Archive for the ‘Starbucks’ tag
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Still playing catch up on the Mediapost column front. So here's a previous Online Spin article about customer experience (or the lack thereof) when it comes to Tea. And obviously the implications in terms of how you are packaging and ultimately putting a premium on your otherwise commoditized product or service.
I’m not sure what your personal experience is
like where you live on this small planet, but here in America, when you
buy tea in a restaurant or café, the most incredibly (bad)
customer service occurs.
When you order tea, you typically
receive a cup (and saucer) of boiling water and (separately) a standard
tea bag from a popular commercial brand such as Lipton. Your
mission (should you choose to accept it) is to open the tea bag
packaging and proceed to dip your teabag to your heart’s content. For
this manual labor, you are charged some kind of
ridiculous premium: typically $2.75 or more.
Even Homer J.
Simpson himself would be able to do the math to calculate cost of good
sold (COGS) of a cup of boiling water (it’s pretty much
zero) and a teabag (again, pretty much zero).
Contrast this with
a similar scenario at your local Starbucks, where an Americano (boiling
water and a few shots of espresso) sells to willing
buyers at around $4 +.
In the former example, I would contend
that restaurants should give away generic tea for free. Or if not, you
should get as many teabags (and hot water) as you like.
Yes, I get the fact some people like strong tea versus weak tea, but by
the same token, restaurants don’t slap a raw piece of meat on your plate
and say, “grill it yourself, ” do
they? Perhaps I’m a romantic, but I hold hope that my waiter or
restaurant barista is trained in the dark arts of “weak” or “strong” tea
Or of course, a
restaurant can get fancy and create a tea library that rivals its
single-malt scotch collection. Green, peppermint, Rooibos, lemon — and
the flavors continue. They could even invest in real tea
leaves, strainers and exotic flavors such as Mango Diablo (I recently
purchased these from a new specialty tea store in Westport called Davids Tea).
day and age of transparency, there’s such a thing as too much
transparence. In a time when customer experience is the new marketing,
everything that touches a customer — from website
design and UI to preparation of tea — is part of customer service.
When done right, our customers will pay a premium for great service,
storytelling, subject matter expertise and concierge
solutions. When done wrong, Twitter is just 140 characters away.
it’s true that necessity is the mother of invention, I would contend
that survival is the father of innovation.
There’s absolutely nothing stopping a restaurant from turning the
uninspiring delivery of a commodity into a unique, memorable and
And in doing so, what a unique
opportunity to turn the last underwhelming contact with a customer into a
lasting impression that surprises, delights and delivers the triple
threat of repeat business, referrals and “earned
Innovation these days is largely associated with
technology, but sometimes it is worth getting back to basics, with a
common sense, “analog” approach to better
My weekly Mediapost column is out which focuses on the workplace of the future and how innovations in how, where and when we work will impact on companies – large and small, especially as it relates to talent. Check it out.
I’m personally fascinated with innovation in the workplace. About 10 years ago, remote working — AKA working from home — was gaining traction, offering new possibilities with groups like women looking to balance a family and a career. With VPN access and the continued adoption and proliferation of high-speed broadband and wi-fi, remote working became a reality even before Blackberry made access ubiquitous via push e-mail.
Companies like Jet Blue led the way in terms of powering their entire call centers (ticketing, customer service) using stay-at-home moms, largely based in Utah. Dell perfected the ability to outsource their technical support to countries like Malaysia, India and the like.
Unfortunately, trends in the workplace seem to have taken a turn for the worse during the same period. Open plan seating is just another way of putting lipstick on a pig in the form of cubicle purgatory. Once upon a time, we could aspire to occupy that corner office. No more. It’s sad that the model for today’s corporate office environment is 1999s Office Space and no, giving everyone locked and supervised iPhone’s doesn’t exactly make me feel differently.
What excites me is the boom of shared workspaces geared to today’s start-up, consultant or mercenary. I’m not talking about the more corporate kind offered by companies like The Regus Group, but companies like Grind, WeWork or Alley to name but a few. It's a mushrooming category of cool places to rub shoulders with fellow creative class, founders and entrepreneurs.
Perhaps once upon a time, it was cool to have a “virtual assistant” who would answer the phone and dupe your caller into thinking you were larger than life. Nowadays, the transparency afforded by social media is sort of a democratized open secret that lumps everyone into the same Twitter, Facebook, Web, Moo Card, Card Munch, Evernote and Dropbox melting pot.
