Leveraging enhanced connectivity with CRM platforms

The Client

Founded in 1971, Costa Coffee is the second largest coffee shop chain in the world, and the largest in the UK. Today, Costa Coffee has over 3,820 stores across 32 international markets and also operates more than 10,000 self-serve Costa Express machines around the world.

The Coffee Shop Market

Over the past few years, coffee shop culture has been taking over the world. During 2018, the UK market grew by 7.9% in turnover to £10.1 billion*, and it seems the market is brewing up for further success. 2022 sales are forecast to jump to £13bn, driven primarily by a younger generation of 16 to 34-year-old coffee drinkers.

In this very lucrative market leading coffee chains are witnessing intensifying competition through innovative strategies.

Business Challenge

With a strong focus on the digital consumer, Costa identified an opportunity to drive customer loyalty and improve sales through the Costa Coffee Club, the company’s winning loyalty scheme. However, without a unified integration strategy Costa was unable to provide the truly seamless customer experience across digital and physical touchpoints that the company required.

Over a period of 40 years since the first store opened, Costa Coffee had accumulated a number of on-premise systems and SaaS applications — each managing different types of information. Many of these legacy systems were outdated and inflexible, connected with point-to-point integrations that created siloed data and prevented efficient data-sharing.

At the same time, customers started using an ever-growing number of devices and channels (like mobile, computers, tablets, face-to-face, and apps) which in turn has fueled an on-demand culture and a world in which consumers expect connected experiences across all channels.

Unable to provide the seamless experience expected by consumers, Costa Coffee needed a new approach that could effectively and efficiently integrate internal systems with digital channels and partners, to enable timely access to information, accelerate innovation and enhance customer engagement.

The Solution

As a first step towards realising their strategy, Costa Coffee replaced their old loyalty & CRM solution and engaged Coforge (Erstwhile WHISHWORKS), who had already successfully implemented MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform at Costa Express, to help create a truly integrated and streamlined ecosystem between their back-end and front-end systems.

Following an API strategy, Coforge implemented Anypoint Platform, using CloudHub and Mule 3.0 as an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) to integrate back-end and front-end systems, making it easy to share information across applications, services, and systems. Using DataWeave, Coforge was able to map and transform customer data so they are easily identifiable and consolidated, eliminating duplication of customer profiles.

This end-to-end integration provides Costa with a truly unified, 360-degree view of customers and their engagements across multiple channels.

Moreover, leveraging the enhanced connectivity with both their old and new CRM platforms, Costa are able to seamlessly run and track promotional campaigns to millions of their customers, updating customer data in real time with the relevant activity. For the Costa Coffee Club member, this means:

Receiving more personalised and relevant information, being able to use their loyalty card via any device (online, at the till or mobile), and enjoying a truly immersing omnichannel experience. Coforge also helped implement a new feature that allows customers to order their Costa favorites via their Costa Coffee Club app and online, and have their order ready to collect as soon as they enter the shop. Using API-enabled connections, the shop’s point-of-sale system is updated in real-time with the information of the transaction, whereas customer loyalty points are automatically rewarded on the customer’s loyalty account.