The Starbucks Leadership Experience conference was held this past weekend in Seattle where over 2,000 district managers shared customer initiatives to elevate the Starbucks holiday experience. Having noticed that during the 2013 holidays many brick-and-mortar retailers experienced a decline in foot traffic compared to a growth in online shopping, Starbucks experts began focusing on redefining the retail experience with digital innovations.
Howard Schultz, president and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company states, “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.”
Aside from the holiday changes which take place every season, such as the red cups and seasonal flavors, Starbucks will be introducing new customer incentives such as ‘Starbucks for Life” which lucky customers will be able to win by paying with their smartphone or by using their Starbucks card. Starbucks will also be launching Mobile Order and Pay in stores within the Portland area before the end of the year which will allow customers to place orders in advance for pick up in store. The nationwide launch for Mobile Order and Pay is planned for 2015 which will hugely increase the company’s presence in the mobile commerce scene.
Other holiday initiatives include the 30th anniversary of Starbucks Christmas Blend and the first new holiday beverage crafted in the past five years, the Chestnut Praline Latte. The loyalty program will have added value and benefits (including access to special events and sneak previews of new products) for customers using their mobile devices. The company will also be taking initiatives to expand the Starbucks Reserve coffee line by opening an interactive Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room which will dedicate itself to roasting, coffee education and selling the small-lot Starbucks Reserve coffees.
To read more about Starbucks’ holiday initiatives for this season, click here