Food and beverage, Retail and ecommerce

Costa Coffee + UserTesting

Witness how the world's second-largest coffee shop chain designed a smooth pre-order function for their Click & Collect app
Industry: Food and beverage, Retail and ecommerce
Company Size: Enterprise
Role: Designer, Marketer
Customer Type: B2C

About Costa Coffee

Founded in 1971, Costa Coffee is the second largest coffeehouse chain in the world, and the largest in the UK. The company was acquired by Whitbread in 1995 and sold in 2019 to The Coca-Cola Company in a deal worth £3.9bn. The business has a presence in 41 countries, more than 2,000 UK restaurants, over 11,000 Costa Express vending facilities, and a further 1,280 outlets overseas, including 460 in China. Costa’s UK app receives 4 million weekly visits and the UK website receives 274,000 weekly visits.

Costa Coffee achieved

Increase in Click & Collect transactions over a three-year period
Rise in app visits for the Costa Club relaunch (“From Points to Beans”)
Engaged football fans who weren’t previously Costa Club members


Costa Coffee is beloved by its customers, particularly in the UK. To further increase brand awareness and loyalty, the organization seeks innovative ways to reach younger audiences. 

Dave Adamson, Senior Manager, Global Digital Experience Design, works on a team with five designers. The team runs in-person testing, guerilla testing in stores, and remote testing with UserTesting. The former two options require significant time and preparation while building a prototype to test in UserTesting is easy. That’s the quickest way to reach younger audiences—and Costa gets answers from the Contributor Network within an hour!


The Digital Experience Design Team leverages human insight to hone the customer experiences across their four key products:

  • Global website
  • App (including the pre-order function) with the ‘Click & Collect’ loyalty experience
  • Kiosk experiences (where customers order digitally on a 27-inch portrait screen) and then grab their order from a barista
  • Costa Express vending machines

The team also fine-tuned their gamification experiences in the app for the UEFA Euro 2020 and 2020 Summer Olympics experiences, both of which took place in 2021 due to the covid pandemic.


Costa’s team innovated by testing and analyzing the experiences of potential and existing customers before launching their digital programs, which included:

  • Placing an order at the Express vending machine using the touchscreen interface
  • Pre-ordering hot drinks for pickup at the shop, at a kiosk, or a vending machine using the Click & Collect function
  • Redeeming digital vouchers for a free drink through the app
  • Encouraging customers to download the app and win more than a million Costa Coffee prizes during the 2021 UEFA Euros and the 2021 Summer Olympics

Fast customer insight from Costa’s target audience of younger consumers—as well as their existing customer demographics—ensured that not only would these experiences work as expected but that customers would also enjoy them. 

Here are some results that reflect the team’s substantial achievements:

Costa Club loyalty relaunch

  • 12% increase in app visits
  • 9% improvement in Click & Collect conversions

Click & Collect

  • 1,500% increase in Click & Collect transactions over a three-year period

Contactless Express

  • 50% increase in transactions over a six-month period
  • 3.4% of Total Express Cups sold arrive via Contactless Express

Euros Gamification

  • 80,000 football fans encouraged to register as new Costa Coffee Club members 
  • 2.4 million chances to win with 1.4 million prizes awarded
  • 120,000 loyalty customers re-engaged 
  • 20,000 consumers migrated from plastic loyalty cards to using the app
Steve Gleadall
Global Head of Digital Products & User Experience, Costa Coffee
“UserTesting is essential to our work going forward because we have a large base, we have multiple touchpoints from the consumer experience point of view. And we want to ensure when we are releasing these experiences to our customers, they are class-leading.”
Dave Adamson
Senior Manager - Global Digital Experience Design, Costa Coffee
“We were hearing a lot from consumers that they want even more convenient payment methods. UserTesting contributors helped us really streamline the checkout experience in Click & Collect in the app. So essentially, they were able to pay for their drinks with just one tap.”