Last mile miss for Starbucks but Overstock gets it right

Sorry for no postings but we have been cranking at #startuplife.

It is no secret that I like the Starbucks mobile app, both as a user and as a technologist, but I wanted to comment on a hilarious “last mile” failure from a company who is usually so buttoned up when it comes to user experience details.

Given the early success of their mobile application it is no surprise that Starbucks is going mainstream with their advertizing.  The lower transaction credit card fees, universal store loyalty opportunity and improved analytics data are all obvious and powerful wins.  You can see their mainstream roll-out in many places, like billboard style ads (forgive blurry picture).  I have seen them on the back of newspaper boxes, in BART stations and in print media.

I love what they are doing by trying to get people to download the app but a few misses in this ad.

The first issue I have is that there isn’t a call to action for new customers or 1st time downloads.  “Download now and get a small coffee in the next 6 hours” would be an interesting way to drive downloads and incremental foot traffic.  Missed opportunity because you can stop fraud if people are downloading and deleting.

My bigger disappointment is no QR code for Android.  I guess all of the brand agency people must have iPhones because at a BART station I have nothing to do but look at the poster and then download the app.  I do this mainly because I am bored and looking at posters.  I would call this low hanging fruit and iPhone users are not going to be confused since they know they have to search in the app store.

Overstock gets it right with an ad as well as “Buy It Now” option.  Sometimes it is a simple missed opportunity that can have a big impact on your funnel.  Always good to get brand awareness and show people new functionality but why not get them to actually do the action you want right now?Final thought is how much better could this be if it was “download now, and share with 3 friends to get a free latte”.  This could be a huge opportunity to accelerate distribution in a viral way and easy to track the sharing links.  Living Social crushed this strategy with their Amazon voucher and the idea of social sharing should be an easy part of all marketing campaigns.

Again much respect for Starbucks being ahead of the curve and don’t get me started on Peet’s Google Wallet / Mastercard piggyback.  Just a missed opportunity or two given that they spent all of that money and killed off so many trees to do something in the digital world.  On a personal note one more star and I advance a level, who said game mechanics don’t work!


About svmoneyball

A lifelong student of silicon valley. I also tend to play a lot of Ultimate Frisbee.
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