Starbuck AI-powered customer experience

Why Starbucks has loyal customers

Sangsun Moon
Starbuck AI-powered customer experience

Starbucks uses artificial intelligence to personalize the customer experience. Because when companies understand their customers' preferences, they reward them with loyalty.

By analyzing customer data, such as purchase history and favorite items, AI algorithms can recommend new products or promotions that are more likely to appeal to individual customers. This personalized approach has been a strategy for increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction, as well as revenue for the company. AI has also helped Starbucks optimize its operations by predicting traffic patterns to improve staffing and inventory management.

Using artificial intelligence to transform the customer experience was a strategy for Starbucks to stay competitive in an ever-changing marketplace and meet the evolving needs of its customers. In this article, we'll talk about how Starbucks is using AI to personalize the customer experience.

Starbucks' customer experience AI strategy

Starbucks' mobile ordering system uses artificial intelligence to recommend personalized menu items based on a customer's order history and preferences. This also ties into the Starbucks loyalty program. In short, it's about recommending new drinks based on a customer's past purchases.

They're also using real-time data on the number of people in the store and wait times to optimize the experience from the moment a customer orders a drink to the moment they pick it up.

We also use artificial intelligence to segment customers based on demographics, order history, and social media activity. We serve targeted promotions and ads to customers who are most likely to be interested. We also retarget customers who haven't been to Starbucks in a while with special promotions.

make personalized recommendations.Starbucks uses artificial intelligence to find out what you like and what you're likely to be interested in to make personalized recommendations.

Principles and processes for Starbucks' customer experience initiatives

Collecting data

Starbucks collects data through its loyalty program, mobile ordering system (Siren Order), and other channels.

  • Purchase history: Track a customer's purchase and order history, including what they ordered, the time and date of the order, and the store location where they made the purchase.
  • Location data: Collect location data from customers who use your mobile app to place orders or pay for purchases. This allows you to track customer traffic patterns and optimize your store operations.
  • Demographic data: Collect age, gender, location, and more from customers who sign up for loyalty programs or voluntarily provide this information through other channels.
  • Payment data: Collect payment data, including credit card information, from customers who use your mobile app or other channels to make purchases.

We also collect things like likes, interests, and activities from your social media profiles for the purpose of personalizing our marketing campaigns and promotions. We also collect survey data from customers who participate in market research studies to gain insights into their preferences, attitudes, and behaviors. The data we collect also includes how often you use our mobile apps, including which features you use most often and which locations you frequent.

Data processing

The collected data is processed using artificial intelligence algorithms. They are mainly used to identify customer behavior patterns, preferences, and trends. To do this, they leverage clustering, segmentation, and collaborative filtering.

Data preprocessing is necessary to get accurate insights from the data you collect. This is done to remove irrelevant or inappropriate information. Preprocessing, such as deduplication, error correction, and filling in missing data, is necessary for machine learning to perform at its full potential. The cleaned data is then consolidated into a single data set that you use for analysis and modeling.


The processed data is used for customer experience personalization strategies through personalized recommendations, targeted marketing campaigns, and other initiatives. Starbucks uses machine learning algorithms to predict customer preferences and behaviors and optimize the customer experience based on real-time data.

Analyzing the unified data with statistics and machine learning reveals patterns and trends, which can be used to segment customers, predict behavior, and optimize marketing campaigns.

Starbucks has developed predictive models that use analyzed data to personalize the customer experience. We are constantly testing and optimizing the AI-powered initiatives that make this possible to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. We use A/B testing and other techniques to optimize our models, measure their impact, and identify areas for improvement.

Digital flywheel strategy

In a new digital strategy, learning can be a lever to maximize digitalization efforts for companies looking to innovate faster than their competitors. Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson has described the ability to learn at scale as a driving force behind their digital transformation. To speed up the pace of technological innovation, Starbucks has adopted a digital flywheel strategy, which is a customer-centric approach that leverages technology to improve the customer experience and increase customer loyalty.

Here's Starbucks' process with a digital flywheel strategy.

