Starbucks: Strategies and Competitive Landscape

Goals

To obtain information about Starbucks, including its strategies for 2020 in terms of user experience and digital marketing, as well as a competitive landscape for the company. This research would be used in developing an account plan and account-based marketing (ABM) strategy.

Early Findings

  • Over the past four years, Starbucks has been working on reshaping its approach to technology. This includes a change of name to 'Starbucks Technology' from 'Starbucks IT'.
  • In July this year, the company announced plans to dive deeper into the realm of technology.
  • As of May 2019, Starbucks started using reinforcement learning technology from Microsoft Azure "to give customers order suggestions based on inventory at locations near them, weather, time and past orders".
  • The company's digital initiatives accounted for a third of its 6% store sales growth during the third quarter of 2019.
  • One of the major strategies laid out by Starbucks this year was the continued focus on its app-based rewards program. This program hit 17.2 million active users in 90-days and is growing at 14% year-over-year.
  • As of October this year, the company revealed that artificial intelligence (AI) will play a crucial role in its overall digital strategy from now on.
  • Competitors such as McDonald’s and KFC have already started experimenting with AI.
  • According to Investopedia, Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's are Starbucks' main competitors.

Proposed next steps:

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