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Starbucks percolates mobile sales via Twitter-promoted coffee finder quiz

Starbucks is fueling digital sales by inviting Twitter users to take a quiz designed to discover the coffee flavor best suited to their tastes and click through to a mobile-optimized shopping site to purchase a bag.

The retailer is rolling out Promoted Tweets bearing a link to its Coffee Finder mobile quiz, which asks users three questions regarding their coffee preferences. Once consumers receive Starbucks’ suggestion for their ideal caffeinated beverage flavor, they are prompted to stock up on several pounds of coffee on its mobile site, showcasing how personalized quizzes can inspire impromptu purchases.

“When it comes to coffee beans, there are a lot of choices, which makes it difficult to pick the right bean that matches your personal preference,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “Starbucks’ interactive coffee bean quiz is a great way to engage customers in a fun and entertaining way that is also educational.

“It helps the consumer narrow down the coffee bean options to the one that will most likely satisfy his or her personal palate.”

Heating up brand sentiment
Starbucks has long been a purveyor of mobile strategy, even going so far as to leverage social media to foster better communication with fans and encourage participation in branded initiatives. Its latest offering is a mobile-optimized Coffee Finder quiz, which is being advertised via Promoted Tweets on Twitter.

Twitter users may stumble upon one of the Tweets in their feeds and click on the link to be taken to Starbucks’ mobile site. There, they can take the three-question quiz to determine which flavor of coffee beans is best-suited to their tastes.

Starbucks is targeting Twitter users with its interactive quiz

The test will start by asking users which flavor entices them the most, giving them the options of savory, fruity, toasted or caramelized.

Next, consumers must pinpoint which sensation they prefer on their palates: crisp, smooth or lingering.

The last question prompts individuals to reveal how intense they like their coffee, giving them the choices of subtle and soft, medium and balanced or intense and robust.

After consumers have answered the last question, Starbucks will bring them to the shopping section of its mobile site, where their results will be displayed. Users will be able to read about the suggested flavor and its place of origin before pressing on the “Shop Online” button at the bottom of the description.

Customers may then choose the form in which they prefer their coffee to arrive – such as K-Cup Pods, whole bean packages or ground coffee – and indicate the number of pounds they would like.

The order will be added to shoppers’ virtual carts, with which they may check out instantly.

Starbucks is also driving subscriptions to its digital store by having a small banner appear at the bottom of the screen, encouraging consumers to subscribe in order to save 10 percent on their next purchase.

Consequently, Starbucks is poised to enjoy an uptick in sales stemming from smartphones, especially among caffeine enthusiasts wanting to stock up on coffee for the week or month ahead.

“Once consumers have taken the quiz and feel that they have identified the best coffee bean for their tastes, the mobile-optimized site makes it convenient to purchase the coffee right from their phone,” Mr. Naumann said. “The Starbucks Coffee Finder quiz is a clever strategy that will likely result in increased sales of coffee beans for Starbucks.”

Mixing it up in mobile
Starbucks is able to retain its status as a digital leader in the food and beverage sector by continuously experimenting with a slew of mobile-first strategies, ensuring that its brand maintains a visible presence on nearly every platform.

Starbucks recently drove springtime sales with a new microsite for its Happy Mondays events that let visitors add the special offers to their mobile calendars, so that fans would not miss any of the weekly promotions occurring in March (see story).

Its mobile ordering options have also been taking off with on-the-go consumers and promoting additional customer engagement within the app.

During the retailer’s Q1 2016 earnings call, Starbucks noted that Mobile Order and Pay is seeing significant adoption rates, and is most popular in the morning during peak hours, when users are attempting to avoid long lines (see story).

Nevertheless, gamification is undoubtedly one of the most lucrative promotional tactics for Starbucks to leverage, due to its ability to resonate strongly with younger consumers and also provide a personalized, branded experience to all players.

“Consumers like to be entertained and retailers that can get, and keep, them engaged will increase loyalty and sales,” Mr. Naumann said. “Quizzes like this are a great way to engage customers and help them make more educated purchase decisions, especially for products that have a lot of choices or are complex.

“This quiz is a form of gamification, which is a growing trend for retailers. According to BRP’s 2015 CRM Survey, 87 percent of retailers plan to use gamification to engage the customer within five years.”