How the Starbucks App has Changed the Game of Customer Loyalty

Loyalty Strategy

coffee shop technology and mobile apps

 Yesterday’s enlightening conversation with ReUp Co-Founder Asim Shahjahan, left me questioning everything I ever learned about customer service from my teenage years of working at the mall.

Asim and Co-Founder/ CTO Kelsey Regan started ReUp three and a half years ago. The idea spun out of an identified market need coupled with a joint passion for emerging tech. Big companies like Starbucks and Freshii had already rolled out their mobile apps, and the shocking numbers indicating high customer opt-in and increased revenue were beginning to surface. But, what about the little guys? Back in 2014, the little coffee shop at the end of your road was still encouraging customers to stuff a “buy 9, get the 10th free” loyalty card into their wallets. “We started thinking to ourselves how we could get a digital customer loyalty and engagement platform into the hands of small and medium-sized business owners…”

ReUp facilitates business owners to further understand and engage with their clients. Long gone are the days of marketing gurus sitting at a round table asking the question “Alright, who is our customer?” Digital platforms now make it possible to aggregate and analyze data, further developing accurate customer profiles. Where previously it may have only been possible to have solid customer relationships between the shop owner and the regulars, the ReUp platforms offers an ability to give the much desired VIP treatment to all customers.

Asim has seen some drastic changes in customer and business relationships in the three years since launching ReUp. “The Starbucks mobile app has paved the way, revolutionizing the game of customer loyalty.” As he dives into specifics about customer interfacing and ingestion points, the revolution becomes clear…

We’ve always been bombarded by marketing, ads, and companies trying to sway and entice us. Now, these companies transcend their spots on billboards and monitors, and enter the palms of our hands. Technology has allowed consumerism to go mobile and to get personal. From the moment a customer walks into your store, you as a business owner have the opportunity to gain their loyalty and acquire their long-standing business.

ReUp first hones in on what Asim calls ingestion points. This involves removing barriers by providing several different opportunities for customers to opt-in to your loyalty platform. Maybe they are prompted to receive free WiFi via an SMS code. Maybe they have the opportunity to subscribe to rewards and promotions by inputting their email into an iPad at the front counter. Or maybe, they are encouraged to download the shop’s mobile app. Multiple ingestion points are a key step in allowing customers to become acquainted with your loyalty platform, see how it can directly benefit them, and make the key decision to opt-in.

Beyond the ingestion point is data collection and analytics. Here, ReUp is working to use data such as age, demographic, and spending habits to build information models. This all feeds back into the business owner’s clarity of who their customers are, what their customers want, what their customers don’t want, and how to better serve, grow, and engage with their clientele. In this case, it’s not just the squeaky wheels that get the grease. “The regular that always requests more bacon in their sandwich, or that asks for a hazelnut shot in their espresso.. those are the customers that business owners know well, and tend to serve directly to. Now, every customer has a profile. Even the quiet regular that comes in with their head down for their daily latte. Everyone is important and served as a VIP.” ReUp equips even the smallest mom & pop shop to make important business decisions with evidence, clarity, and mitigated risks.

The ReUp platform provides various solutions towards digital loyalty. Asim and his team have their fingers on the pulse of customer loyalty and the rapidly shifting and continuingly colliding worlds of technology and consumerism. While multi-million dollar Starbucks may have paved the way so far, ReUp is putting these same digital tools and creative strategies in the hands of business owners everywhere!        


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