a lot of touching points with traditional brick-and-mortar tea shops, there are significant differences. For example, you won’t be needing a physical space, but you will need a good website.

You don’t need to go through these steps in the order they are listed, although you will need to cover some of them before registering your company. Once you start, you may find yourself coming back to previous steps, tweaking your unique selling point, changing your tea assortment, or even a business model.

The first 7 steps to a successful online tea business

1.      Decide on your business model

The first step in starting an online tea business is deciding on a best suited business model. Further steps will all depend on the business model you choose. For example, selling tea on a marketplace platform will require a different type of content, and you won’t necessarily need to invest in your own web shop.

Some questions to answer:

  • Who do you want to sell tea to? Consumers? Hospitality industry?
  • Will you only have an online tea shop, or you plan to open a traditional tea shop too?
  • Do you want to start a tea subscription service?
  • Do you want to source your teas or are you thinking about drop shipping options?
  • Do you want to own your online tea shop, or you want to offer tea on platforms like Amazon, eBay and Etsy?

2.      Create USP for your online tea company

USP or a unique selling point is as important as the product you are selling. USP should show your goal, passion and uniqueness to customers, and differentiate you from competition. And that’s not simply just tea. Try to find an answer to why your product is the best – and search it in all areas of your business, from prices to customer service.

Some questions to answer:

  • Why are you selling tea?
  • What makes your teas unique?
  • What can you offer that’s different from others?
  • What are the best things about your business?

3.      Which teas do you want to sell?

There are thousands of pure teas in the world, grown in over 70 different countries. Add tisanes to the list, and you will end up with an unlimited number of potential teas you could sell. It’s important to decide which teas you want to sell – Camellia sinensis teas such as white, green, oolong and black or tisanes (herbal and fruit teas)? Or maybe you want to sell both.

Some questions to answer:

  • Which teas will you be selling – Camellia sinensis, herbal or both?
  • Will your teas be unflavored, flavored, or both?
  • Will you sell single origin teas or blends?
  • Is organic important to you?
  • Do your teas need to be as sustainable as possible?
  • Will you be selling pure or functional teas?
  • How many teas will you offer?
  • Will you be selling loose leaf tea or tea bags?
  • Do you need to learn more about tea before you start?

Explore our pre-made functional blends or request your own recipe.

How to start selling tea online - choose teas to sell

4.      Make sure you check all requirements for selling tea online

Once you decide on your business model and teas you want to sell, you can check what are the legal requirements for selling tea online in your state or country. Different countries have a different set of requirements. For example, FDA has its own set of requirements for packaging but also for importing tea. Depending on where you live, you may also need a food permit to sell your products. You may be able to avoid dealing with some of them by – for example, choosing a wholesale company based in your own country that already sorted out many documents, or is selling locally grown tea.

Some questions to answer:

  • Which permits do you need to sell tea online?
  • What are the requirements for labels in your state/country and in states/countries you want to sell tea in?
  • Do you need a warehouse and are there any special requirements?
  • If you import tea by yourself, which documents will you need?

5.      Choose a name for your online tea company

Your name is what your customers will see first, so it’s always good to invest more time into choosing the perfect name. Try to make it memorable. However, your brand’s name and future web shop domain can be different from your company’s name. Although you don’t need to have a word “tea” in your brand name, try to make it clear enough for your future customers to know what you are selling.

Some questions to answer:

  • Will your brand name and company name be the same?
  • Is anyone else already using the name you want?
  • Is a domain with a brand name you want available?
  • If you are using two or more words for a brand name, how do they read without spaces?
  • Are there any legal requirements for naming a company in your state/country?
  • If you plan to sell tea to customers outside your country, will they be able to easily pronounce or understand your brand name?
  • What will be the personality of your brand? Do name and personality match?

6.      Create a simple business plan

Start building a simple business plan. Making a business plan may look like an unnecessary task, especially if you are financing your business by yourself or want to have a small one-person business. However, it will help you stay focused and reach your goals. Your business plan can be very concise and include only a few pages.

Some questions to answer:

  • Who will you be selling to?
  • What is your business idea and what makes it good?
  • What are your goals and projections for the next year?
  • What will your pricing be like?
  • How much will you be spending on utility bills, marketing, accounting, salaries, etc.?

7.      Register your tea company

Once you have a plan, it’s time to register your company. You are likely not allowed to sell tea products before registering a company. This may take a couple of weeks and you will need to provide all required documents. You can do this alone or hire someone to help you.

Some questions to answer:

  • How easy is to register a company by yourself?
  • Will you be selling tea as a sole proprietor or an LLC?
  • Where will you open a business bank account?
  • What are other legal requirements for registering a company?
  • Do you need an insurance?

The next 7 steps to launch a Successful Online Tea Business

After these first 7 steps you will have a clear vision about your future company. You will know which teas you want to sell, understand your budget needs, and have a registered company. Next week’s “How to Start Selling Tea Online” guide will cover the next 7 steps to successfully launch your business – from creative and technical requirements to marketing strategy and launch plan.

Need help with deciding on your tea line? Check out the cross reference list for pre-made functional blends to get inspired or contact us for more help in choosing the best teas or creating your own blends to suit your business needs.

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Adaptogenic teas are a natural way to help your body adapt to stress, and this AM Detox blend is no exception. The ashwagandha and tulsi in this blend help to reduce and manage stress. Loaded with antioxidants and a great flavor – as well as the inclusion of yerba mate, sencha and ginseng – this blend is a great way to start your day!

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