Getting wi-fi is not a differentiator, any more. It’s pretty much free no matter where you go (Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Cosi, Panera, McDonalds and the list goes on) and if Google gets its way, it’ll soon be accessible in every public place or space. A desk and a chair is essentially a commodity, but what makes the difference here is the ability to be a part of a growing community and movement.
At Evol8tion, we don’t have an office. Rather, we utilize partnerships with said shared workspaces. Sometimes we pay and sometimes we don’t. We choose to move around like nomads with next to no overhead. What really attracts us to these spaces is the commonality of the people who work there and the collaborating opportunities that are just waiting to happen. Need a freelancer Web developer? Guess where you can find them.
In addition, there is so much value add in the form of guest lecturers (from Cindy Gallop to Noah Brier to myself), events (mixers or pitch nights), office hours with potential investors or even mid-day yoga.
The innovation doesn’t stop there. A company called Loosecubes is doing a “Priceline” with available space across companies of all shapes and sizes. Major corporations with excess space (perhaps due to inevitable rounds of layoffs) can now put this space to use and in the process, get a leg up on talent acquisition, ideas and even a bit of incremental revenue.
If we want to see more innovation in the workplace, doesn’t it make sense to begin – literally – in the workplace?
I remember back in 1997 when I interviewed at TBWA\Chiat\Day, they were experimenting with an incredibly innovative approach, which was ahead of its time. When I eventually joined them in 2001, it was no more. The idea: no one had an office, except for the CFO and HR, for obvious reasons. Instead people just had lockers and could move around anywhere in the office, logging in and out of shared terminals.
What other trends do you see affecting work? What innovative approaches are helping companies – big and small – do better at attracting, retaining and maximizing the full potential of their talent pool?
Photo credit here
It’s already Sunday?! Man, the weekends fly by so quickly in the summer. And at the speed this summer is passing, I’d say it’s time to hightail it to somewhere warm and sandy for a week and just relax ’til next weekend. Summer doesn’t fly by when you’re on a beach, right? If you need some reading material for the plane/train/bus/car, scroll on and check out the best inbound marketing stories we found this week across the web.
How Top Brands Are Using Instagram, From Simply Measured
This story comes to us from the Simply Measured analytics blog. Instagram recently made headlines with the news that it had surpassed the 80 million user mark (up from just 15 million in January 2012!). It shouldn’t come as a big surprise, then, that among those 80 million users are 40% of the world’s top brands, as classified by the Interbrand Top 100 list. B2C brands like MTV and Starbucks dominate on Instagram, and 25% of the brands that are leveraging Instagram post at least once per week. It seems like Instagram is going to keep growing, and the 60% of top brands who are missing out have created a unique opening for smaller brands to make a name for themselves on the photo-sharing social network. Check out the full story here.
Facebook Launches New Ad Creation Tool to Help Marketers Align Campaigns With Goals, From HubSpot
This week in Facebook updates, we covered the news of a new ad creation tool that will take some of the anxiety out of Facebook advertising. With Facebook elaborating upon an earlier-released feature allowing advertisers to measure the success of their campaigns based on their stated objectives, this updated ad creation interface will make it easier for Facebook advertisers to create ads and Sponsored Stories that are more closely aligned with those stated goals, such as generating more business page likes or promoting page posts. These changes will aim to give advertisers more guidance as they’re building their Facebook ad campaigns and help them achieve the right balance of Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories to achieve their particular goals. Facebook has also added a preview option to the process, allowing marketers to view what their ad will look like in actual news feeds. The changes will be especially beneficial to marketers trying out Facebook ads for the first time. Check out the full story here.
Brands Missing Out On Mobile Ad Opportunities, From MarketingProfs
MarketingProfs highlights the takeaways of a HipCricket study on mobile advertisement opportunities — namely, that many brands are leaving those opportunities on the table, and then walking away. Yikes. According to the study, 46% of mobile users have viewed a mobile ad, and 64% have completed a mobile purchase as a result of viewing a mobile ad. But an astonishing 74% of mobile users claim that their favorite brands have never advertised to them on a mobile platform. That’s a lot of brands missing the chance to convert some mobile purchases! Additional details in the study revealed demographic differences in those who take advantage of mobile ads: 55% of those who clicked have an annual income of greater than $75,000, and 29% who clicked have an annual income of greater than $100,000. Check out the full story here.
