Starbucks counts 10M active mobile customers, 4M mobile payments per week


Coffee company Starbucks continues to see significant traction in its mobile efforts--the company said more than 10 million people are "active" users of the company's mobile apps, and that the company now counts close to 4 million mobile payment transactions per week (up from 2 million near the end of last year and 3 million a month ago). This, the company said, accounts for roughly 10 percent of the company's total "U.S. tender."

"As I've shared with you before we are witnessing a seismic change in consumer behavior due to the emergence of social and digital platforms and the significance and ubiquity of mobile as a consumer plateau and Starbucks remains on the very leading edge of all of these developments," said Howard Schultz, Starbucks president and CEO, during the company's second quarter earnings conference call, according to a Morningstar transcript of the event. "The revenue and operating leverage provided by the scale and synergies among our digital card loyalty mobile and social platforms provides us with strong core muscle in our U.S. business and increasingly in multiple channels and markets across the globe."

Schultz said that in the company's second quarter, which ended March 31, Starbucks managed to increase the number of its "My Starbucks Rewards" members during a two-week period by 1 million by offering a $5 credit. During that period the company also recorded 500,000 mobile app downloads.

Schultz also said that almost one quarter of all of Starbucks' U.S. transactions are made by its "My Starbucks Rewards" loyalty members. He said the company is adding around 80,000 new My Starbucks Rewards customers each week, and the company expects the number of people enrolled in its rewards program to grow to 9 million this year.

Interestingly, Schultz also hinted that, starting in May, Starbucks will unveil its first "cross plan, cross channel rewards program." He said Starbucks customers will be able to earn My Starbucks Rewards stars for purchases of Starbucks packaged coffee in grocery channels, and then can redeem those stars for free food or beverages in Starbucks retail stores.

Schultz said Starbucks has "cracked the code" in terms of digital and mobile marketing, which he said the company will use to create awareness of the company's products and lower the company's marketing and advertising expenses.

"Starbuck's success shows that m-payments can be done right and successfully if you understand your customers well, you are committed to making it a success and continue to evolve over time to get the experience optimized for users," Gene Signorini, vice president of mobile insights at Mobiquity, told Mobile Commerce Daily.

The figures are just the latest from Starbucks, which continues to tweak its mobile efforts. Just a few weeks ago the company overhauled its long-running Pick of the Week digital content promotion to offer consumers free mobile applications and e-books directly through its branded app for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS.

For more:
- see this Morningstar transcript
- see this Mobile Commerce Daily  article

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