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.

The Company

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 Opportunity

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 Many of these legacy systems were outdated and inflexible, connected with point-to-point integrations that created siloed data and prevented efficient data-sharing.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 fuelled 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.

Get in touch with our experts

The Solution

As a first step towards realising their strategy, Costa Coffee replaced their old loyalty & CRM solution and engaged 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, WHISHWORKS 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, WHISHWORKS 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 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.

WHISHWORKS also helped implement a new feature that allows customers to order their Costa favourites 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.

The Result

Following an API-led approach to integration, Costa was able to accelerate innovation and ROI:

  • Faster concept-to-implementation leveraging API reusability, which allows Costa to introduce new features and capabilities faster whilst driving down development costs.
  • Single customer view and greater accuracy of customer data achieved by securely exposing and integrating data from systems across the organisation -legacy and modern.
  • Better personalisation of messages and offers thanks to the 360-degree customer view and real-time data processing achieved with Mulesoft’s Anypoint Platform.
  • Incorporation of Costa Express outlets in the loyalty programme: a pilot was successfully launched in early 2018 with 30 stores, allowing users of Costa Express vending machines to collect loyalty points. This pilot is in the process of being rolled out to the entire network of Costa Express.

In parallel with the loyalty and collect programmes, WHISHWORKS has been helping Costa introduce numerous other efficiencies using the Anypoint Platform, aiming to reduce effort and errors across the organisation. Among these efficiencies are the Global Store Locator application that reduced the time needed to update shop information on the Costa website from one day to just seconds. WHISHWORKS also designed an SFTP framework that improves scalability in file transfers.

With WHISHWORKS and MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform we are now able to accelerate innovation, adding new features and offers and improving the overall customer experience. The recent launch of push notifications through our mobile application is a great example. In just one month, we were able to develop the necessary new APIs and modify existing ones to enable the new functionality through the integration of our eCommerce platform with the Costa Coffee Club mobile application.

Phil Scully – Costa Coffee

More Case Studies

WHISHWORKS-TLC loyalty platform integration
Case Studies

TLC Relationship Management

TLC selected WHISHWORKS to help them implement MuleSoft and create an end-to-end digital experience solution for hospitality companies.

Case Studies

Global top-20 Bank

Read how we helped a global top-20 bank optimise its customer onboarding process for mortgages with Salesforce Financial Services Cloud.

Case Studies


Abcam engaged WHISHWORKS as a trusted partner to set up Anypoint Platform and to help accelerate digital transformation initiatives.