Starbucks Coffee Korea Co. is launching voice ordering through Bixby, becoming the first retailer to use Samsung’s voice assistant for orders and payment. The company is a joint venture between Shinsegae Group and Starbucks Coffee International, retail news source Chain Store Age reported.
“We are pleased to provide our customers with more convenient ways to be rewarded for their purchases,” said Starbucks Coffee Korea CEO, S.K. Lee. “The launch of voice-recognition ordering is a seamless addition to our innovation portfolio, creating a consistent third-place experience across digital and in-store interactions.”
The new capability builds upon the company’s mobile-order and pay system, which is called Starbucks Siren Order. Through that feature, customers within South Korea can place orders and pay for them before setting foot in a Starbucks location. But, through Bixby, My Starbucks Rewards members in the country can place – and pay – for an order with their voice. And, just as if they were talking to a barista in the store, customers can customize their beverage orders to meet their own tastes.
The news comes about a year after Starbucks announced an ordering integration with Ford’s SYNC3, the automaker’s voice-activated technology powered by Alexa. In a nutshell, that feature allowed drivers to voice-order their caffeinated beverage of choice while on the road. Earlier in the year, Starbucks announced an AI voice-reordering feature available to Android users, as well as on Amazon’s Alexa.
“The Starbucks Reorder Skill for Amazon’s Alexa platform leverages Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay technology,” the company wrote at the time, “allowing customers to order their usual Starbucks food and beverage items as they move throughout their day. Customers simply need to say, ‘Alexa, order my Starbucks,’ giving them the ability to order their usual items from their store wherever they have an Alexa device.”
The in-car version of Starbucks voice-ordering was announced at the coffee giant’s annual shareholders meeting in Seattle, said GeekWire. Chief Technology Officer, Gerri Martin-Flickinger, had said, “It only takes a little imagination to think about where conversation ordering will show up next.”