YouTube’s Built-In Video Editor Gets Better, From Mashable
Our last story this week is from the folks at Mashable. For about a year now, YouTube has been offering a built-in video editing tool as a feature that all users can take advantage of in their video publishing endeavors. But as of Thursday, video editing in YouTube has gotten even easier. YouTube shipped some new features, including quick views of every filter and a real-time, interactive preview of the changes you’ve made, consistently available throughout the editing process. The editor is gradually rolling out to all YouTube users. We’ve still noticed a few flaws with the editor, so we’re eager to see what changes YouTube has in store for the future. Check out the full story here.
Repurposing Content With a Purpose, From Smart Insights
The Smart Insights blog brings us this excellent guide to repurposing content — with a purpose! Aimed at making your content strategy more efficient, the post highlights the advantages of repurposing content, as well as eight ideas for efficient and effective repurposing. Some of the ideas we like best? Repurposing the audio track from video content as a downloadable podcast, creating textual transcripts from your video content, curating your best content into ebooks, and publishing the recordings of live webinars. We’d also venture to add that the reverse is also true; ebook and webinar content can be repurposed as blog content, too. Check out the full story here.
Did you come across any other excellent inbound marketing stories in the past week? Share them in the comments!
Image credit: kansasphoto
The SoLoMo Show is a weekly podcast hosted by Adam Helweh and Cory OBrien. Each week they discuss topics, trends and tactics related to social, local and mobile marketing. Every weekend we will publish the latest episode, related show notes and links to all of the topics discussed on the show here on Social Media Explorer.
Adam and Cory discuss what smartphone apps shoppers are using and how brick and mortar stores can take advantage of this mobile trend, Starbucks teaming up with Square and why this might signal a huge increase in mobile payments, Pinterest alternatives The Fancy and Svpply and how they are better matches to the needs of retail businesses, Land Rover’s Apple iAd case study and what you can learn from this big budget campaign, a review of Scribe SEO and how you can use it to optimize your content marketing, Facebook’s official estimate of their ‘undesirable’ accounts and if you should be worried, the return of Digg and whether or not marketers should be paying attention, brands that are active on SocialCam and what their results signal for the network, how to verify your Google+ business page, and more.
- What Smartphone Apps Do Savvy Shoppers Use The Most?
- Starbucks and Sqaure Team Up
- The Fancy
- The Fancy One-Ups Pinterest with Unique Referral Codes to Reward Users for Sharing
- Svpply: Window Shop The World With Our Store Explorer
- iAd + Land Rover
- iAd Producer App
- iAd Gallery App
- Scribe SEO
- Facebook Estimates 8.7% of Users Are Undesirable
- Brands Try Out SocialCam
- Verifying Your Google+ Page
SoLoMo Show Links:
Online Marketing News: Map Your Content Marketing Mix, Search Undervalued – But Critical, Square Partners with Starbucks, Gmail Results in Search, Google+ Ghost Town
Content Marketing Matrix
This recent infographic from First 10 and Smart Insights provides recommendations for different content types depending on the stage of the buying cycle that your customers are in. Some of the content types include:
- Demo Videos
Search Undervalued, Critical to Brand Campaigns
Search helps companies build strong bands by bettering their brand-health metrics. While the majority of B2C marketers now believe that search affects brand building, digital executives sometimes still find it thought to prove that search is a critical ingredient in branding. Via eMarketer.
40% of Top Brands Are on Instagram
In early 2012 Instagram had 15 million users and was only availabile on the iPhone. Now there are nearly 80 million users, and Instagram is also available on Android. Looking for a glimpse into how the top brands are fairing on Instagram? Read more to find out. Via Mashable.
Square Partners with Starbucks
Beginning this fall, Square will begin processing all U.S. credit and debit card transactions at participating Starbucks stores across their 7,000 locations. Square users will also be able to find a nearby Starbucks in the Square Directory from their smartphone. Via TechCrunch.
Study: 50% of Mobile Queries In Travel, Restaurants, Autos Result In A Purchase
Over the past two years studies have confirmed the importance of mobile optimization, and advertising. A recent study looked at the mobile path to purchase in three verticals, adn the differences between smartphone and tablet usage among US adults. The results were a bit unexpected, read on to find out more. Via Marketing Land.
Google Tests Showing Gmail Results in Search Queries
Google announced on Wednesday that they are looking for beta testers for a new feature they are rolling out. The search giant is testing showing Gmail results in Google search queries. Gmail results will be displayed separately, and users will also have the option to turn of their personal information. Via Mashable.
