Starbucks to test mobile ordering app

Starbucks (NYSE:SBUX) will test out an app that allows customers to place orders for pickup. According to the company's Chief Digital Officer, Adam Brotman, the retailer is determined to eventually roll out the technology nationwide.

More than 14 percent of all Starbucks purchases in the United States are paid through the company's app, reported Re/code. Therefore, the ability to order through mobile will be an extension of the company's existing app capabilities.

"We will do this and we will get it right," Brotman told Re/code.

Americans are using apps to order, pick up, and have services and products delivered more and more frequently, especially in the food and beverage industry, where companies such as GrubHub, Topingo and Square allow consumers a variety of order and delivery-pickup options.

Current purchases made at Starbucks with credit or debit cards run through Square's payment platforms, but the transactions using the Starbucks app do not.

Brotman believes the new app will make current customers more loyal by giving them another alternative to waiting in long lines during busy hours. Of course there's the remaining risk of a hot beverage sitting out too long and getting cold. Therefore, the company is testing different beverages to gauge how long it takes for them to cool to keep services satisfactory.

"We're trying to get things down to a science," said Brotman, who is working with a team of employees from different store divisions to perfect the process.

"It's the most cross-functional team I've ever worked on and the most important project I've ever worked on," Brotman said.

Although no partnerships were named, Brotman told Re/code that talks of a digital wallet for Starbucks customers is in the works. Once mobile ordering is finessed into form, the company plans to begin improving customer loyalty.

Starbucks has always strived to be at the forefront of digital technology for its customers. Last month the retailer announced it would put Duracell Powermats in stores to allow customers to charge their phones while they drink and eat.

For more:
-See this Re/code article

Relates stories:
Starbucks to reimburse employee tuition
Starbucks' sales hit record-high but growth slows
Macy's puts brakes on Brooklyn store
Roche Bros. to open flagship in iconic Filene's Basement space
Starbucks to lure shoppers with wireless charging