Coffee Shop Innovation Expo logo

15 & 16 JUNE 2021


Personalising The High Street Customer Experience

To enhance customer retention and gain an edge on its competitors, Caffè Nero partnered with Yoyo to create a combined payments and loyalty app to provide a seamless customer experience and give the UK’s third largest coffee chain the data tools and insight to better engage, reward and retain their customers.

Before the project began, Caffè Nero could only track how frequently customers were visiting stores through its wifi service. "We knew nothing else about them", said Marcus Denison-Smith, head of marketing at Caffè Nero.

Through a single mobile-led app solution, Caffè Nero wanted to enhance the payment and loyalty experience for its customers and at the same time gain real-time insight on its customers’ buying behaviour and preferences, so that they could understand, segment and reward customers based on their habits and preferences.

The app would also need to replicate and enhance Caffè Nero's famous "Blue Card" loyalty programme. Research had revealed that coffee drinkers were losing an estimated 87 million loyalty cards every year, and at least 5 million Nero loyalty stamps were not being used. That equated to about half a million coffees going unredeemed.

Marcus Denison-Smith, head of marketing at Caffè Nero, added: “Caffe Nero’s loyalty card is a very popular mechanism that the brand has been using for the last 20 years, but it really wasn't functioning as a marketing tool.”

Yoyo and Caffè Nero set to work to create a branded app to provide loyal customers with a fast and personal experience, and Caffè Nero with insight into customer spend and preferences to drive behaviour.

Strategy and implementation

Yoyo had less than five months to create and launch a new Caffè Nero-branded app experience across more than 600 stores in the UK and Ireland.

Crucially, the app experience would allow Caffè Nero customers to instantly pay, collect and use stamps to redeem their well earned free coffee in a single moment at the point-of-sale.

Seeing the point-of-sale as the key moment that retailers can use to engage their customers, Yoyo is uniquely able to identify the purchasing habits of these customers by obtaining individual basket data when they use the app to pay for their items.

With this data to hand, for the first time Caffè Nero could run a data-led and intelligent loyalty programme that could really drive customer behaviour by segmenting customers based on their purchasing habits and creating insight-led marketing campaigns.

This is the first time Caffè Nero had access to basket-level customer information. App-led marketing campaign success can now be judged, not by traditional marketing metrics but in changes to customer purchasing behaviour.

Since launching in April 2017, the app has taken the #1 Food & Drink spots on Apple’s App Store and Google Play, it’s been downloaded by over 300,000 customers, and there’s already an average of 20,000+ super-fast transactions handled each day.

Working with hundreds of coffee stores around the UK and Ireland, Yoyo delivers Europe's fastest growing customer engagement, loyalty and payment platform. Through our platform, support and campaign recommendations, our clients have been able to visibly boost their revenue, increase footfall and dramatically increase retention rates. To discover how Yoyo can help grow your business, visit our website:

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