TopRank Team News
Mike Yanke - Google Not The Center of the Universe For A Change
Could it be that there is one demographic that does not consider Google to be at the center of its world? According to a study conducted by Nielsen, mobile users are increasingly going directly to websites or apps, rather than starting on a search engine. This is especially true in the hyper-competitive travel, auto and restaurants category. Learn more about his study in this coverage on Search Engine Land.
Shawna Kenyon - Why Google+ Is a Ghost Town
The UK based research firm Umpf recently released a study that shows activity on the fledgling social platform pales when compared to its more popular counterparts Facebook and Twitter. The study revealed that only 6 G+ users out of 100 million are likely to share a story. This article includes an infographic illustrating this comparison. Via Mashable.
Sam Giehll – How to Build A Successful Google Campaign From Scratch
Working successfully with the big beast that is Google isn’t easy – but it can be easier when you take into consideration these tips on how to build a successful Google campaign from the authors of The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, 3rd Edition. Via Entrepreneur.
Brian Larson - Google+ 1 Year Later
It’s been over a year since Google initially rolled out the often polarizing social network Google+. So what have been the results? Mixed to say the least. While the number of user is reportedly still growing, the activity level for those users seems to be rather flat. Steve Beatty, of Search Engine Watch, shares some interesting stats and data to commemorate Google+’s 12+ month anniversary. Via Search Engine Watch.
Sara Duane-Gladden – Research Online / Purchase Offline a Bigger Phenomenon Than Previously Thought
Though we track online marketing success differently than traditional marketing methods, perhaps we should be paying a bit more attention to statistics other than web traffic and click-through rates. Analytics firm RapidBlue has determined that Google AdWords campaigns increase visits to retail stores. Via CNN.
Time to Weigh In: It appears that Google+ didn’t fair too well in their first year. What do you think G+ can do to increase use and engagement? Is your company optimized for mobile, and have you considered the benefits of mobile advertising? Do you think that B2B companies have an opportunity to use a platform like Instagram?
© Online Marketing Blog, 2012. |
Online Marketing News: Map Your Content Marketing Mix, Search Undervalued – But Critical, Square Partners with Starbucks, Gmail Results in Search, Google+ Ghost Town | http://www.toprankblog.com
This morning, I saw a woman reading words on printed paper.
This is the most disruptive thing since Dalton Caldwell’s last bowel movement.
I saw her a few rows ahead of me and was shocked. She was reading this incredibly thin paper that seemed to offer both informative and entertaining content. From what I could see, the paper had obituaries, local news, even comic strips!
I immediately conducted a highly scientific survey of my train neighbors and saw three people on iPhones, two on iPads and two on Macbooks. Two were sleeping—I think. One actually might have been dead.
[Trolls, you can’t get mad that I only saw Apple products BECAUSE IT’S SCIENCE.]
But this maverick was flaunting her paper like nobody’s business. Can you imagine all the applications for this that we haven’t thought of?
Finally, I can read weather and local sports scores in the bathtub with no fear of electrocution from dropping my 17 inch Macbook Pro.
If we all read our news on these printed products, which would obviously be delayed from Internet and TV news, we wouldn’t have to worry about having the Olympics spoiled for us. Since when did Breaking News become so great anyway?
And the fun wouldn’t stop once you’re done reading the words. Think about all the paper mache you’re missing out on—boom! Newspaper to the rescue. Out of toilet paper in your apartment? Family Circus has got ya covered. You could even ball up the pages with your cubicle mates and have summer snowball fights.
Point of sale: much better than the Apple Store.
Competition? I don’t know…Gutenberg? No one currently in the market prints words on paper and distributes it.
Monetization? Child please—these papers will have more targeted ads than Facebook. Imagine, a whole targeted ads section where anyone can buy space and offer to exchange goods or services for money. Some people might even be willing to pay subscriptions for premium versions!
Mobile? Uh, hello? Anybody home? Think McFly! The whole thing is mobile. Carry this with you anywhere it folds right up…Web 12.0, bitches.
All right, that’s my pitch. Now I need some cash. Raise your hand if you invested in Groupon…
I reached out to Starbucks for some clarification on how its new partnership with mobile payments vendor Square will work. Here are the answers from Starbucks spokesman Zack Hutson.
Rocky Agrawal: Will Starbucks be installing the Square dongle at POS and processing transactions through that or using existing POS systems?
