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Will Starbucks Mobile Ordering Boost Sales?

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

March 14, 2014

Will Starbucks Mobile Ordering Boost Sales?

By Michelle Nicolson
TMCnet Contributing Writer

In a bid to take customer service to the next level, Starbucks is working on mobile ordering to enable loyal customers to select menu items via their smartphones while they are waiting in line or before even coming to the store.

According to reports, the company’s main goal with the move to mobile commerce is to streamline the ordering process for both customers and baristas. Given the long lines at popular Starbucks locations during certain times of the day, the idea of pre-ordering would certainly hold appeal for the chain’s loyal customers who are trying to keep to a schedule.

“It’s something our customers have asked for,” said Adam Brotman, Starbucks chief digital officer. “We’re not revealing a lot of details about it now.”

Starbucks, which reportedly processes 5 million mobile transactions a week, embraced the mobile revolution early on with its stand-alone mobile app that stores payment information, special offers and free downloads. More than 11 percent of the company’s U.S. store transactions are handled with a mobile device already and that figure may double a year from now, Brotman said in an interview.

However, the coffee-shop giant isn’t resting on its past success, as the company looks to expanding and improving its app and related rewards program to boost sales.

Company CEO Howard Schultz promised to make improving the mobile and digital experience for customers and last month he handed over day-to-day operations Troy Alstead, chief operating officer, so he could focus on these areas.

Image via Shutterstock

While there’s no date set for mobile ordering, the company plans to update its current iPhone (News - Alert) app on March 19 to include barista tipping and a new shake-to-pay function.

Industry insiders have said they expect to see a mobile ordering trial later this year where certain Starbucks cafes will offer select customers the option of pre-ordering.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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