Was 8, Now 9 Website Lessons Learnt from The Little Coffee Bag Company on Dragons’ Den

If anyone had been watching Dragons’ Den then you may have seen the pitch by Carrie Bate. She started the company which sells ground coffee in a bag.

Duncan asked “How much have you sold online?”

To which Carrie replied “£400”.

How could a good product that has been well positioned only sold £400 worth?

So I jumped online (as you do) to have a look at the website and online shop to see if I could find a reason.

I found a few.

1. Make sure people can see and read the navigation

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Where’s the navigation gone? It’s “blended” into the background image (no pun intended).

It’s the same for a few other pages too and there really isn’t much of a call to action.

2. Make it easy to get to the products

In order to get to a particular product you have to go through a couple of screens first.

The one below asks you to choose between ‘Taste’ and ‘Luxury’. Your guess is as good as mine what the difference are between the two.

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Once you get to a product, you can then click the ‘see more details’ to find more about that particular blend.

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So let’s have a look and find out some more details about Blend No 1 shall we?

3. Tell people why they should choose this product

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That’s it. It’s a black box.

No description about taste, aroma or anything else to get me excited.

Just a rotating view of the box.

Let’s hit ‘Add to Shopping Cart’.

4. Make the checkout process easy – not everyone has or uses Paypal

I was quite surprised to be redirected to Paypal.

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Not 100% sure how many “high-end” people purchase via Paypal but having an on-site checkout system may add a few zero’s after that £400 already generated.

5. Optimise your website so people can search for you or your products

What we don’t know is whether that £400 was generated via Harvey Nichols website where it ranks first in Google for the search term ‘Luxury coffee bags’ or Carrie’s own website.

Notice the PPC ad also for ‘The Real Coffee Bag Co’ – rather similar to ‘The Little Coffee Bag Co’ isn’t it?

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I get the feeling that this website is only geared for those who already know or tasted the product on a Virgin Train or an easyjet flight.

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6. Make sure your Analytics is set up to track visits on the big day 

If you’re going on Dragons’ Den then make sure your analytics is all set up to measure visits to your site and any revenue you may generate from it.

Unfortunately, the Google Analytics tracking code is incomplete on The Little Coffee Bag website which means that Carrie will see zero visits to her website after the show has been aired.

Yep. That’s right.


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I get the feeling the developers left it blank whilst testing the site and forgot to fill it in when launching.

7. Make sure your mobile site is easy to use

If I’m on a train sipping your coffee, maybe I’ll buy there and then?

If I’m on a flight or in a hotel reading a paper whilst sipping on your Blend No 2 then make sure I am able to buy via my tablet or smartphone there and then.

The mobile site is awful.

Photo 09-02-2014 22 06 20

Once the little homepage animation has finished, it’s not immediately clear where you have to click – and the menu option isn’t exactly fat thumb friendly.

And when you get to the below screen – your experience has finished.

I found it extremely difficult to get to a product. I wouldn’t have been able to buy anything anyway.

Photo 09-02-2014 22 06 45


8. Manage your social profiles

If you click on the ‘News’ tab in the menu you get redirected to the company Facebook page which contains nothing.

Let’s get one thing straight too – this show is not live so Carrie could’ve prepared. Nothing on her Twitter page either.

Below are some messages left straight after the show was aired regarding the website.

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Let’s just hope Deborah and Peter invest some of that money on a new responsive website or mobile app that let’s you buy with ease on a train, in a hotel or on a flight.


9. Make sure you purchase all the domains related to your company

Thanks to Dan Barker for this one.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 23.24.51

After checking the ‘whois’ file for the domain it turns out that it’s not Carrie! The domain was registered on the 9th Feb at 4pm on the day the show was going to be aired.

Here’s the whois file which is publicly available anyway:

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4 thoughts on “Was 8, Now 9 Website Lessons Learnt from The Little Coffee Bag Company on Dragons’ Den

    1. Pritesh Patel Post author

      You’d think so too right? I’d keep an eye on this one and see how much of that investment is pumped to revamping their online visibility and website experience.

  1. Rob Stephens

    I worked at an agency, and we pitched her for business after her appearance on DD. She didn’t have the budge to proceed, but we did get a bag full of the sample coffee bags to our office. About 60% of the bags would split leaving me spitting out coffee granules. Not sure if it was how I was opening the packets or if the coffee bags were too big (they were huge!) but the problems extended beyond her online presence I’m afraid. Shame, as I thought it was quite a simple yet interesting concept.


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