Starbucks: website review

This fourth and last blogpost will provide you with a full website review of the Starbucks website, covering many different aspects of a website such as usability, navigation, readability, design and so on.

How friendly is the website?

When we arrive on the homepage of, we immediately feel very welcome, certainly now with the holidays. All the content on the website is written in an informal and welcoming tone of voice. It is, in general, quite a large website and the white space is absolutely making it easier to scan it. Because of this, the site does not look too busy and the user is not being bombed with information, as you can see below.


Does it communicate everything it needs to?

The main purpose of the website is quite clear, as I have mentioned in the previous blogpost: inform and inspire. In my opinion, it is not immediately clear who the intended audience is. As it is a corporate website, there can be many different target groups, going from companies who are interested in the investor relations to anyone who wants to get to know the brand better.

What Starbucks is doing very well, is communicating what the audience is looking for on the website: coffee and everything that belongs with it! The whole Starbucks menu is very precisely explained (from coffee bean to the coffeehouse), supplemented with the story behind the brand and the environment.

Also, the website is very consistent in terms of design and navigation. Especially the navigation is very well elaborated and can take you to anywhere on the website in just a mouse click. Moreover, the Customer Service (where the ‘Contact Us’ link leads to) is very extended where you can find the answer for probably every possible question one could have. So, the content is really relevant for the audience and the visitor gets the feeling that he has come to the right place to learn everything about Starbucks.




In terms of interaction, the website does not really focus on interactivity and I don’t think it wants it to be. However, it is obvious what actions the site wants the audience to take, for example to join Starbucks Rewards or subscribe to the newsletter. I mostly covered this in the previous blogpost concerning the conversions. Interaction is encouraged, though, by social media links and My Starbucks Idea. In the case of Starbucks Rewards, I believe that the incentive is motivating enough to take the required action (earn Gold level benefits like free drinks and food, …).

On the other hand, there aren’t really any benefits for the visitor to return to the website. The only reason I should return to the website is to redeem, for example, a gift card or seasonal promotions. Once you have seen all sections of the website, there aren’t many new things to discover. Again, this is because is mainly informative. As I have mentioned in other blog posts as well, the website strongly encourages the visitor to provide details and personal data, with the privacy policy being only a mouse click away.





As I have mentioned before, I really like the navigation that was elaborated for this website. There is a logical structure, starting with – of course – coffee, followed by the social impact, the blog and so on. The navigation is easy to understand, clear where it leads you too and runs smoothly. The site map is easy to find in the footer, but I would not really use it as it is so extensive and long. Furthermore, every page links back to the homepage throughout the logo and the various links are visible (different color, underlined, …).

Due to the navigation bar on top, the visitor can navigate from any page to any other page in no more than a few mouse clicks. However, I do not always notice Bread Crumbs (because they are at the bottom of the page which I think is weird and not logical) or built-in Back and Forward buttons which can make navigating a bit tricky. Also, some links lead to a different website such as or, which can confuse the visitor. As is a rather large website, it is no more than normal that there is a good working search option that I have tested with the keyword ‘gift card’.



Design quality

The overall design is simple, attractive and customer orientated. I think it is a pleasure to scroll to the website and you can immediately find out where you are with clear titles, images and descriptions. Due to the use of different colors and images, the design grabs your attention and can hold it. However, because of the big amount of text on some pages, the visitor can get bored or distracted. It is clear that the overall design is based on the identity and tone of voice of Starbucks with the implementation of green and white colors and typical fonts.

Copy quality and readability

In terms of content, there is not much to say. It is a corporate website with a lot of information and it would be a shame if there were grammatical mistakes. The content itself is very relevant, clear and easy to understand. The readability in general is on point, with a carefully selected typography on a white background (sans-serif without italics and capitals, which is perfect for reading on a screen) and no difficult words or jargon.



By providing the visitor with lots of information and sources, Starbucks is really proving the competence and experience it wants to present to the audience. I believe that the user-experience is successfully delivered to the primary audience and that the overall content is useful for the visitors. I did not notice any pop-ups, nor is there blue text or underlining which can be perceived as a link (only the real links are underlined).

Finally, there are a few minor aspects of the website that can be discussed as well. Firstly, the website is accessible on any browser (mobile and desktop version and old or new) both on PC and Mac. Secondly, the website is generally loading quickly without any errors, which I can see as they tried to avoid as many complex graphics or animations as possible. However, it sometimes loads slightly slower when larger images are used. Lastly, the use of multimedia is rather limited and only implemented with a clear purpose and contribution to the benefit for the visitor.


