Apple Pay Is Coming To Starbucks And More

What Happened
Apple Pay continues to gain momentum as Apple announced today its planned roll-out in Starbucks, KFC, and Chili’s locations across the country. Apple’s mobile payment solution will be tested in a few select Starbucks outlets later this year, with a nationwide roll-out in 2016. Both KFC and Chili’s will also start supporting it early next year. Given the early success of Starbucks’ own mobile app, which includes features such as a loyalty program and, more recently, mobile ordering, it will be interesting to see how Starbucks will integrate Apple Pay into its existing mobile assets.  

Market Impact
These new partnerships, especially the one with Starbucks, will undoubtedly broaden Apple Pay’s reach and help accelerate the mass adoption of Apple’s mobile payment. For retailers, this means now is the time to start thinking about incorporating your existing reward and loyalty programs into new point of sale systems, in order to give your customers a frictionless shopping experience.


Source: Engaget


Starbucks Improves In-Store Experience With Nationwide Mobile Ordering

What Happened
Starting today, Starbucks is rolling out a new Mobile Order and Pay feature in its branded mobile app. First tested in Portland back in December and now available at more than 7,400 stores nationwide, the new feature allows its customers to preorder and pay for their coffee and food before they arrive at the designated store for pick-ups, therefore eliminating the need to wait in line and vastly improving its in-store customers experience.

What Brands Should Do
By adding this convenient new feature to its already uber-popular app, the Seattle-based coffee shop chain is able to bring significant added value to its customers, while also driving more customers to its loyalty and rewards program. With mobile payment now reportedly counting for more than 20% of its sales, Starbucks leads as a frontrunner in courting today’s mobile-first customers and unifying its physical stores with digital sales channels, which provides a good example for retail and CPG brands to follow.


Source: Mashable

How Macy’s And Starbucks Are Delivering The On-Demand Economy

What Happened
Earlier today, Starbucks announced a partnership with ride-sharing service Lyft, which includes a plan to reward Lyft drivers and users in the states with Starbucks reward points as part of its loyalty program. Similarly, national department store chain Macy’s is also teaming up with  Deliv, a Menlo Park, CA-based startup that offers on-demand delivery services, to expand same-day delivery to several new U.S. markets this summer.

With the continuous rise of the on-demand economy comes a slew of new services that present easy gateways for brands to get in on the trend and the changing consumer behaviors. In both scenarios here, a big-name national brand partners with an up-and-coming on-demand service to leverage it into expanding its existing service at a cost-effective way that also benefits the customers. In return, those lesser-known, on-demand services get introduced to a large number of mainstream consumers while also gaining legitimacy.

What Brands Should Do
Brands, especially those in retail and CPG, would be smart to consider exploring similar partnerships with compatible on-demand services that could help enhance their brand value.


Source: Reuters & GeekWire

What Starbucks Is Teaming Up With Spotify For

Read original story on: Wired

Starbucks and Spotify announced a new partnership to bring the music streaming service to all of the coffee chain’s U.S. retail locations this fall, the two companies announced earlier this week. As a result, every Starbucks U.S. retail employee will receive a Spotify Premium account for free, which will be used to curate music playlists in stores. Moreover, Starbucks customers who have signed up for its rewards program will be able to influence in-store music programming, and they can also earn Starbucks rewards points by paying for Spotify.

Without a doubt, this partnership will help promote Spotify’s premium service in Starbucks stores across the States. Starbucks has long been a major force in the music business, selling millions of exclusive albums in their stores. In addition, the Seattle-based company has a long-standing partnership with Apple to promote iTunes store and app download. Now with Apple readying its own Beats-based streaming service for launch, it’ll be interesting to see how this partnership will impact the music industry.


Starbucks To Explore Ecommerce Next Year With Coffee Delivery

Read original story on: The Verge

Starbucks will be tipping its toes into ecommerce next year with plans for launching an on-demand delivery program in select markets. The delivery service will be available to loyalty program members through a new “Mobile Order and Pay” app, set to debut later this year. Given the success its mobile app has enjoyed, along with the rise of on-demand economy, it seems reasonable for Starbucks to double down on mobile-focused initiative.

Square Pulls Wallet In Favor Of Order App

The highly-touted Square Wallet isn’t working out so well, it turns out. After its launch in 2011, and support from Starbucks, the Wallet ultimately didn’t match the momentum of the company’s credit card reader, which has been a veritable success with small businesses. To match the success of the card reader, Square wants to overhaul its consumer strategy, replacing Square Wallet with Square Order, a simplified version of the Wallet that’s been in testing for a few months.

Order lets users order ahead at small businesses, and skip lines when you pick up your purchase. It also notifies users when their orders are ready. The added utility aims to attract new users as Square is baking in loyalty program and advertising opportunities which will warrant a substantially larger merchant fee of 8%.  In general, Square’s issues have been more around their business model than user experience, so well see if Order will right the ship.  

Mobile Payments on the Rise at Starbucks

Mobile payments are coming in a big way. Financial results released last week by Starbucks show that more than 10% of sales were made by mobile phone last quarter, reflecting the coffee giant’s early adoption of Apple’s Passbook technology.  The mobile payments trend trades customer data for an improved customer experience with special deals and faster service.  Food sales and overall profits are up significantly as well, in a corresponding move, giving Starbucks no reason to slow their adoption of forward-thinking technologies. Next on chief digital officer Adam Brotman’s list: the wireless charging mat.

Buzzfeed Introduces The Reaction Cam

Buzzfeed illicits some of the biggest reactions on the web so it’s not surprising to see they’ve figured out a way to let users get in on the action, all sponsored by Starbucks. Introduced as the reaction cam, users will be able to create and share three-second animated Gifs in response to Starbucks sponsored content on the site.  From GIFs to song remixes and six second videos, brands have never been in a better position to enable content creation through technology.    

Starbucks Stumbles With Square

Almost a year ago, Starbucks announced its now-famous partnership with Square Wallet. Starbucks invested $25 million in the startup, and in return Starbucks promised that about 7,000 locations – many in metropolitan areas – would accept payment via the app. The promise was simple: simply tap the app, scan the phone, and walk away from the counter. And indeed, many locations fulfill this promise; but for a company that is so highly focused on customer service, widespread reports of failures after many months of supposed integration come as a blow to the partnership. On many occasions, users ave found the experience of using Square to be awkward, inconsistent, and at worst impossible. Managers and baristas have been found to lack basic training to use the app, even in locations that supposedly support the service. In one instance, a barista even accidentally clicked into a user’s personal messages in an attempt to manually enter the barcode number into the register. Problems might include a lack of wide-spread Square adoption, or an attempt to attempt to fix bugs in real time until the app hits a tipping point and then works seamlessly, much like the original mobile payments app. Starbucks has officially stated that they are “100% committed to Square,” but either way you slice it, any problems with Square integration – whether they’re a result of barista inexperience, technological malfunction, or both – are a knock to Starbucks’ reputation as a customer service-first company, and to the startup itself.