How Colossal Brands Like Starbucks Used Mobile Apps to Boost Sales

How Colossal Brands Like Starbucks Used Mobile Apps to Boost Sales

How Colossal Brands Like Starbucks Used Mobile Apps to Boost Sales – Mobile applications have undoubtedly become an integral part of our lives. More than 80% of the world’s population relies on mobile apps of some kind to perform routine tasks.

That being the power of mobile apps, it is no wonder that more and more companies are turning to strategic mobile app development services to create interactive solutions that not only help them connect with their followers but also improve business.

Many small and medium-sized businesses are still on the fence about investing in a mobile application though. What they need to realize is that a mobile solution is the key to opening a world of new sales opportunities.

Mammoth brands like Starbucks, Walmart, and Ikea are living proof of the fact that mobile apps can increase sales by leaps and bounds.

Here we examine how they leveraged mobile applications to boost sales, and how you can too.

The Starbucks Success Story

Starbucks as we all know is the largest coffee shop chain in the world with over 35000 stores spread across 80+ countries. They launched their mobile app in 2009 with valuable features for users to find nearby stores, examine nutritional details, and more. They also introduced a unique interactive drink builder with their app, which took its popularity to a whole new level.


Over the years, they went on to upgrade their app with payment options, mobile ordering systems, machine learning with personalization capabilities, and more. Today, it is the second most popular mobile solution, after Apple Pay with 31.2 million users worldwide. They also report experiencing a nearly 10% increase in mobile orders year after year.

Here are some unique features that bring them more users by the day.

  • An impressive loyalty program that drives almost 50% of Starbucks’ business. It currently has a 90-day average of 30.4 million active members in the US, which indicates a 15% yearly increase
  • A simple, interactive, and easy-to-use app interface that helps people navigate from sign-up to payment very easily
  • Smooth, hassle-free, and convenient payment processes
  • Fun and interactive customization options for people to order their favorite drinks online, with integrated machine learning
  • An effortless ordering system that allowed users to quickly place orders, make payments, and take away their drinks from the store, without having to wait in line
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Clearly, the coffeehouse giant hit gold with their mobile solution and they made some notable strategic moves with it. Let’s examine what they are in just a bit.

Here are a few other top brands that utilized highly thoughtful mobile app development services to create solutions that boosted their sales immensely.


Walmart grew to become the greatest multinational retail corporation of all time with its omnichannel approach. Currently, Walmart has over 10,500 stores across 24 countries all over the world.
They started off with their M-Commerce application to generate online sales. Owing to its super-easy-to-use interface that allowed customers to integrate their online and offline shopping experiences, the solution quickly gained popularity to attract over 6.5 million users.


The app has interesting and valuable features like sensible filters and search options to look for products, a product scanner, in-app grocery planning and shopping list curation capabilities, app-specific memberships, AI-infused capabilities for personalization, and more.

Currently, the brand earns approximately $573 Billion worth of revenue, indicating a 2.43% increase since COVID-19, accountable through the app alone.


Ikea is one of the most popular furniture and décor brands in the world. They have been in business for more than 80 years now and their most notable USP is that they let users assemble their own furniture. They practically revolutionized the furniture industry by making it easy for a lay person to make their furniture with a user manual at home.


Their mobile application called Ikea Place is one-of-a-kind, as it offers a real-world-like experience for its users. It allows them to virtually place the piece of furniture in a part of their home through AR-enabled features. Immensely valuable by itself, the app also provides other exceptional capabilities like 360-degree product views, hassle-free payment systems, personalized dashboards, multi-lingual support, and more.

Since the launch of their app, the brand has been able to generate above 30 million downloads, with 4.6-star ratings across both OS. They were able to boost their sales by 6.5% in 2022, earning a whopping EUR 4.6 billion in revenue.

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Now let’s analyze some key strategies these colossal brands used with their mobile app solutions to gain such a phenomenal improvement in business.

Key Strategies to Implement through Mobile App Development Services

Mobile applications are not just for large and established brands. In the age of smartphones, your small business can also utilize the power of mobile apps if you adopt some of these strategies.

A Mobile App-First Approach

Most of the top brands that used their mobile app to gain more revenue adopted a “mobile app first” approach. This means they developed a brand-specific mobile application with unique features and introduced incentives, along with special capabilities for people who shopped online. Through this, they were able to gain valuable user insights and utilize the data to further personalize their in-app experiences as well. According to a survey conducted by Google, around 51% apparently preferred to use mobile apps to shop, as it lets them earn loyalty points and other impressive rewards.

Creative and Value-Driven Features

One of the most effective ways to get users to download and use your app is to include creative and fun features that also generate value. For example, Ikea used incredible AR-infused features to give users a feel of how the furniture will look in their house or living space. In the same way, Starbucks, Sephora, and Walmart use machine learning capabilities to personalize the dashboards of users, recommend products, provide special offers, and make their lives easier. Hence, hire a creative team of mobile app development service providers and come up with unique, fun features that also fulfill users’ needs for your app.

Maximize Accessibility and Interest in your App

Creating a stellar mobile application for your brand is not enough. You have to make the right moves to make it known and accessible to your target audience. Make use of paid advertisements, social media posts, store listings, store ads, and incentives like special offers, to improve awareness and to get people to download your app. Spending a solid buck on running ads for your new application will definitely pay off.

When advertising, make sure to use your most unique value proposition to lure users in. Additional offers will induce them to use your application too. Re-targeting ads are another powerful way to appeal to users who visit your store through the browser.

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Provide Hassle-Free Support

Effective and prompt customer support are prerequisites to any successful business. Having a great customer support feature in your mobile app allows customers to seek help when they need it, which in turn makes sure that you don’t lose a sale. Retail giants like Amazon have a reliable customer support system integrated with their mobile apps, which immensely helps customers fulfill queries, get order updates, ask product-related questions, recommendations, and more. Hence, have your mobile app development service company include a convenient customer support tab in your app.

Roll out Useful and Consistent Updates Driven by Feedback

A notable and consistent quality that all the apps developed by top brands like Walmart and Starbucks had, was its special attention to different generations of users. Depending on your company type, industry, and category of products, make sure to include features and interface elements that appeal to your target demographics and generations of users. For example, if you are trying to appeal to Gen-Z, you may need to include the most creative and exciting features, as it is a group that has seen its fair share of applications. At the same time, if you are trying to appeal to an older generation, convenience, and ease of use may perhaps be the qualities to focus on.

Similarly, make sure to consistently seek feedback from your target group and roll out regular updates to stay relevant, useful, and preferred by your users. Eliminate glitches and bugs at all costs to avoid bad in-app experiences. A clean app with new and thoughtful features will always be a delight to your users.

Bottom line

As demonstrated by top brands, introducing a brand-specific mobile application to your target market may just be the catalyst to your revenue-earning potential and growth. All you have to do is exercise intelligence and thoughtfulness in your app design and marketing strategies, while also staying consistent in your efforts to genuinely help your users. And this holds good irrespective of your company size.

Take lessons from Starbucks, Walmart, and the like to implement winning mobile strategies that appeal to customers. Keep the above pointers in mind when you start your mobile app journey and use a creative mobile app development service company to create your dream solution.

Contact our team today to design your sales booster mobile application.

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