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Coffee is an important part of life for many people. Our fascination with this black substance ranges from not being able to function without it in the morning to enjoying a cup of coffee occasionally with friends.

The average statistics on coffee consumption varies. Reports indicate that somewhere between 64%  and 83%  of Americans consume coffee regularly.

There are plenty of articles that discuss the negative effects and benefits of caffeine consumption by students. Here are just two examples that illustrate the two extremes by their titles – “Why caffeine is college student’s worst nightmare?”  and “11 Reasons College Students Absolutely Need Coffee To Survive

In this post, I invite you to explore the Starbucks app. The app has several obvious benefits for Starbucks itself and for its customers.

What Can Starbucks Gain from the App?

  • Increase in sales by optimizing clients’ experience;
  • Access to organized statistics on regular app users;
  • List of most popular items ordered by regular clients;
  • Forecasted sales per location;
  • Opportunity to turn occasional visitors into regular clients by detecting patterns among members of the latter group, and applying them to the former;
  • And more. (We really have no clue about the sophistication of Starbucks’ analytics team.)
Related Definition: Data Mining – automatic discovery of patterns with a purpose of achieving competitive advantage. This method of data manipulation is largely used in retail forecasting, fraud prevention, and more.

What Can We Gain From the Starbucks App?

• No more standing in line. Ever.

Being born in the former Soviet Union and growing up in Ukraine, there were lines everywhere when you wanted to get virtually anything. Standing in long lines at Starbucks reminds me of that childhood experience. Never again do I have to do it, thanks to this app. I would much rather sit down, order a drink via the app on my phone, watch a cat video or reply to an email while my drink is getting ready, and pick it up in a few minutes. Much more user-friendly experience!

• Earn free drink or food item.

Current conditions are as follows. Everyone gets a Green Level membership when they sign up. The rewards at this level are very basic. It means getting a free drink or a food item on your birthday, and free refills on regular coffee or tea.

The membership gets more interesting at the next level of rewards. To earn the Gold Level, a user must earn 300 stars within a year through the app. Then, they can redeem every 125 stars for a free drink or a food item.

To earn 300 stars one must spend $150 dollars with any registered card and the app. Even if I am not a fan, it’s difficult to escape ordering Starbucks coffee. It’s available on every corner of every city and it is usually a convenient place to meet.

Earning 125 stars without bonuses means spending $62.50 at Starbucks. A reward you can get includes any handcrafted drink from the standard menu or a food item. Equivalent value can vary anywhere from, say, $3.75 for a tall White Chocolate Mocha to $5.95 for Chicken Santa Fe Flatbread. This opportunity is equivalent to a chance of receiving a 9.52% discount.

• Earn bonus rewards.

There is a faster way to earn stars by paying attention to the promos. For example, between October 17 and October 23 you could earn 25 stars with any purchase. Similar promos run regularly. App users may have a chance to earn 4 stars per dollar or other bonuses for purchasing specific items.

Another current offer is to pre-load your account with $10 or more and get 25 bonus stars between October 19 and October 25.

The app will notify users of ongoing promotions.

• No surprises.

The app is automatically synced with the in-store inventory of your local Starbucks and will display the items that are out. If there just one drink that you always get there, you can see if it is in stock.

Related Definition: Online Transaction Processing is a type of transaction processing, during which the company databases are updated with every transaction. The opposite would be batch transaction processing, when transactions are accumulated, and the company databases are updated once a week, month, or quarter.

• Even more savings.

Another way to save is to buy a Starbucks gift card through a service like GiftCardGranny, RetailMeNot, or Raise and get a discount of about 3-8%. Then, use this gift card to reload your balance within the app and keep earning stars on top of it.

Here is my link to sign up at Raise.com, which will give us both $5 each.

How to Save Money on Starbucks Without an App

• There is $0.10 discount for BYOC

Cashier will apply a $.10 discount for every drink poured into the client’s cup. It doesn’t have to be a Starbucks cup. You can use any size cup. They will assess its approximate size and charge for the closest equivalent.

• Free drink on your birthday

This offer includes almost anything on the menu and will be added to the app, and possibly emailed.

How to Be A Starbucks Super-Saver

Let’s meet Susie, who is a student and who regularly goes to Starbucks to study. Susie has never used the Starbucks app before. Now, she would like to bank the savings and she has a plan.

  1. She downloads the app.
  2. She knows she is going to visit the store with her own 12 oz cup 11 times during the promo period, which will earn her 300 stars. Susie will earn 275 bonus stars for making these 11 purchases. Every day she visits the store, she will purchase the cheapest item – regular coffee with a free refill for $2.15. She buys the same drink twice a day, brings her own snack, and studies at Starbucks. The price of a regular coffee is $2.25, from which we subtracted 10 cents for bringing her own cup. Susie’s total spending adds up to $23.65.
  3. Knowing how much money she is planning to spend, Susie loaded her account using a gift card from GiftCardZen, which she purchased at 8% discount. So she paid $22.08 to get a $24 dollar gift card.
  4. After earning 300 stars our super-saver Susie can redeem a drink or a food item every 125 stars. Let’s say, she gets a free drink that normally costs $3.75 and then a food item for $5.95. Her total rewards are worth $9.70
  5. After Susie reached the Gold Level Status and redeemed her first two bonuses, she consumed $34.45 worth of products by spending only $22.08. This is equivalent to a 36% discount. Note: The discount would be slightly smaller if Susie didn’t bring her own cup each time and didn’t buy the discounted gift card online.

Conclusion

You can rock this Starbucks super-saver method every time when there is an amazing promo with stars for every purchase. It will be successful when your dedication meets convenience, i. e. when a person wants to save AND likes to study in Starbucks. It is going to be a winning strategy for anyone who frequents Starbucks. For everyone else, the app will offer a 9.5% discount and a convenience of not standing in line, which sounds pretty great to me.