Starbucks' digital innovation in China will always appear in an unexpected way.
This time, it aimed at users who drive, extending the third space to the "road".
This week, Starbucks announced the official debut of the new retail channel "Take along the Street" jointly created by AutoNavi.
With this service, consumers on busy roads no longer need to detour to find a parking space, get out of the car and run to the store in a hurry, but just need to go to the designated location, open the window, and receive warm coffee from the barista. coffee.
Zhang Lingyun, Vice President of Digital Innovation of Starbucks China, said:
As an innovative brand, no matter how complicated the scene is, we will strive to make it easy for urbanites to drink a cup of coffee. Even in big cities with traffic jams and parking difficulties, or during commuting periods where every second counts, Starbucks is willing to "take an extra step" for customers.
With this "one more step", Starbucks has created the industry's first "on-the-go" coffee scene – allowing the "third space" service to break through the restrictions of "at home" and "in-store" and further reach consumers.
Not limited by existing models, create "leap-forward innovation"
When we see "pick up along the street", we will inevitably think of the popular "car restaurant" model in the United States.
However, "drive-thru" has not become popular in China, mainly because it has high requirements for store space. Due to the need to set up a special car passage around the restaurant, a restaurant that may only need three to four hundred square meters has to be expanded to one or two thousand square meters at once.
In denser Chinese cities, such land costs and business contribution ratios are not cost-effective.
However, although we have the option of takeaway, being able to "buy along the way" still has its charm.
If it is a familiar store, a driver may find the store in advance and say that he will pass by at a certain time, so that the store will deliver the goods at that time, saving the trouble of finding another parking space.
There are also two "thresholds" here: 1. Ordinary people cannot let the clerks of chain restaurants leave their positions and run out to deliver goods for themselves; 2. Even if the store is willing, the driver must accurately calculate his arrival time.
Faced with the purchase scene needs of car users, Starbucks did not choose to think about how to reduce the driveway space required for drive-thru restaurants, but used technology to realize the "car delivery" service that was originally difficult to standardize.
This is also reminiscent of the credit card, the most mainstream payment method in the United States, which is "acclimatized" in China.
Credit cards didn't take off in China, in part because it was difficult to convince small merchants to invest in expensive "physical infrastructure" — the technology is still stuck in the credit card payment system of the 1980s.
Later, when mobile networks and smartphones became popular, a small QR code led to a revolution.
The pictures composed of black and white squares are behind the high concentration of information and technology, which has become the entrance to penetrate every capillary online and offline. All of a sudden, everyone's smartphone is a payment system.
This kind of leap-forward change driven by technology can always bring unexpected new experiences.
Silky shopping experience is behind the ingenuity of technology
Place the order on the mobile phone, follow the navigation, open the window to pick up the meal, and continue the journey.
The service process of "pick up along the street" sounds natural and beautiful, but when you think about it, there are many difficulties in the middle.
The first step is to choose a store when placing an order.
If you want users to think about which store to choose when they are on the way, it is estimated that they will have a big head-what routes do I have? Is there a traffic jam now? Are the stores on that road crowded at this time?
With the technology of Gaode map, precise positioning and real-time traffic information make it possible to accurately estimate the arrival time.
After setting the destination on the AutoNavi map, the user only needs to click the "take along the street" icon to see the Starbucks stores available for each route, and lists practical information such as "the most convenient route", "nearest" and "near the destination". .
It's easy to choose at once.
The whole selection and ordering process, except for the newly added vehicle color and license plate information (which can be saved for long-term use after one input), the rest is the same as ordinary mobile phone ordering. Of course, stars and customers can also be accumulated. Customized preferences.
Starbucks has continuously optimized its membership system service in China over the years, allowing users to experience a sense of familiarity no matter which channel or platform they go to order food.
Next, how can we meet with a barista who has never met before, and not take someone else's coffee by mistake?
First, the barista needs to be on time when the user arrives.
Starbucks knows how long it takes to make a particular product. Combining the information with AutoNavi's precise positioning and predictions, Starbucks has set three notification time points for partners: "customer orders", "start production" and "start delivery".
In this way, it can be delivered on time, and there is no need for the barista to calculate the time in his head and think about it-as soon as the notification comes, just do that as instructed.
When meeting, the barista will be identified by the vehicle color and license plate number filled in by the user.
On the other side of the user, in addition to receiving the voice prompt of the order while driving, they can also see the real photo of the meal on the app – if you look for the scene and the green apron, you can easily pick it up.
Even if the technology and processes are in place, Starbucks' coverage of more than 6,000 stores in China is also a "godly assist" for this service.
At the beginning of the launch, there are about 150 stores in Beijing and Shanghai that support "pick-up along the street". In the next year, this number will exceed 1,000.
I believe that in the future, we will see more stores joining it.
Starbucks' Innovation Code: Technology + Care
Starbucks' digital innovation in China can always see the real needs of users, even more than users see.
When launching the digital social product "Speak with Stars", Starbucks grasped the essence of gift giving – not just "giving items", but also "expressing your heart".
As a result, we saw beautiful electronic star gift cards with various themes, and we could also attach our own message blessings.
After opening up the member data system with Alibaba, users can even directly use Alipay QR codes as member QR codes, which greatly improves the convenience.
I was very surprised when I first learned about this function, because I immediately saw my numbness to the complicated process – I have long been accustomed to using the electronic membership card to open the app first, open the card package, and find the membership card; Isn't it just to open the brand's official account/mini program, and then click "Member" to call up the QR code.
I completely forgot that using the payment code as the membership code is a possible and even more reasonable choice.
Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz once said:
Care more than others think wise. (We care more than others think wise.)
This kind of care has allowed Starbucks, which could have been "usable" in digitalization to stop, has been insisting on making it "easy to use", and it just echoes Zhang Lingyun's "one more step" at the beginning.
Because of this, Starbucks' innovations are always "billion points" more than others.
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