Merchant Innovation

Starbucks' Traffic Booster? Outlook Meetings

Starbucks has partnered with Microsoft to add a new functionality to the Outlook app that allows users to setup meetings at nearby Starbucks stores.

Starbucks has found a new solution to every Outlook user's coffee needs.

In partnership with Microsoft, the company has added new functionality to Office 365's Outlook app that allows coffee-chugging U.S. users to set up meetings at nearby Starbucks stores. The new tool called "Meet at Starbucks" lets users run an in-app search that utilizes their location to find the nearest store and choose it as a location for their upcoming meeting.

The Outlook add-on also lets users send a $5 Starbucks gift card from their inbox to others, if they link their Starbucks account to Outlook. The functionality, however, doesn't require a user to have a Starbucks account for setting up a meeting, Chain Store Age reported.

For now, the option has only been made available for Outlook PC users. The two companies are reportedly working on adding the functionality to Outlook for Mac and Outlook's mobile app.

As details on the new Starbucks-Outlook partnership weren't revealed, it remains to be seen whether Starbucks paid for the plugin addition for Microsoft's email app.

The move highlights Starbucks' effort to go beyond its mobile and web platform to attract new customers and improve upon its slower afternoon sales. Recently, the Seattle-based company also rejiggered its rewards program to increase its customer base.

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