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Starbucks pursues e-commerce goals

31 January 2014 - 12:33 by Simon Crisp

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While most people know Starbucks as a ubiquitous high street coffee house chain, it has ambitions to take its business into the virtual sphere and make a name for itself in the world of safe shopping online, according to Reuters.

Starbucks chief exec, Howard Schultz, revealed that he was going to be redressing his focus and looking at how the company can make a splash in the e-commerce market.

Of course, you can already buy Starbucks branded products in supermarkets and through shopping online, but the firm wants to explore new revenue streams and expand upon its existing avenues for profit.

For example, Schultz said that he would be paying more attention to mobile payments and gift cards, making it possible for customers to pay for their coffee in a variety of different ways, which do not rely on cash changing hands.

This certainly makes sense given that m-commerce is so prevalent today and smartphone ownership is heading for total saturation in the UK and elsewhere in the developed world.

Starbucks even has a stake in a mobile payments company, so it could be looking into making its smartphone apps and services tie in with other retail outlets, not just its own stores.

Customers of Starbucks have been compelled towards loyalty as a result of rewards schemes over the years, so with the reach of the firm expanding to new arenas, it is likely that earning points for buying coffee and other products will follow suit.

The business at the heart of Starbucks is relatively simple and relies on a bricks and mortar presence. But the fact that the company's chief exec wants to expand in the e-commerce market shows just how important it is for all companies to have a multichannel presence in today's climate.