Merchant Innovation

Coffee Gets An AI Upgrade At Starbucks

Starbucks wants to prove how well it really knows you as its customers — or at least, how well its artificial intelligence can get to you know you — especially if you are a rewards member.

The getting to know you (getting to know all about you) will come this fall as part of an expansion of Starbuck’s new cloud-based Digital Flywheel program. The chains’s AI is set to seek out the patterns in customers’ orders and try to make sure they have what they want (when they want it) — as well as solid suggestions for what to try next.

And, according to reports, this is a very specifically targeted system.  When it rains, customers will see one offer — and it might well be a different one if they happen to go to Starbucks when the sun is shining. The AI can also take into account whether it is a weekend or a holiday or your birthday.  Yes, apparently users do get special options on their birthday.

Buying at your regular Starbucks? Yes, the app knows that too.

“Starbucks is one of the best companies in the world that connects brand, user and consumer experience between digital, mobile and the real world,” Brian Solis, a principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, told The Street in an interview. “They are still pushing forward, rolling out their Digital Flywheel strategy to be more dynamic and to further integrate digital and real world.”

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