Starbucks, the ubiquitous Seattle-originated coffee shop that has since become synonymous with coffee, is leading the charge with innovative adoption of technology including cashless stores, mobile payments and loyalty programs. Their time and investment in such programs is starting to pay off, as the company reported its mobile order and payment service grew to 11% of all of the coffee giant’s transactions in the first quarter of 2018, according to Retail Dive.

Keeping an Eye on Changing Customer Preferences

It’s all part of the company’s strategy to home in on changing consumer preferences and move swiftly to adopt new technologies that facilitate the way people want to buy their coffee, which is as quickly and frictionless as possible. The store’s app already offers an order-ahead function, which enables customers to place their orders and pay from their mobile device before picking up their completed order at the store counter, and Retail Dive reports the chain is also experimenting with completely cashless stores in the U.S.
Furthermore, Starbucks is said to be closely watching blockchain technology, upon which cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum are based. This distributed ledger technology keeps track of transactions on a network of computers and serves as a transfer of value outside the traditional monetary system. There are no immediate plans for Starbucks to introduce its own cryptocurrency variant just yet, but the fact that the company is paying attention to it shows its determination to stay at the forefront of the technology curve and monitor different methods its customers might want to transact business with them.

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Loyalty Program Members Showing Starbucks Their Love

Starbucks’ loyalty program is also immensely popular, with 14.2 million members and growing, according to Retail Dive. Spending by program members represented 37% of all U.S. Starbucks sales, according to the company, as reported by Retail Dive. The company is even expanding its mobile order and pay services to non-loyalty program members, which should cast a wider net and get an even higher percentage of its customers placing and paying for orders through its mobile app.
Starbucks clearly sees mobile payments as the future, in spite of the technology’s relatively sluggish adoption nationwide, and moves to increase the stickiness and usage of its app, as well as its continued investment in a robust and popular loyalty program, shows the brand is serious about implementing the technology. If this trend line continues, it may not be too far off before you enter a Starbucks that doesn’t even have a cash register.

Starbucks Reward Program

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