Starbucks Unveils New Plans for Mobile App, Your Morning Coffee’s Getting A Lot More Tech-Savvy

Starbucks has long been a mobile-friendly  business, their app on iOS and Android allows its more than 10 million users to view a full menu, find nearby stores as well as their information, and create and manage a Starbucks rewards account.

In recent  years however, the app’s true function has been mobile payments, you can load a Starbucks account with money right on your phone and use it to pay in-store. The feature isn’t a niche product either, Starbucks reports that 11% of its business is done through mobile payments, and seeing as how the world seems ever more mobile-centric that number will probably be on the rise in coming years.

Tipping’s Gone Digital

Yet not all aspects of Starbucks’ in-store sales were as modernized as its mobile payment system. Tips for baristas remained solely cash based, and if you’re paying with your phone its a lot less likely you’re going to take out your wallet to toss some change into their tip jar. That is, until Starbucks’ newest iteration of their mobile app, where they will introduce a clever method for mobile tipping.

After paying through a mobile phone, the Starbucks customer would receive a push notification, a couple minutes after ordering their drink, asking if they would like to tip. The system would allow customers to select tips ranging from 50 cents, 1 dollar, to 2 dollars. The system seems simple, but potentially very effective. It’s not hard to imagine a lot of customers clicking that 50 cents tip button, which could add up to some serious extra cash for baristas.

The new feature will launch with the rebooted app for iOS on March 19th and it can be used at over 7,000 Starbucks locations throughout the U.S.

Siri, A Venti Nonfat Latte Please

While a new app is nice, and mobile tipping is a smart addition, something else Starbucks has brewing seems even more exciting.

Starbucks reportedly has a mobile ordering system in the works, one they plan on testing sometime this year. The feature will supposedly allow customers to order in the store or even before arriving, but it’s not yet clear if you would still have to go up to the register to pay, or if you could pay remotely through your phone.

The concept of mobile ordering is an overall exciting one, especially in regards to Starbucks, where anyone who has been before work or a class on a weekday knows the lines can get quite long with all of the brand’s coffee-loving customers needing their fix, especially in major markets like New York or Los Angeles. So any way to speed up the process, or skip the line all together, is a big win for customers.

Coffee for the Digital Age

Starbucks’ latest ideas certainly are pushing a mobile-heavy business, highlighting their app’s benefits with it’s latest and potential additions. While these moves could certainly be advantageous for Starbucks and its baristas alike, the customers also have big potential benefits from an increasingly easy in-store process, and easy is key, especially before you’ve had your morning Starbucks.

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