Mobile Commerce

Starbucks’ Mobile Payments Go To China

Starbucks Mobile Pay Reaches China

Starbucks is officially expanding its digital experience to China.

The company announced on Tuesday (July 12) that it is making its mobile payments offering for in-store purchases available for My Starbucks Rewards card members at more than 2,200 stores nationwide.

“Our customers in China have a very high expectation of their digital experience and we are thrilled that the new mobile payment experience will enhance and transform the way we connect and build a meaningful relationship with them,” Belinda Wong, president of Starbucks China, said in a press release.

“With the ongoing seismic shift in consumer behavior due to mobile technology, Starbucks is committed to exploring new ways to leverage digital innovations to deliver an elevated Starbucks Experience to our customers. We are confident our social, web, mobile, loyalty and card assets will deliver greater value and convenience to our customers, while further differentiating the brand in China,” Wong continued.

Starbucks’ dominance in the mobile ordering market became evident once again during the company’s second quarter earnings release back in April, when the coffee giant revealed it is now seeing an average of 8 million monthly transactions for its Mobile Order & Pay service.

To put that into context, that’s 2 million more, on average, per month than Starbucks reported it was seeing in Q1. Overall, Starbucks is also seeing a jump from quarter to quarter in terms of how many of its total transactions are being made via mobile. In Q1, Starbucks reported that mobile transactions made up 21 percent of its total payments, and by Q2, that figure had grown to 24 percent.

Mobile Order & Pay usage also doubled year over year, the company reported.

What Starbucks has proven as a business is that it’s managed to take one of its greatest strengths — loyalty and customers dedicated to a daily habit — and monetized it with a service aimed at making the transaction and ordering process easier, which is, of course, via mobile.

“Loyalty, technology and innovation are continuing to fuel our digital flywheel and propel our business forward all around the world,” said CEO Howard Schultz.


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