Now that I have deeply reviewed the website, I can conclude that the corporate website of Starbucks has a very clear purpose and is based on the needs of the visitor. There has also been a lot of attention to detail while developing it: there is a plain and simple design with good content and clear navigation.

Starbucks: objectives and conversions

First of all, it is important to notice that Starbucks has a rather corporate website, unlike many other brands that implement a webshop into theirs. As a result, one of the main objectives of the website is to establish credentials and inspire the audience. The website is divided into 8 sections, wohose objectives and conversions will be discussed throughout this blogpost.


First of all, the sections ‘coffee’ and ‘tea’ are meant to inform and aspire the visitor, as we do not notice any sign of conversions. Storytelling is also considered as a main objective: for example, they create the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, which in fact is a long read where the company’s story is being told. On these web pages, people can read all about Starbucks’ coffees and teas, the brewing process and explore the menu.

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However, we do notice some small conversions. For example, there is the concept of ‘Find Your Perfect Coffee’, which lets the user fill out a small questionnaire (thereby providing some useful data) and proposing his or her favorite coffee, followed by all the possible information a person should need. In fact, the ‘tea’ section is a special one, as by clicking on certain keywords the user is automatically being redirected to the webshop of Teavana, the tea company under Starbucks.

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Secondly, there is the ‘menu’ section which consists of nothing more than a full list and description of the complete menu, going from cookies to paninis. Again, informing is the main objective here. The ‘coffeehouse’ section on the other hand is more alluring: the goal here is to convert the visitor to download the mobile application and join the community through Starbucks’ social media channels.

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One of the most important sections is ‘social impact’. The main objective is to convince the visitor of Starbucks’ concern about the environment, increase awareness and tell more about its ethics. Moreover, they try to tell more about ‘the company behind the brand’ and maintain a good relationship with the customer.

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Now, let’s move over to the locations on the website where the real conversions take place. Most of these can be found on the homepage of the website. There are several buttons such as ‘get cozy’, ‘join now’ or ‘sign in’. Also, there is an option to subscribe to the email list and receive news, promotions and more on a regular basis. Moreover, people can create an account or fill in a form by which leads are generated.



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Another conversion is ‘MyStarbucksIdea’, an online community where people can fill out a form and submit their idea (revolutionary or simple) to help shape the future of the company. Again, very useful data is here being generated. Finally, there is a small section where sales are being generated: the Gift Card. Here, people can purchase and send a gift card via the website or redeem them, check the balance etc.


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To sum up, we can say that the website is mainly designed to tell the story of Starbucks in all its facets. I consider storytelling and inspiring as the two main objectives of the websites, supplemented with all the possible information a visitor might search for. As for the conversions, they are quite hidden throughout the website (except for the homepage of course), but lead generation seems to be the most important.



Starbucks: audience analysis – Thibault Declercq

Who are they?

Starbucks (founded in 1971) is an American coffee company and coffeehouse chain which operates more than 25 000 locations worldwide. The company is considered the main representative of ‘second wave coffee’, by distinguishing itself from other coffee-serving venues by taste, quality and of course the customer experience.

By second wave coffee, we mean the defining and enjoyment of specialty, in which Starbucks excels. Moreover, Starbucks has been able to gain such a large market share by catering specifically to a very well-defined target audience.

Who is their target audience?

Of course, everyone who loves enjoying a delicious cup of coffee, is very welcome at Starbucks. But it would be wrong to say they focus on ‘everyone who drinks coffee’. In fact, we can define two types of people Starbucks is primarily aiming at: working adults and students.

Starbucks primarily aims at adults between 18 and 40. This group accounts for about 90% of its total sales. The company appeals to this audience through hip, contemporary design that is consistent in its stores and advertising. Furthermore, the average customer seems to be ‘urban’ with a relatively high income, professional careers and a focus on social well-being.

Furthermore, Starbucks is positioning itself as a place where, besides working adults, college students can hang out, meet people or even work on papers. The company specifically aims at young adults by creating a ‘cool’ image, focus on social networking and the use of technology. Finally, kids and teens also make a large part of Starbucks’ audience, but since the parents are considered as the main purchasers, the company is paying less attention on them.

A buyer persona of Starbucks

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