Business

Starbucks’ set to add option to place pickup orders on mobile app

If you like your grande soy mocha latte with sugar-free vanilla syrup but hate having to utter your convoluted order aloud, you’re in luck. Starbucks is gearing up to roll out a new feature on its popular mobile app that will allow you to place your coffee order then go pick it up at your local store.

The feature will be tested out in an undisclosed market to iron out the kinks later this year with a nationwide rollout anticipated sometime in the future. According to Starbucks’ chief digital officer, Adam Brotman, this is not an experiment. Rather, the test is how the company is making sure the service is flawless before it hits a national audience.

The thinking here is that mobile ordering is on the rise, so Starbucks needs to get in the game. The great thing is the adoption of the new feature with current app users is likely to be impressive. Back in March, the company reported that 14 percent of U.S. retail purchases are paid for using its app. According to Brotman, being able to place mobile orders is likely to make current Starbucks loyalists even bigger fans of the brand.

But that doesn’t mean the road ahead is free of complications. In fact, there’s a high probability of things going wrong. If someone places an order too soon, the coffee could be ready too early and cold by the time she arrives at the store. Or the order might not be ready upon arrival. Brotman says the team is “trying to get things down to a science,” but that doesn’t mean issues can’t and won’t arise as the feature hits the test market and beyond.

Once mobile ordering and payment is locked in, Starbucks would also like to expand its app’s functionality and loyalty program to let people pay for items at other stores, too. A Starbucks digital wallet? Sign me up.

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8 comments
Rafael Kireyev
Rafael Kireyev

This service has the potential to become popular. Everything in the world is changing very quickly. And it's quite funny. Most recently, I could not think that the words Starbucks and pickup may occur in one sentence.

Tanner Royall
Tanner Royall

I can't imagine the nightmares this is going to cause in-store for baristas when customers either 1. get angry when they see other customers appearing as if they are skipping the line to grab their drink and 2. the possibility of prank orders with this thing is ridiculous, it wouldn't be the first time...