Starbucks Coffee Co. unveiled a roadmap of innovations to its more than 2,000 district managers at the Starbucks Leadership Experience conference in Seattle this week. The company shared several customer initiatives to further transform and elevate the Starbucks Experience in Holiday 2014 and beyond.
“Holiday 2013 witnessed a seismic shift in consumer behavior in which many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers experienced a decline in foot traffic compared to significant growth in online shopping,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Co. “Customers researched, compared prices, and then bought the brands and items they wanted online, frequently utilizing a mobile device to do so. Since that time, we have been focused on radically redefining the Starbucks retail experience for our partners, customers and stores. As a result of the work we’ve done, Starbucks is poised for a great holiday—our innovation pipeline is strong and we have a number of initiatives ready to launch during the holiday and into calendar 2015 and beyond,” said Schultz.
Since last winter, the company has completely reimagined the holiday experience in stores for this shopping season, staying true to many time-honored traditions, such as the arrival of the iconic red Starbucks cups in stores, while adding innovative and relevant products for holiday shoppers. In addition to the arrival of the first new holiday handcrafted beverage in five years— the Chestnut Praline Latte—Starbucks will offer the 30th anniversary of Starbucks Christmas Blend and unveil the first-ever 100 uniquely designed Starbucks Cards in a full collection. This holiday season Starbucks is also launching a unique opportunity for a select number of customers to win “Starbucks for Life” by simply swiping their Starbucks Card or paying with their mobile device.
“What could be bigger this holiday than winning Starbucks for Life? This is the first time we have ever offered customers something of this magnitude and what better way than to anchor it with our renowned Starbucks Card program. This giveaway is poised to bring great excitement and fun to our customers during this special time of the year,” said Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks executive vice president and global chief marketing officer.
Starbucks will introduce for the first time Mobile Order and Pay in stores within the Portland area before the end of the calendar year, which will enable customers to place orders in advance of their visit and pick them up at their selected Starbucks location. Mobile ordering will deliver convenience, frequency and speed of service and over time, become the fastest and easiest way for customers to order, pay and pick up their purchases. Starbucks is planning the launch of Mobile Order and Pay in 2015 across the U.S., thus extending Starbucks leadership in the mobile commerce arena and continuing the company’s efforts to bring the most innovative customer programs first to market.
In addition to payments, Starbucks has created compelling value and benefits within its loyalty program for its customers using mobile devices. Starbucks loyalty program, My Starbucks Rewards, will deliver more meaningful, relevant and personal rewards to its customers, right at their fingertips. Benefits include access to special events such as the upcoming Holiday Share Event, sneak previews of new products and promotions and additional opportunities to earn and redeem rewards across the Starbucks family of brands, in addition to earning Stars down the grocery aisle through purchase of Starbucks packaged coffee and now Starbucks VIA.
On Dec. 5, Starbucks will open the first-of-its-kind interactive Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room dedicated to roasting, coffee education and increased availability of their fast-growing small-lot Starbucks Reserve coffees. The consolidation of small-batch roasting will allow the company to expand their Starbucks Reserve coffee line to 1,500 locations globally as well as open over 100 stores designed to highlight these rare coffees exclusively.