The lines at Starbucks in Portland may look a little different these days. At least if the company's Mobile Order & Pay catches on like the company anticipates.
The new feature made its Portland debut this week (Dec. 3), setting the stage for Starbucks' national rollout during 2015 depending on how Mobile Order & Pay performs in the test market. The option, just like its name suggests, is simple: order and pay on your mobile device and pick up later.
Once a consumer pays, the order is sent to the chosen store and an approximate wait time is sent back through Starbucks' app. Customers have to wait for that response but they wont' have to wait in line. The app works by using the phone's GSP to show the closest location that offers Mobile Order & Pay. The option is only available on the iPhone app for now, but will be released to android users in 2015.
Starbucks has been an early adaptor of mobile payments and during the company's third-quarter earnings call in October, CEO Howard Schultz called the Mobile Order & Pay the single-most important technology innovation introduced by the company this year. Due to its early entry to the market with its mobile version of its payment card, Starbucks was able to capture 90 percent of mobile purchases made over mobile devices in 2013. Starbucks is close to hitting an average of 7 million transactions a week, 16 percent of which are made on mobile devices.
“While that figure has been growing almost 50 percent a year, the real growth is yet to come,” Schultz said. “Starbucks Coffee has cracked the code to trying mobile payment to loyalty.”
He also called Starbucks “an uncontested leader in mobile.”
“Allowing consumers to conveniently conduct their lives and complete commerce from wherever they have to be was actually occurring as a cultural shift in time allocation away from retail experiences. Starbucks is uniquely well positioned to benefit from this convergence as a destination experience," He said.
“[Mobile Order & Pay] seamlessly integrates mobile ordering and our proprietary mobile program with point of sale and store operations that enables us to enhance our customer experience, exceed our customers expectations and extend customer loyalty."