Zack Hutson: Starbucks will not have Square Card Readers or Square Register at the point-of-sale at this time. Square will integrate with Starbucks POS so that card payments are handled by Square. We are always looking for innovative ways to enhance the customer experience and operational efficiencies. However, we do not have plans for implementing the readers in this way at this time.
RA: Does this affect existing Starbucks stored-value products, or does it only apply to credit and debit transactions?
ZH: This is for all credit and debit card transactions – including when you load money onto the Starbucks stored-value card.
RA: Will consumers who make purchases with credit or debit cards (not Pay with Square) have the option for email receipts as they do at other Square merchants?
RA: Is Starbucks committed to any marketing of Pay with Square?
ZH: Customers will be able to use Pay with Square at approximately 7,000 Starbucks locations. Starbucks locations will be listed in the Square Directory.
RA: Does this mean any changes to the existing Starbucks Mobile apps?
ZH: Starbucks will continue to offer customers its own mobile payment applications, enhanced with My Starbucks Rewards benefits. However, for current customers using Pay with Square, this opens up a new way to pay at Starbucks.
RA: What proportion of Starbucks transactions are currently done on the mobile apps?
ZH: We don’t break that out but can tell you that we have more than 1 million mobile payment transactions per week in the US.
RA: If someone uses Pay with Square, does he still get credit toward the Starbucks loyalty program, or does that only work with the Starbucks app?
ZH: At this time, Pay with Square will be a separate payment option from the Starbucks mobile payment applications, which are integrated with the My Starbucks Rewards program. Our goal is to eventually integrate My Starbucks Rewards into the Pay with Square payment option.
So, for die hard Starbucks junkies, it seems the best bet in the short term is to pay with your Starbucks card or the Starbucks mobile app.
The Square implementation for Starbucks is a custom implementation that doesn’t incorporate the things that Square has been known for: the dongle, the iPhone and iPad apps at the merchant, signing with your finger, or the Square Register.
[Top image credit: Square]
It’s 8/8 today, and I have 8 funding announcements. Coincidence? I think not. Now if only one of them had raised $8 million dollars, we would really have a coincidence on our hands. Regardless, I fully intend to spend the rest of the day playing pool, consulting my magic eight ball, and playing Crazy Eights.
Realtime raises $100M to usher in the era of real-time internet
Realtime launched in the US today and announced a $100 million investment to help the world transition from static to live web.
Based in Brazil, Realtime has developed technology that enables the Internet to update instantaneously and continuously. Rather than a request-and-response protocol, Realtime is powered by Open Real Time Connectivity. With ORTC, applications can update directly from the server to the connected user without manually refreshing the page.
The São Paulo-based BRZTech Holding led this round. Read more on VentureBeat.
Plumgrid season has begun and its baking a network virtualization pie
The time is ripe for network virtualization startup Plumgrid which has harvested $10.7 million in its first round of funding. Exactly what Plumgrid does remains uncertain, much like the contents of a pie hidden under a layer of crispy crust, but the product promises to come out of the oven hot.
Based on the aroma coming out of the metaphorical kitchen, it seems the company is trying to improve software-defined networking. The funding round was led by U.S. Venture Partners and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. In 2011, the company got $2.05 million in stealth funds from USVP. Read more on VentureBeat.
Starbucks goes Square (not the cup shape, the payment system)
Mobile payments startup Square has announced an extensive partnership with Starbucks. Among the terms of the partnership, Square will power Starbucks’ credit and debit card payments nationwide, and Starbucks will invest $25 million in the startup as part of its fourth round of funding.
Square has raised $141 million so far and is rumored to be working on a massive $200 million round, which would value it at $3.25 billion. Read more on VentureBeat.
Inneractive raises $3.5M to help free apps make money
Mobile monetization company Inneractive closed a $3.5 million financing round led by Evergreen Venture Partners.
Inneractive offers a real-time bidding platform and private ad exchanges, which allows advertisers to vary their purchasing and pricing in real-time, while private ad exchanges allow developer communities to offer their own white-label advertising solutions. Inneractive consolidates over 120 ad providers that offer ads in 200 countries and can be integrated into apps via one line of code.
With this latest injection, Inneractive plans to expand globally and open offices in NYC, India, and Singapore, in addition to the ones in London, Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley. Read more on VentureBeat.
With AwesomenessTV, will online video kill the TV star?
