Starbucks promises more tech innovation as it brings mobile ordering to the UK

Starbucks is launching its ‘Mobile Order & Pay’ feature in the UK after trialling the app in the US last year, allowing customers to pre-order their beverage and save on queuing time.

The ‘Mobile Order & Pay’ feature will be added to the existing app tomorrow (1 October) and will be available to use across 150 London stores.

The coffee brand is hoping to extend the relationship with its customers, as well as improve the overall customer experience experience. Starbucks claims that US customer feedback showed the app typically saves customers between 10 and 15 minutes in their day.

“As people start to converse with their social networks and on their phones, it made sense for us to extend into that space,” Ian Cranna, Starbucks VP of marketing and category EMEA told Marketing Week.

“The feature takes away the pain points of a typical retail experience, like queuing and taking payment. It will also allow baristas to get to know their customers and build a relationship.”

The feature ties into the existing Starbucks app, which in turn is tied into the brand’s loyalty programme.

“What makes this feature so powerful is that it brings together loyalty, mobile payment and ordering ahead in one ecosystem.”

Ian Cranna, Starbucks VP of market and category EMEA

Starbucks is keen to be seen as a technological innovator. In 2011 the brand introduced free wifi in all its stores, while at the start of the year it launched wireless charging pads in 10 London shops.

“Our history on delivering customer facing technology initiatives that in many cases are first to market and best in class, is testament to our commitment within that space. This is definitely just the start,” said Cranna.

Besides extending the brand’s relationship with existing customers, Cranna hopes that the feature will also lure in new members.

“When we launched our mobile payment functionality, it was deemed something that people would join our loyalty programme for. I anticipate this will be the same with our Mobile Order & Pay feature,” he commented.

The app will initially launch on iOS, with the Android version rolling out at a later date. The brand is also seeking to expand its wireless charging pads to more stores.



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  1. Haoyang Wang 2 Oct 2015

    This innovation is definitely nice. I am very glad to see this new feature coming out. I had to queue for about 10 minutes every time I went to Starbucks. And I don’t like to waste my time on queuing, so I rarely went to Starbucks. If I could order and pay for a cup of coffee through my cellphone, I could avoid queuing and spend my time on other things. This feature is very user-friendly. I believe that there will be more new customers attracted by the “Mobile order & pay” feature.

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