Starbucks makes close to 5 million mobile transactions every week in America via its mobile app, which has 10 million active monthly users.
Starbucks Singapore released a mobile app in late 2012 in a bid to boost customer loyalty and keep up with the constantly evolving market needs. The Starbucks mobile app allows customers to top up their Starbucks cards, keep up with promotions and more.
On May 18, Starbucks Singapore made a post on their facebook page to announce a new scan-and-pay mobile payment option to their fans.
Social Media Uproar
An uproar erupted as Starbucks had only created an application for iPhone users despite the fact that nearly two years on, the mobile market has changed and iPhones no longer dominate the Singapore market.
According to a Q4 2013 market research study by GlobalWebIndex (GWI), 65% of global smartphone owners use Android OS.
In 2012, the percentage of users in Singapore owning iOS smartphones was 46%. This means less than half of smartphone users in Singapore owned an iPhone in 2012. This figure would probably be significantly lesser today.
It is astonishing to see how a superbrand like Starbucks failed to realise this important piece of marketing research.
Because of this oversight, the Starbucks facebook post generated plenty of concerns from non-iPhone users who patronise Starbucks and felt left out from the unavailability of an Android app to date. Despite the fact that the app was launched in 2012, there was still no intention to develop an Android app.
The facebook post generated close to 250 comments and 800 shares of which a significant number were negative in nature.
Our damage control suggestion
Starbucks Singapore should look into the development of an Android version of their App and make an announcement to their customers on the date of availability.