Starbucks Tests Mobile Ordering, Tipping


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Beginning March 19th, Starbucks is updating its iPhone app to include a tipping option, in fifty cent to one dollar increments (starting with zero).  The addition is part of a plan to cater more –literally speaking — to mobile customers, who currently make up 11% of the company’s yearly transactions.

Starbucks thinks that number might double by a year from now, particularly with a new “shake to pay” option also launching in the app next week.  Shaking one’s smartphone calls up one’s Starbucks card barcode, which sounds like a physiologically apt way to make good use of the trembling hands of the company’s most caffeine-addicted patrons.

Besides working in a weirdly logical way with their most devout customers, the Starbucks app might also soon include a mobile ordering feature.  The idea, of course, is to speed things up at the physical counter.  While it sounds like a lot of tech to replace the simple act of ordering a coffee, where Starbucks goes many retailers follow, and their mobile efforts are worth noting.

But most important to us, will mobile ordering do away with the hilariously misspelled and misinterpreted customer names on the cups?  Because we’d be really sorry to see that wiped out.