The second retail mobile app I’m going to review is Starbucks. Since 1971, Starbucks has been selling fine coffee drinks to customers from small coffee shops like the original storefront in Seattle. With over 17,000 locations in more than 50 countries, Starbucks continues to lead the specialty drink market.  In 2009, Starbucks Corporation launched two iPhone mobile apps: myStarbucks and Starbucks Card Mobile.

This app provides consumers with the ability to design their own drink, locate the closest Starbucks store, view nutritional information for drinks and food, and even search for job openings with the company. Inside the MyStarbucks function of the app, users can customize their preferences and even connect to Facebook and Twitter.

One function I have yet to try with this app is the scan-to-pay option. This uses scanner technology that can be found in many retail apps and the barcodes on the drinks in the store. One drawback to this function is that the payment type must be set-up online prior to using it.

In my opinion, Starbucks should merge the two apps (MyStarbucks and Starbucks Card Mobile) so that users can get their card balances and reload them without having to use two apps.

I do enjoy using this app. It’s very useful and actually has some entertainment value when using the design-a-drink function. My favorite thing about this app is the ease of use when looking up the nutritional information. You simply select your drink, customize it, and the nutritional information appears with the drink description.

I recommend this app to anyone who is a regular customer of Starbucks and to newcomers to the brand.