Starbucks, Coffee, mug, customer, payments, mobile, app, service

Starbucks Wants You Ordering Coffee Before You’ve Even Arrived

In Customer Experience, Featured on App, Marketing and Sales by Vaughn Highfield

Starbucks, Coffee, mug, customer, payments, mobile, app, service

Starbucks looks to serve your coffee the moment you enter their store

Having set up a handy payments partnership with Square, and a wonderfully strong pre-paid gift-card offering, Starbucks wants to make it even easier for potential customers come to them for a cup of Joe. How, you ask? Through a pre-order system based through the Starbucks mobile app.

The news comes on the back of Starbucks’ first-quarter 2014 earnings call with CEO Howard Schultz confirming the move and the value it’ll create for its customer base.

If it isn’t already obvious, this is one genius move from the US coffee giant. As Starbucks looks to increase its customer experience and store efficiency, pre-ordering would enable queue lines to be far shorter, especially during the busy morning and lunch rush for coffee. Imagine how simple it’d be for commuters to just order their coffee on the way to work and then swing by and grab it. It’s even simpler thanks to the Starbucks mobile app being enabled for payments via the aforementioned Square partnership.

It’s also a super-smart move thanks to the 10 million already engaged Starbucks mobile app users. That’s an instant engaged market ready to be tapped into. And, thanks to the extra prep period that comes with a pre-order, Starbucks can grow its food offering even further due to more and more customers not feeling that waiting period as they tap their heels for their Mozzarella and Meatball ciabatta¬†to become lightly toasted.

It is a double edged sword though. After all, there are many questions to be considered and kinks to be ironed out. How does it prioritise orders? Are in-store orders considered a priority? And what happens if a pre-orderer gets delayed? Is their coffee just going to go cold?

Surely those impulse purchases, which must make up a considerable amount of extra sales, may drop as customers aren’t subjected to the glistening cabinet of tasty treats that patiently sits next to the counter.

We have contacted both the US and UK branches of Starbucks for comment to these questions, and shall update when we receive a response.

Update:¬†The UK arm of Starbucks has responded to our query saying: “We do not currently have any plans to launch a pre-order service for the Starbucks app in the UK.”


[Image: Dani Ele – Flickr]

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