Starbucks promises coffee delivered to your doorstep
Company’s mobile app has over 240,000 active users in Hong Kong, and 60pc of all its loyalty programme members pay using it
After Starbucks launched its latest mobile ordering feature in Hong Kong earlier this month, its executive director believes the next step for city coffee fans is to have their Starbucks order delivered straight to their doorstep.
Norbert Tan Kwang-kin, who is also responsible for Macau, said: “It’s not a question of if we will do it, it’s a question of when. Delivery is a big space that we’re looking into.”
While he declined to give a specific timetable, Tan said that if and when Starbucks does enter the home delivery market, it was imperative to impart the “Starbucks experience”.
“There are many things to think about. The drink temperatures have got to be just right – you can’t deliver a frappucino that’s completely melted,” he said.
Home delivery is just one of the ways that the global coffee brand is planning a reinvention of itself to stay ahead of its competitors in the ever-crowded coffee market.
The Seattle-based giant launched its mobile app in Hong Kong in 2013, which allows customers to link their loyalty cards to reload credit and even make cashless payments with their smartphone.
The app currently has over 240,000 active users in Hong Kong, and 60 per cent of all its loyalty programme members pay with the app, Tan said.
Earlier this month, Starbucks pushed out the “Mobile Order & Pay” feature across its 176 stores in the city and Macau earlier this month, which allows customers to place their coffee and food order directly within the application, and select a store location to pick it up.
“Close to 70 per cent of our customers [place orders] to-go,” Tan said. “Our busiest periods are during the morning rush and lunch break ... what we are offering is an opportunity for customers to not have to wait in line.”
Starbucks’ mobile ordering was first implemented in the US in September 2015.
However, several issues quickly became apparent, especially when baristas could not keep up with the orders and bottlenecks led to unhappy customers.
But Tan said that the launch in Hong Kong had been carefully thought out, with teams sent to the US to learn from Starbucks’ experience there.
A week into the launch, 2 per cent of all Starbucks orders are now being placed via mobile ordering, with its busiest store clocking in 6 per cent of all transactions via the new feature.
“Hongkongers are much more comfortable with mobile, there is a higher acceptance of mobile apps,” said Andrew Hui, head of marketing at Starbucks Hong Kong and Macau.
“That’s why we can reach 2 per cent so quickly. In comparison, the US took a year to reach 3 per cent.”