  • Rewards program: Build customer loyalty by offering rewards and perks to customers who use the mobile app and make purchases with their Starbucks card.
  • The Starbucks loyalty program allows you to redeem rewards for free drinks, desserts, and other perks
  • Encourage customers to stick with your app and make repeat purchases
  • Personalize special offers: Use customer data to deliver personalized recommendations and targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Fast and convenient ordering process: The mobile app allows customers to pre-order and pay for their drinks, reducing the wait time from order to pickup.
  • Simplify payment methods: Enhance the ordering experience with technologies like digital menu boards, mobile payments, and mobile ordering.

By leveraging a variety of technologies, including big data, analytics, and machine learning, Starbucks succeeded in personalizing the customer experience through AI.
Starbucks has been one of the fastest brick-and-mortar brands to digitize with AI.

Real-world examples of how Starbucks implemented a customer experience personalization strategy

A caramelized frappuccino with a shot of hazelnut syrup, a drizzle of chocolate syrup and camera syrup in the cup, java chips on top of the whipped cream, and a chocolate and caramel drizzle. This is a custom recipe for the Twix Frappuccino, the devil's drink for Starbucks aficionados. The perfect gift for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Starbucks uses its accumulated data to make tons of personalized recommendations. In short, the Starbucks AI engine processes everything from the time of day people order to the type of beverage they prefer, and combines it with other data like geography, weather, and season to create a rich experience for consumers, including personalized recommendations, special offers, and challenges for rewards. Below, you can see some of the new things Starbucks has done with AI.

Personalized recommendations and new product launches

Starbucks collects and analyzes vast amounts of data about customer spending and preferences. It analyzes unique preferences and spending habits for the purpose of personalizing every customer's experience.

We also build deep relationships with our customers with real-time triggers and push alarms. This includes push notifications that a coffee order has been placed and can be found at the pickup station.

Starbucks launches new products with data collected through its digital flywheel strategy. For example, they learned that 43% of tea drinkers don't add sugar, and 25% of iced coffee drinkers don't add milk to their drinks. Starbucks used the insights from this statistic to launch a new menu item, and it was a hit.

Opening a new store

When Starbucks Korea's store development team decides to open a store in a particular area, they visit community centers to find the unique characteristics and stories of the area and incorporate them into the store concept.

Starbucks uses data and artificial intelligence to predict profits based on variables like income levels, traffic, and the presence of competitors. Unlike traditional franchisees who are in a hurry to open more stores, Starbucks uses data to minimize risk and place new stores in areas that target specific customers.

Personalize the partner experience

Starbucks operates a smart kitchen with Deep Brew. By integrating IoT into their espresso machines, they are automating tasks related to inventory management and maintenance. It helps with inventory management and supply chain logistics replenishment orders, saving our partners a lot of time in store operations and overall management.

Conclusion: Starbucks uses AI to collect data to personalize the customer experience

Starbucks succeeded in personalizing the customer experience with the following processes and artificial intelligence.

  • Collect customer data through various channels, such as mobile apps, loyalty programs, and social media, to learn about their preferences, purchase history, and behavior.
  • Starbucks uses artificial intelligence algorithms to analyze collected data and gain insights into individual customer preferences and behavior patterns to provide personalized recommendations, promotions, and rewards.
  • The AI-powered system also provides customers with a personalized experience, including customized offers, menu suggestions, and convenient ordering, to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Starbucks has applied AI to many aspects of its business operations, including its mobile app and drive-thru ordering system. Machine learning results based on customers' past orders and preferences have enabled the company to make personalized drink or dessert suggestions. Starbucks' drive-thru system has also used AI-powered predictive analytics to improve the efficiency of the ordering process and drive sales.

They also used big data and analytics to collect and analyze customer information to create a more personalized experience. Starbucks collects data from its mobile app and other sources to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences. The data is analyzed by machine learning algorithms to create personalized marketing campaigns, offers, and promotions tailored to each customer's preferences.

Starbucks succeeded in personalizing the customer experience through AI by leveraging a variety of technologies, including big data, analytics, and machine learning. Using AI data analytics to maximize customer lifetime value will be an important key to competitive advantage for companies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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