Starbucks have announced not one, but two(!) iPhone apps (albeit currently only in America) to reaffirm their dominance over the caffeine based industry, not only on the high street, but electronically now too.
Yes many companies already have iPhone apps, and Starbucks’ first is nothing groundbreaking, allowing iPhone users to search for stores in their vicinity and to check out it’s vital stats such as opening hours and their menu etc. It’s the second app announcement that is causing a bit of a stir, for it is something new (amongst coffee shops anyhow); letting people make in store purchases via Starbucks Card Mobile.
By showing a datamatrix barcode from the screen of their iPhone customers will be able pay for their drink, or add money to their MyStarbucks account.
Customer response will be the driving factor on how far this feature is rolled out, my inclination is that with increasing numbers of iPhone users, hectic lifestyles inducing a near constant need for caffeine, and society’s push for more and more technology this could just be around for quite a while.
However, just because Starbucks are doing it doesn’t mean that it’s a good move, or even a successful one (“early-adopting” trendsetters aside), but with them representing such a dominant high street force could this spur on a surge of mobile spending across other retail chains? Let’s wait and see.
(Images courtesy of Genoco)