Digital Transformation at Starbucks

Case Code: ITSY123
Case Length: 16 Pages
Period: 2008-2021
Pub Date: 2022
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Starbucks Corporation
Industry: Food & Beverage
Countries: United States
Themes: Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, COVID-19,Digital Ecosystem
Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus – Assessment and Mitigation (B)
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The Problems

Initially, Starbucks attracted customers who appreciated the coffee giant’s club-like appeal where they could relax and enjoy themselves over a cup of coffee. However,in order to grow, the company started attracting consumers for whom speedy delivery was more important than customer service..

Digital Initiatives – A Journey Toward Continuous Improvement

To turn Starbucks around, Schultz focused on re-establishing its connection with the customers. He started talking to the baristas and store managers regarding the tasks which were taking up their time. He encouraged them to share ideas on how Starbucks could put technology to use and free up their time to communicate with the consumers..

The Benefits

While the app made ordering convenient for consumers, it also served as a data mine for Starbucks to analyze the tastes and preferences of its consumers. The app also provided the company data on the popular store locations, drinks, and time of day preferred by consumers..

Looking Ahead

In 2021, Starbucks stood as the second largest mobile payment player with its mobile payment app recording 31.2 million users after Apple Pay with 43.9 million..


Exhibit I: Schultz’s Seven-point Transformation for Starbucks
Exhibit II: Leading Coffee Chains in the US (2020)
Exhibit III: Five-year Financial Summary of Starbucks
Exhibit IV: Starbucks Rewards Program
Exhibit V: Mobile Payment Users in the US (March 2021)

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