Loyalty cards are slowly being replaced by user friendly, added value, shopping loyalty apps. A recent article from Marketing Week highlighted that some brands including Starbucks and Domino’s have successfully invested in eCommerce and shopping loyalty apps, and suggests that brands should focus investment in digital technology rather than digital advertising.

Starbucks is a great example of a retail company that has one of the most successful loyalty programs in the US. The app has loyalty built-in, incentivizing regular purchases and offering a simple and convenient mobile payment option. Starbucks has recently reported that mobile payments now account for nearly 16% of total transactions.

Inspired by the success of the app, RealityMine has taken an in-depth look into the behavior and mobile usage of four panelist who used the Starbucks app regularly. The purpose of the analysis is to discover the social setting around Starbucks app usage. In order to get this granular view of their daily life and app sessions, we have analyzed both TouchPoints eDiary data and passive mobile data. All the data was collected between 2014 and 2015 from US panelists.


Panelist One: The morning routine to fuel up for work

Starbucks is part of her morning routine on weekdays before going to work.

  • Female
  • 25 to 34 years old
  • East Asian origin
  • Employed full time
  • Annual household income $100,000 – $149,999

8.00 AM – She’s normally at home, planning on getting breakfast or a morning coffee.

8:30 AM – Commuting by car, feeling contented or indifferent. She stops and uses the Starbucks App, most likely to pay for her purchase and earn Star points. On her way to work, she also uses mobile for messaging and checking Facebook, Instagram and Money Lover app. On her commute, she listens to the Top 40 or contemporary hits radio.

9:00 AM– She’s at work.

Data taken from a Monday in June.

Panelist Two: Relax and enjoy the downtime brew

This panelist enjoys his Starbucks moments during downtime, unwinding either alone or with his spouse.

  • Male
  • 45 to 54 years old
  • White
  • Married
  • Employed full time
  • Annual household income $150,000 – $199,999

 6.00 PM – Having a meal in a restaurant with his spouse, feeling contented and happy.

Uses his mobile to check email and to use Facebook in order to post or share and ‘check-in’.

7.00 PM – Uses Starbucks app and has a drink in Starbucks with his spouse, perhaps he just paid for the drink order via the app and earned some Star points.

After having a drink, they go shopping in store and later head back to home.

Data taken from a Thursday in July.

Panelist Three: After work family time

For this panelist, Starbucks is a family experience at weekends and after working hours.

  • Male
  • 34 to 45 years of age
  • White
  • Employed full time
  • Married
  • Annual household income $75,000 – $99,999

5:30 PM – Socializing at home with his children and siblings. Feeling hungry, so decides to go to Starbucks.

6.00 PM – He travels to Starbucks by car with his children and siblings. Feeling happy, he uses the Starbucks app and makes a purchase.  While picking up food, he also visits a grocery or convenience store and checks his Facebook and Messages on mobile.

7.00 PM – He uses the Starbucks app again, possibly to reload money to the app or to check the earned Star points. He travels back to home and checks his Facebook and Instagram. He eats the meal at home, while socializing with his family and watching reality TV or a movie on Lifetime Movie Network via DVR or TiVo.

Data taken from a Monday in January.


Panelist Four: Mom seeking affordable luxury to break daily routines

She typically visits Starbucks with her children in the late morning.

  • Female
  • White
  • 25 to 34
  • Married
  • Homemaker
  • Annual household income of $50,000 – $74,999.

10:30 AM – Working out at a gym while watching TV drama on NBC. She has her children with her and she’s feeling contented during the exercise session.

11.00 AM – Done with her exercise, she travels to Starbucks by car with her children. Feeling happy, she uses Starbucks app and makes a purchase. While heading back to home, she’s having a drink and uses Gmail, Google search, banking app and My Plate.

11:30 PM – She’s back at home with the children.

Data taken from a Thursday in March.