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In late 2009, PayPal president John Donahoe indicated that he believed online payments should account for 20% of global payments, even though, at the time, they accounted for just 5%. His goal: find ways to grow that number.
There are a lot of ways of doing that, but none may be as promising as mobile payments.
Starbucks’ new mobile payment app went live in the UK today, giving users the ability to buy their coffee using an onscreen barcode.
The coffee chain’s iPhone app integrates its loyalty card, so users can manage their card balance and top-up direct from their mobiles.
Customers pay for their drink by swiping their barcode at the till.
Starbucks has announced that since launching the Starbucks Card Mobile app for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry in January of this year, these apps have been responsible for 26m purchases.
Mobile payments were originally available in 6,800 Starbucks locations in the US, as well as 1,000 Target shops, but this has climbed to 10,000 by adding Safeway Starbucks and some stores in Canada.
Location-based services like Foursquare saw their popularity increase dramatically in 2010, and along with that popularity came plenty of press attention. To some, location-based services may represent the holy grail of mobile marketing for brick-and-mortar businesses.
But are brick-and-mortar marketers overestimating how much these services can help them?
Specialty fast-food chains like Chipotle and Chick-fil-a are extremely good at engaging consumers online. These smaller brands have become so adept, they’re emerging as real competitors to mega-brands like McDonald’s and Starbucks in terms of digital exposure.
Stats from media measurement firm General Sentiment show just how valuable that digital exposure actually is.
Most coffee shops look down on customers using a purchased cup of coffee as an excuse to take up a table and surf the internet all day. But Starbucks will soon be encouraging it.
The coffee chain recently started offering free WiFi in its shops. And soon that will come complete with Starbucks specific programming. Rather than compete with McDonald's on the coffee front, it looks like Starbucks is hoping that its tech partnerships will help bring customers through the front door.
Foursquare is on a roll. It's got heathly user adoption and very desirable demos, a growing roster of major brands who want to team up for promotions, and plenty of love from the media (not to mention endless speculation about potential suitors?
Now, the white-hot location-based social service is facing problems very much in keeping with the ones Twitter faced at this stage in its development: scale. A word that rhymes with both "fail" and "whale", perhaps the most infamous error page in recent internet memory, and an emblem of how difficult it can be for small start-ups to keep up with rapid growth.
Geolocation-based social network Foursquare just might be the internet's 'next big thing'. While it isn't anywhere close to the size of Twitter or Facebook, the young company last month passed the million user mark.
That's a memorable milestone for any consumer internet startup, but the company's progress is perhaps better measured by the number of marketing deals it has inked with bigger companies. Here are 10 of those deals.
Thanks to the internet and social media, it's never been easier for companies to reach out to consumers. Companies like Starbucks and Dell, for instance, have set up crowdsourcing websites through which consumers can share ideas that may help them improve their products and services.
Insurance company Allstate is getting into the act too. But it doesn't want ideas from consumers. Instead, it's reaching out to a different group: media sellers.
Starbucks has invested a lot in social media. From Twitter to Facebook to its own MyStarbucksIdea.com, Starbucks has a highly-visible social media footprint. And highly-visible results: over half a million followers on Twitter and more than 5m fans on Facebook.
Given its social media prowess, if any brand is capable of turning away from traditional marketing channels and reaching out to consumers online, it's Starbucks. And that's exactly what it's doing this holiday season.
Starbucks may have foisted the fabricated need for half caf soy no foam lattes on the American populace, but now that the country is accustomed to making finnicky caffeine orders, the company is trying to reassert its dominance on the caffeine market. And today the company announced an iPhone app that may help it get ahead of the curve when it comes to technology.
While Starbucks may be late to the iPhone app party, the company is making up for its tardiness with some caffinated leaps forward in the field of mobile payments.
Starbucks is looking to Twitter to combat falling sales in its massive network of stores. The coffee giant is launching a new ad campaign that hopes to leverage its massive numbers of followers and fans online to get to their friends and acquaintances.
According to The New York Times:
"The coffeehouse chain is putting up new advertising posters in six major cities. To further spread its message, it is trying to harness the power of online social networking sites by challenging people to hunt for the posters on Tuesday and be the first to post a photo of one using Twitter."