Many retailers are turning to mobile applications to increase sales, retain current customers and create new ones.  With over 75% of U.S. mobile users who own smartphones, retailers need to be putting their best foot forward in the mobile industry (Siwicki, 2015). There are millions of applications available, but the applications that have the most success are the ones that engage users in multiple ways.  What are some apps that you use on a daily basis? Out of these apps, which are retail related?


One of the best examples of a retailer based app is Starbucks.  Their app is multi-functional, engaging and easy to use.  Starbucks has set the tone in building a successful mobile application by focusing more on their customers and less on their brand.  With a loyalty program built into the app, users can accumulate points and receive special discounts and free drinks which lead to future visits.  Starbucks understands the importance of developing an app in making it efficient and easy to use.

On average, customers pay for a purchase using a smartphone 7 million times per week, with mobile payments now accounting for roughly 16 percent of total transactions (Halzack, 2015).  With the ability to purchase items from the app and accumulate points all in one place, it makes the Starbucks app one of the top retail apps available.  Starbucks sees 11% of its sales volume directly from the mobile application (Quora, 2014).  What also makes the Starbucks app great is the information the company receives from it.  Starbucks can learn the buying habits of the customers, the type of drinks and items being bought and what promotions or marketing tactics that can be used in the future.

This type of marketing through mobile applications is still developing, but companies need to be able to experiment with different mobile apps to see what works and what doesn’t work for them.  Focusing your marketing offerings around the desires of your customers and the values provided can help develop trust and loyalty with your audience like Starbucks.


Halzack, S. (2015). Starbucks has managed to get you addicted to its coffee — and its app. Washington Post. Retrieved from

Siwicki, B. (2015). Mobile, mobile-only, mobile apps, smartphones: enough said. Internet Retailers. Retrieved from

Quora (2014). Why is the starbucks mobile app so successful?. Forbes. Retrieved from