America Jogs on Dunkin’

Coffee Bean Man

Image from: Zubada / Shutterstock

I have never really believed the phrase “America Runs on Dunkin’.” For one, when running, coffee isn’t really the choice beverage. Two, growing up in California I never saw or ate from a Dunkin’ Donuts. But, after moving to Boston, I quickly saw that Starbucks has a huge competitor in the coffee biz (have you had a small iced hazelnut with cream and sugar?!?). Coffee connoisseurs aside, I decided to compare Dunkin’ Donuts to Starbucks to see if America really does run on Dunkin’.

Looking at Compete data we can see that Starbucks has a bigger presence on the web, as well as more establishments nationwide.

Unique Visitors to and

With more than 2.5 million visitors to their website and over 12,000 stores in the United States it seems that people are running to Starbucks. While Starbucks does have more store locations than Dunkin’ Donuts (with over 6,000 stores nationally) are they also providing something online that is driving traffic to their site?

Looking at search referrals to and we can see that Starbucks has a higher search referral share. Among the top 25 search referral keywords for Starbucks were “starbucks rewards.”

Total Search Referrals for and

We can see that the referral for the Starbucks card or rewards is 9.83% of the search referral share that is sending traffic to Dunkin’ Donuts only sees 1.56% search referral share to their site for the DD Perks card or rewards.

Daily Search Refs to Starbucks

Daily Search Referrals to

Starbucks sees high traffic to their site because of their rewards program, while Dunkin’ Donuts has yet to capitalize. As the smaller of two coffee chains, can Dunkin’ Donuts optimize a rewards program, similar to what Starbucks has done with their rewards program online?

Maybe people might run a little faster if they were running towards some Dunkin’ rewards?

About Alyssa Maine:
Alyssa is on the Inside Sales team here at Millward Brown Digital, working within the Financial Services and Technology & Entertainment industries delivering digital intelligence that helps clients improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers. Find Alyssa on Twitter at @alyssamaine or connect with her on Linkedin.

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  1. Nathan K

    Excellent post Alyssa – I think Starbucks definitely has a better defined online presence and it seems this data is evidence of that. I wonder though, if the proportion of online Starbucks customers is greater than that of DD customers?

    Also, what’s the deal with those local peaks in search referrals to each April/May…?


  2. Alyssa

    Great point Nathan! Starbucks would most certainly have a greater online customer base because of their sheer size and availability as a company. They are everywhere!


  3. Lindsey Mark

    I also think that Dunkin has a stronger regional presence in the Northeast, where as the franchising model for Starbucks and partnership with Target has helped promote the proliferation of locations and given the brand broader coverage.

    It might also be interesting to see what the demographic shake-out for these competitors are. My guess is that there are socio-economic factors at play impacting the online engagement and marketing strategies.


  4. Steve

    You missed term #11 and #13 for starbucks. Adds another percentage point to the total “card” search interest.


  5. Alyssa

    Thanks Steve- we updated the referral chart!


  6. HRK2012XYZ

    Thanks Alyssa! I do feel that Starbucks has a better online presence. I did grow up with Dunkin Donuts but I must admit that Starbucks has won me over! Thanks again for the information!