Mobile App Success Story: Starbucks App -

Mobile App Success Story: Starbucks App


Do you know what’s great at Starbucks? Yes, coffee! But we meant something else than coffee. Atmosphere? Yes, that’s great too, but what else? That’s right! Starbucks app! It is an amazing tool which convinces users to buy more coffee and spend more time inside Starbucks store! Today we will observe some of the most important marketing techniques that made Starbucks app one of the leaders in its category on the app stores.

Brilliant Idea

For those who don’t know, Starbucks started as a small coffee shop in Seattle back in 1971. Before buying Starbucks, Howard Shultz tried to copy the Italian coffeehouse culture and created Il Giornale. After acquiring numerous companies and opening countless stores all over the world, its owner expanded his plan to the mobile ecosystem, creating Starbucks app. If you want to know the entire story behind Starbucks we recommend you to check the timeline displayed on the official website. It is important to highlight that Starbucks became the most appreciated product and its mobile apps had something to do with its overall success. They are available on Apple App Store and Google Play. Furthermore, Starbucks continues to amaze users with new features and many facilities for a wonderful experience.

How Starbucks Did It

We mentioned Starbucks many times before in our tutorials, but it will be more helpful to gather here all the key points of a successful app marketing strategy.

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Let’s make it clear from the start. What is the most important element which attracted users and convinced them to pay attention to the app in the first place? The rewards program. Customers have the chance to gather stars and all kinds of rewards which can be converted into free drinks and food. Moreover, with Starbucks Card, every customer can offer a gift for somebody else. This comes very handily when you forget to buy something nice for your friend’s birthday!


Another advantage offered by the mobile app for coffee lovers is that they can order their favorite drink and to pick it app from the nearby store. Remember that all those deals would be pointless without a well – designed system to redeem the reward. And when users are able to skip the line and to build their order while they are still at the office, then they really appreciate the app and spread the word about it. Keep in mind this technique and observe that this is a good moment to ask people to review your app.


Of course, coffee must be delicious but, as we mentioned before the atmosphere really counts when you want to enjoy your coffee. And what makes the difference between a relaxing moment spent in a coffee shop and an ordinary coffee break? The music! Well, Starbucks users shouldn’t worry about this fact anymore because the app is integrated with Spotify. Now they can listen to their favorite music while they drink their favorite coffee and if there is a song they liked in the store they can save it in their playlist.


The question is: When you have so many customers all over the world, what’s the point of asking them to leave the app when they have to pay? That’s the reason why Starbucks payment system is so powerful that outpaces Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. At this point, more than 23 million users in the United States, ages 14 and above will use it for a proximity mobile payment. Let us remind you about the study published just a month ago by eMarketer, revealing the fact that Starbucks will continue to be the leader in this competition through 2022.

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Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel experience is a multi-channel approach to marketing, selling, and serving customers in a way that creates an integrated and cohesive customer experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out. Starbucks has one of the most successful examples of omnichannel efforts in industry and this is another innovative solution that users can experience with their app.

Let’s take a closer look. First, you get a free rewards card that you can use whenever you make a purchase. But unlike traditional customer loyalty programs, Starbucks makes it enable to check and reload your card via phone, website, in-store, or on the app (these are the different marketing channels, obviously). Any change to the card or your profile gets updated across all channels, in real-time. And for the action, you can make purchases on a Starbucks store with your Starbucks app. This makes it so much easier for the customers.

Location-Based Services

Talking about proximity, you probably wonder how Starbucks managed to create a connection between the app and the store. The answer is a method focused on personalization: location-based services. It is about knowing that your potential customers are coming near your store, but there is a trick here. You need to find the best way to invite them in. Starbucks obtains the wanted result with certain offers, but the truth is that data matters a lot when you want to reach your audience. Having some information about your customers allows you to meet their expectations. Be careful, though, how you gather their data. You need to have their permission to do that.

User-Generated Content

You already know everything about user-generated content, but don’t worry we won’t talk about the popular campaign where customers had to draw on their cups, even though it was an amazing success. We want to tell you about Upstanders 2, which represents the second season of the original series created by Starbucks. The main idea is that everybody can do something wonderful for the community and these stories must be told in order to inspire other people. It is true that this campaign focuses on humanity and this is an important factor in the big plan to attract customers. The point is to earn customers’ trust, which takes us to the following point of our discussion.

Bonus Tip: Continue Building Your Brand!

Starbucks’ owner didn’t stop expanding his business when he reached 100 stores, or when the company went public. With over 22,000 stores, he didn’t stop when he launched the app. He continued to promote it and to use it for attracting more customers. What’s the point in creating an app for your brand if you don’t take advantage of its features? This is an important lesson for all of us. No matter how strong your business will be, never stop investing in your products. Maintain the highest quality standards and find innovative methods to impress your audience.

Final Thoughts

So, what people choose when they need a pleasant place to work? Starbucks coffee shop! And what do they select when they want a delicious drink? Starbucks coffee! But which is the most inspiring product when it comes to building the perfect mobile marketing strategy? Starbucks mobile app!


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