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March 2014

Innovative Mobile App

The Goal

Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have continued to see in-store traffic give way to online shopping. Consumers have also embraced physical and digital gift cards more widely. Starbucks set out to incorporate these trends into the Starbucks Mobile App and the My Starbucks Rewards program to improve customer engagement, retention and ultimately, sales.

The Initiative

Starbucks invested heavily – and continues to invest – in proprietary digital, social, mobile payment and card technologies, CEO Howard Schultz said in a company press release. These assets enabled the company to broaden and deepen its connection with customers, enhance overall customer experience and distinguish itself from the competition.

The Starbucks Mobile App links to the customer’s Starbucks card, allowing members to scan to pay, while earning stars in the My Starbucks Rewards program. The dedicated app also helps members find the closest Starbucks store, reload their Starbucks cards and manage their rewards program accounts.

The Results

The integrated, multi-channel approach continues to enhance the brand and contribute to significant corporate success. Nearly 10 million Starbucks customers use the mobile app to make close to five million mobile payments a week, the company reports.

According to the 2013 annual report, mobile and physical Starbucks Card payments now account for more than 30% of the company’s U.S. transactions, which include a boost from gift card transactions during the holiday season.

The My Starbucks Rewards program now has more than 7 million active members in the United States. The company activated more than 40 million new Starbucks Cards valued at more than $610 million in the United and Canada during fourth quarter of 2013, at one point activating more than 2 million new cards a day.