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Starbucks outlines 2013 m-commerce plans

06 February 2013 - 10:00 by Mike Price

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Starbucks is one of the world's largest coffee chains, serving millions of customers a day across the UK and further afield.

This month, it has become apparent that the company has big plans for 2013, with suggestions being made about the potential expansion of its m-commerce operations, to give coffee lovers even more ways to enjoy the Starbucks experience.

Starbucks chief exec, Howard Schultz, said that seven million people take advantage of the firm's smartphone app, which allows for people to pay for products in-store by scanning barcodes.

Now the company is looking to make the app even more functional and it has been suggested that it could get new features that would allow customers to personalise their Starbucks experience and even tip their servers, without having to shower them with change.

The app is already a success since it handles over two million purchases each week in the US, according to Schultz. However, it is clear that there is room for expansion and roll-out of mobile payment services to various outlets last year has shown the company just how valuable this type of technology can be.

Starbucks is in a different position from other high street retailers, since it offers an experience and product to consumers, that cannot be purchased via safe shopping online.

However, it still needs to broaden its horizons and embrace a multichannel approach to retail, if it wants to secure long term prosperity.

Consumers in the UK are increasingly anticipating the ability to interact with smartphone services and social features when out and about, which is why taking m-commerce head-on and delivering more functionality, could give Starbucks the advantage over its rivals.

The experience of carrying out safe shopping online from a smartphone, without using payment cards or cash, is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, thanks to NFC technology. This could be something that Starbucks leverages to a greater degree in 2013.