International

Starbucks Now Program Launches In China

Starbucks China

Starbucks has launched Starbucks Now, a program that lets people order food and drinks ahead of time and then come pick up their orders, in China, according to reports.

The mobile ordering app will be in 300 stores in Shanghai and Beijing, with plans to expand to other cities in China through 2019.

“Starbucks Now represents a significant opportunity for Starbucks China to drive new, innovative customer experiences,” said Belinda Wong, chief executive officer of Starbucks China. “This builds on the latest of several digital initiatives in China, including Starbucks Delivers and locally relevant gifting and e-commerce experiences.”

The app has GPS capability, so people can find the nearest store, order food or drinks and pay for them too, all on the app. The order should be ready when the customers arrive. In addition, Starbucks loyalty members earn stars 25 percent faster with Starbucks Now than with a Starbucks stored-value card.

In other Starbucks news, with the growth of its rewards program and its stock reaching a record high ahead of expected earnings, Starbucks beat analysts’ earnings estimates in April and fell slightly below revenue expectations for the second quarter of its fiscal 2019. The chain reported revenues of $6.31 billion and earnings per share of 60 cents compared to analysts’ estimates of $6.32 billion and 56 cents.

Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson pointed out the continued momentum of the company’s mobile app rewards program in its earnings call. During the second quarter, the company expanded its active member base by half a million customers — a 13 percent increase — and took the ranks of its active mobile app rewards membership to 16.8 million.

At the same time, Johnson noted, the momentum had a positive impact on results, with members of the rewards program accounting for 41 percent of sales in U.S. stores over the quarter.

Johnson also said that the company was pleased with the smooth rollout of its enhanced loyalty offering, which gives diners “greater choice and flexibility in redeeming rewards.”

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