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Starbucks partners with Amazon Go for digital-led store concept

New coffee shop in New York blends Starbucks Pickup and Amazon's Just Walk Out technology to deliver a seamless digital in-store experience

The new Starbucks Pickup store integrates Amazon Go technology to minimise physical transactions in-store | Photo credit: Starbucks 



Starbucks has teamed up with online giant Amazon to create a new digital-led store format.
Opening on 18 November 2021, the new Starbucks Pickup store in New York utilises Amazon's Just Walk Out technology, enabling customers to order and pay digitally with minimal or zero need for physical transactions.
 
Starbucks says the new format, which is equipped with in-store seating and workspaces, integrates the digital and physical retail experience.
 
“The new Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go is designed to provide our customers with an experience that delivers convenience and connection in an effortless way,” said Katie Young, senior vice president of global growth and development at Starbucks. 
 
Launched in mid-2020, Starbucks Pickup stores primarily accept orders placed through the Starbucks app prior customers arriving at the store. Once customers arrive at their chosen store, they can find the status of their order on a digital screen before picking up their order from the barista. The addition of Amazon Go technology now means customers can browse and purchase items in-store without the need to queue for payment. 
 
“Customers have enjoyed the effortless shopping experience enabled by our Just Walk Out technology at Amazon Go where they can simply come in, grab something delicious to eat or drink, and just leave and carry on with their day without having to wait in line to pay,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president of physical retail and technology at Amazon.
 
The new store format is an evolution of Starbucks’ focus on digital transactions in the wake of the pandemic. In China, Starbucks’ second largest market, the coffee chain has partnered with e-commerce giant Alibaba to extend mobile pre-order and pick-up features across Alipay, Koubei, Amap Taobao platforms.
 
That strategy appears to be paying off, in November 2021, Starbucks posted ‘record’ fourth quarter sales growth, with full-year revenue growth of 23.6% to $29.1bn – 9.8% higher than the $26.5bn earned in 2019.

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