Build a better mobile pay app and customers will come—and drink lots of lattes. Starbucks continues to generate impressive numbers on its mobile app. As the following Recode article reports, the Seattle barista will continue to maintain its consumer usage lead over the Pays from Apple, Google, and Samsung.
By the end of this year, a quarter of U.S. smartphone users — 55 million people — over the age of 14 will make an in-store mobile payment. More than 40 percent of those people will have done so through Starbucks’s mobile payments app, according to new data from research firm eMarketer.
The Starbucks app, which launched before the other three top payments apps — Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay — has long been the most successful payments app. It’s likely going to maintain that lead over the next few years.
The Starbucks app lets users pay with their phones and earn credits toward future purchases. That usage is significant: Starbucks said its mobile order-and-pay system accounted for 12 percent of all U.S. transactions in the quarter ended April 1.
By year’s end, Starbucks will have 23.4 million users in the U.S. who have made an in-store mobile payment in the previous six months, according to eMarketer’s estimates. That number is higher than the 14.9 million customers who are part of Starbucks’s rewards program, which only counts monthly active users; customers also don’t have to be rewards members to make purchases using the app.
The most successful mobile apps, measured by usage, typically come from merchants—especially those that integrate payments with other features such as remote ordering, loyalty, and customized marketing offers. The smartphone Pays have seen sluggish growth, basically, because they need to do more for consumers than just make a payment.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group