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Starbucks and Lyft: A Match Made in Heaven

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Yesterday, Lyft and Starbucks announced a partnership in which Lyft drivers and customers will earn Starbucks rewards towards drink and food purchases. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on why they chose Lyft over Uber: "We’ve spent a lot of time with (Lyft) over the last few months and have been so deeply impressed with their business model, their values and approach of building a business the right way.”[1] Since, at face value, the goal for both Starbucks and Lyft is to encourage customers to use their services over competitors, we decided to look at our data to estimate the business impact of partnership. We found no statistically significant difference between how much Uber and Lyft customers spend at Starbucks. In other words, Schultz isn’t leaving money on the table by partnering with Lyft over Uber.

And what does this partnership mean for Lyft? According to our panelist behavior, Starbucks customers spend about 20% more with Lyft than the average rider. That’s good news for Lyft because their goal for this partnership is to drive more Starbucks customers into their cars. Starbucks customers also spend more with Uber than the average rider (23% more), so Lyft might have succeeded in stealing these valuable customers away from Uber.

With the ridesharing space becoming increasingly competitive, we will be watching this partnership closely and posting insights in subsequent blog posts.

Behind The Data: We analyzed the past 365 days of Starbucks, Lyft, and Uber data to compare the average spend of panelists at these merchants.


  1. http://www.geekwire.com/2015/starbucks-is-riding-with-lyft-coffee-giant-and-ride-sharing-company-team-up-in-broad-new-partnership/ ↩︎

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