Did you know Starbucks is a Café for men? A data analysis

A young man use its cell phone to buy coffee in Starbucks

Since Starbucks introduced their app for buying coffee, they collect data about their customers and services. Registered users can pay or order through the app. In addition to those, they may receive product info or be rewarded for fulfilling conditional offers.

Not all users receive the same offers or any at all. The business decision behind these offers is done based on app-user interaction. The interaction can be traced by answering such questions like “which users view what kind of offers”, or “which offers are completed the most by a given bonus or reward”. Before answering to these questions, in this post, I get to know more about Starbucks users and see if

1- Is Starbucks a café for middle class young men?

2- What is the best promotional deal and who won the highest reward?

The overall sample data contains 17000 users and 10 unique offers of three types. This data has been collected in a time period of 30 days. Although the app has 17000 registered users, we have the age, income and gender of only 14825 users. The app has the record of users who started their membership from 2013.07.29 until 2018.07.26.

Is Starbucks a Café for men?

I live in Hamburg and if you go to cafés during the day, they are occupied mostly with women and only a few men working with their laptops or waiting. Is that the same with Starbucks?

App data shows that users are 18 to 101 years old. Without considering gender, the majority of users are middle aged. In the population, there are 16% more men than women.

F and M show women and men count respectively. The black lines with darker blue show where the two colors cover each other.

I make three groups of users based on their ages to investigate population distribution more accurately. For under 30 years old, the ratio of women to men is 28% to 72%. As ages increase, more women join the app but men mainly stay ahead by 10 to 15%. For users older than 80 years old, the women population is exceptionally larger than men, i.e 57% to 43%.

Therefore, it is a fair claim that Starbucks is a Café for men. However, it is probable to find a granny there with her grandson rather than her grand daughter.

How rich are Starbucks users?

The histogram shows that the majority of users earn under 65k. Men who earn under 75k are almost twice as many of women. Oppositely, the population of women who earn more than 75k are more than men.

F shows women, M shows Men. The dark blue shows where the two colors cover each other.

The population percentage based on income and gender shows that women with low income and men with high income are not that much interested in Starbucks. In other words, Starbucks is not a place to see young women, especially if they do not earn more than 50k per year.

What is the best promotional deal?

The app offers three groups of promotional deals. Informational ones contain the info about a product. BOGO is buying one and get one for free. Discount is a reward based on transactional amount in a defined time window.

In total, BOGO and Discount are offered with the same amount but users have completed the discount offer the most. As a general view of who won the highest rewards, I analyze the winners based on their gender and income. However, we should remember that this analysis ignores the conditional facts. In other words, for getting a discount reward, a user should receive the offer, then view the offer, then during the time frame spend a defined amount of money.

Who won the highest rewards?

F shows women, M shows Men. The dark blue shows where the two colors cover each other.

Based on this histogram, men with income lower than 75K are more interested in completing the offer and win a deal. This drastic change in wining rewards does not occur for women of different incomes.

F shows women, M shows men. The dark blue shows where the two colors cover each other.

When it comes to age, women older than 53 years old mainly won more deals rather than men, although the population of men is higher than women. In contrast, men younger than 53 years old won more than women.

Who was actually rewarded the highest, then?

A 63 year old man who earns 70K and became a user at 2015.10.30. He has received and completed 5 BOGO and one discount.


These conclusions are based on the available data set. For more realistic analytics, customers who use no app should be included.

  1. Starbucks is a café brand for middle aged men with middle income. However, when it comes to income and senior age, women are more interested to Starbucks rather than men.
  2. If the best promotional deal is the one users completed the most, then discount is the best.
  3. The goal of promotional offers is to encourage users to buy more. The analysis shows that encouraging younger women and generally women will bring new groups of customers to Starbucks. More details of the app-user interaction and which variables are more influential will be shown in the next post.

To find the source of this analysis, see the link in my Github.


The title photo ‘Beijing Starbucks’ is taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/picturewendy, licensed CC BY-NC 2.0



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