Starbucks has unveiled a new mobile app, Don’t Wait For Your Frap, and it is going to allow customers to use their mobile phones to place and pay orders at 7,400 of its locations across the United States. The Pacific Northwest was the first to get the mobile order and pay app, and then it was extended nearly to 4,000 more stores across 22 states, and it was slated to be completely rolled out by the end of the year to all locations. Due to the early success of the app however, along with the demand from numerous customers, Starbucks decided to move the national release of the app ahead of schedule.
Starbucks is a Seattle-based company, which is why the Pacific Northwest was the first location to see the mobile order and pay app, and Starbucks says that mobile payments are about 20 percent of sales across the board. An Android version of the app has also launched, so now iOS and Android users will be able to use this app in order to place their orders and pay for their orders, which means that you don’t have to wait in the long lines anymore for your morning cup of coffee. Officials for Starbucks said that they will not mention how many customers have been ordering ahead of time using the app, which the data that they could use could only come from the markets from the beginning, but they said that there has been an increase in sales in the store with the mobile app, and this is because more customers are visiting the stores than before. The director of digital ventures, Dan Beranek, mentioned how mobile orders are going to make it a lot simpler for the company to begin the deliveries, just like how mobile orders were made possible because the customers had already been exposed to the mobile payment system and the rewards program. Starbucks plans on going into the delivery business as well, so using the mobile app will allow the company to focus on that aspect of the business,which has yet to be really tapped into.
In terms of mobile payment, a lot of companies in the fast food market have now adopted that policy, with Starbucks being one of the first quick service restaurants to offer mobile payment, which was actually going on back in 2010. Starbucks then went into Portland, Oregon and began testing the mobile ordering and payment system near the end of 2014, and from there it expanded into Seattle and other markets in the Pacific Northwest. Domino’s and Pizza Hut both were also earlier adopters of the mobile payment system, and believe it or not, Domino’s Pizza is actually the second largest pizza chain in the country. Domino’s took mobile payment and ordering even further though as they just launched ordering by Twitter and through text message, and there is also a phone app you can download for Domino’s where you can order your favorite pizza just by your voice, which is aptly named “Dom.”
Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks had said numerous times that mobile ordering is the way of the future, noting that using mobile ordering and paying is how the company is going to end up going into the delivery service. The delivery services are going to be launching here in the next couple of months, featuring Green Apron at the Empire State Building in New York, and another delivery service in Seattle called Postmates. Back in July, Starbucks also said that they partnered up with Lyft, which is a San Francisco-based ride share company, for a multi-year deal so that riders can earn points or rewards that they could use in partnership with their Starbucks loyalty program so that they can get fare purchases through Lyft. Starbucks is hoping that this partnership could eventually turn into a situation where the drivers for Lyft could deliver beverages and food from Starbucks to customers, which is also potentially part of the delivery services Starbucks is aiming to get off the ground.
As for the new app, apparently customer satisfaction is going up as a result of the app, which in part is because you are not waiting anymore for your drink. After you order on the app, you get a ticket that is able to be printend at the cash register of the Starbucks that you selected, with the app automatically giving you the closest Starbucks location, although you can choose a different location if you want. You then go into the location and pick up your drink right from the barista, as opposed to sitting there waiting in line and then having to pay, and you also are told how long of a wait until your order is ready, so you can just walk right in and leave with your drink in hand.
The mobile orders is also cutting down on the number of human errors that occur as a result of people often selecting numerous custom orders, such as low-fat milk or Splenda instead of sugar. This is a good thing because with most Starbucks orders, the baristas often have to remember a laundry-list of information, so using the mobile app is preventing people from getting the wrong order, and the barista is able to see exactly what each customer wants in their drink through the print out. This is also cutting down on the number of errors in terms of spelling names wrong, which in the grand scheme of things is not really a huge issue, although many pretentious customers feel it’s an abomination if a barista gets their oddly spelled name wrong. Once your drink is ready, the barista calls out the name of the mobile customer when the order is ready, and they mention that it is a mobile order as to not upset the people waiting in line wondering why someone just skipped ahead to the front of the line.