Monday, January 24, 2022

Starbucks is becoming a digital coffee house

As contactless transactions surpass the 1bn mark and the UK welcomes Apple Pay, Starbucks is introducing a mobile ordering app to attract customers who are constantly looking for ways to pay for goods quicker.

In a £30m technology investment, the coffee giant will allow customers the opportunity to pay for their skinny flat whites on their way to the nearest branch, as part of a click-and-collect service.

Starbucks UK MD Mark Fox told Retail Gazette in May that the service, which is already available in the States, was something he has been keen to operate in the UK for some time. Mobile has played a valuable role in Starbucks‘ success, with mobile payments cutting credit card processing costs. Last year in the US, Starbucks processed over $2bn in mobile transactions and over 16m customers currently use the Starbucks mobile app.

The company is also reviewing its Wi-Fi in an attempt to offer a wireless experience that is faster than any other retailer. The average Starbucks customer spends around 40 mins online per minute.   

At the start of the year Starbucks introduced wireless charging points to some of its stores, soon to be rolled out nationwide. As if that wasn‘t enough, the company has also struck a new deal with music streaming service Spotify to run a jukebox function in stores which customers can spend their Starbucks loyalty points on.

“The role of the coffee shop is fundamentally changing across the world but particularly acute the UK because it is just so competitive, most competitive espresso markets in the world and it‘s changing because people are increasingly busy that‘s well understood but the business I think is either accentuated by this move to digital where so much of your life is led through a device,” said Kris Engskov, Starbucks President of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“It‘s the little details about how do we eliminate the barriers to a great experience, whether it‘s a queue, a click or giving someone secure Wi-Fi” Ensgkov said. 


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