Starbucks Hits the Road!

The Lempert Report
April 13, 2015

Too busy to pick up a coffee? Don't worry, Starbucks could soon be coming to you!

Starbucks is about to embark on a new service… delivery!

Seattle and New York will be the two cities - in the second half of 2015 - to test the idea which is the next step for Starbucks’ rapidly growing mobile ecosystem and its loyalty program.

According to USA Today, in the second half of 2015, New York will get to try "green apron" delivery. This is, food and drink delivered by green apron wearing baristas who work in the Starbucks inside the building. This will be a web-based ordering system, though plans are to ultimately move to an app. On the West Coast, Seattle Starbucks will partner with Postmates, which calls itself the nation's largest, on-demand delivery service. This app-based system is similar to Uber - with a photo of who will deliver the goods and an ability to track the delivery. Prices are still to be determined. 

Just recently Starbucks launched another system to get people their coffees quicker. For those who have joined their rewards program,  they can use the mobile payment app which (currently just in the Pacific Northwest) also allows ordering by smartphone or tablet so that customers can order ahead and then skip the long lines when they arrive at the store. According to a press release from their Annual Meeting, Starbucks processes about 8 million weekly mobile-payment transactions, representing more than 18 percent of the revenue collected at its U.S. stores. 

When it comes to it's rewards program, the Starbucks model has proved incredibly successful, partly because it combines its app, with its rewards program and with mobile payments. And whether Starbucks delivery is a success or not, their ability to keep up with changing trends and try new avenues for success is something that other retailers could learn from. Their willingness to constantly reinvent themselves and keep up with the needs of todays fast paced consumer is a model worth paying attention to.