In January 2011, Starbucks became the first national retailer to launch its own mobile payment technology and loyalty program. Since then, Starbucks announced that they’re generating more than 3 million U.S. mobile payment transactions per week. This mobile payments strategy and interactive loyalty program led Starbucks to systematically increase its member base, which is projected to reach 9 million by the end of 2013.
According to a Starbucks press release, the figures were announced at an annual meeting presided over by Howard Shultz, President and CEO. Apart from the success of its mobile payments system, Starbucks announced an expansion of its loyalty program wherein customers will earn rewards for coffee purchases at grocery stores and at hundreds of Teavana stores via its mobile application. The loyalty program additions are expected to double the amount of My Starbucks Rewards members by the end of 2013.
The success of Starbucks’ mobile payment technology is due in part to the company’s first-to-market approach, and also from the practical and interactive features in its mobile applications. According to the press release, Starbucks reports that new mobile users are drawn to the “mobile payment experience” because of member benefits and the ability to track their loyalty status from their smartphones.
Starbucks strives to lead the mobile payments space. In 2012, according to Starbucks, in addition to its own mobile payment platform, the mobile payment options expanded to include Square Wallet and mobile coupon programs via Apple’s Passbook. Through this expansion, Shultz said, “Starbucks is continuing to grow with passion and intent to become one of the world’s most relevant, admired and trusted brands.”
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