AwesomenessTV is so awesome that they snagged $3.5 million in a first round of investment. The YouTube channel broadcasts original video content for teens and tweens. The programming consists of comedy, fashion, sports, music, and reality programming.
This round of funding was led by MK Capital, a firm with a strong portfolio of digital media companies. Greycroft Venture Partners and New World Ventures, as well as a slew of media and technology executives also participated. Read more on VentureBeat.
Garantia Data raises $3M to show No Sequel (NoSQL) is better than a bad one
Garantia Data has raised a $3 million seed round today from angel investors and was named part of the Amazon Web Services Partner Network. The company launched a beta version of its cloud-hosted database management system (fully automated in-memory NoSQL cloud service for you technical folks) at GigaOm’s Structure LaunchPad in June. It strives to “completely free developers from dealing with nodes, clusters, scaling, data-persistence configuration and failure recovery, while guaranteeing absolutely no data loss.” Read the full press release.
Influitive finds 11 Faithful Apostles to invest (and a partridge in a pear tree)
For Influitive, fundraising is intuitive. This customer advocate management and mobilization platform raised $3.75 million in seed funding from a laundry list of renowned investors. First Round Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Relay Ventures, Illuminate Ventures, CommonAngels, Resolute.VC, Golden Venture Partners, Accelerator Ventures, 500Startups, and others (there are more!?) participated in this round.
Influitive’s marketing platform AdvocateHub helps business-to-business software companies capitalize on their most fervent supporters. The portal gamifies the consumer advocacy experience by posing challenges and offering rewards. It allows businesses to attract, organize and motivate advocates, as well as add higher levels of fun and effectiveness into advocate-based marketing campaigns.
With $1M, MarketMeSuite abandons homeland and sails towards Plymouth Rock
MarketMeSuite, an end-to-end social media marketing platform for small and medium businesses (SMBs) announced it has secured a $1.1 million funding round from Boston-based VC, Jeff McCormick of Saturn Partners. The company helps more than 30,000 users engage, manage, curate and measure their social media activity and turn them into qualified sales leads. It has relocated from the UK to Cambridge, MA to be closer to its investor. Fortunately, the team won’t have to give up baked beans, a food product both Bostonites and Brits alike seem to have an affinity for.
Filed under: deals
The payments space was even further shaken up last night, with the news that Square will take over all U.S. credit and debit card transactions for Starbucks. And those who use the Pay with Square app (iPhone and Android) will be able to pay for their sugary caffeinated drinks with nothing more than their phone. This morning in New York, a handful of journalists sat down with Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to discuss the “epic” partnership.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s important to note the direct impact this partnership has on Square as a business and its plans for the future.
For now, it seems as though the partnership is mostly on the backend with Square handling all credit and debit card transactions in the U.S. But this could be the catalyst that propels Square onto the international scene. When asked what the $25 million in funding from Starbucks would do for the company, Dorsey mentioned that the company is still growing and hiring but that “recent funding will go towards international efforts.” Schultz added that it was up to Jack and Square to go international and possibly infiltrate Starbucks’ 18,000 stores in 60 countries.
“Over a million people a week are paying with their mobile device at Starbucks,” said Schultz. “Total transactions (mobile, credit card, cash) per week amount to about 60 million worldwide.”
Schultz suggested that about two percent of those transactions (1.2 million) are through mobile apps. He added that about 25 percent of its transactions are made through a Starbucks card and that Pay with Square will serve as another method of payment for now.
To be clear, geo-fencing and paying by name will not be rolled out at initial launch, but Dorsey says the two companies will be working “to advance that as fast as possible.” For now, barcodes will pop up on Pay with Square apps to complete transactions reducing any infrastructure change on the part of Starbucks. So no, you won’t be seeing any iPads with dongles at your local Starbucks anytime soon, or fewer cashiers/baristas. Neither company would comment on interchange fees.
This raises the question of how this partnership will help smaller merchants who already use Square. While Dorsey wouldn’t comment beyond discoverability through the Square Directory, the 7,000 Starbucks locations across the country certainly won’t hurt businesses who already use Square or are thinking about making the switch.
So when exactly will we begin seeing Square at Starbucks? Schultz says Square will begin popping up in stores nationwide before the holidays. For those of you who currently use the Starbucks app to reap rewards, you may want to stick with it, as loyalty programs between Starbucks and Pay with Square will remain separate for the time being.
It’s unclear how Starbucks will drive awareness (read: downloads) to the Pay with Square app, but Schultz added that the two companies would be “co-authoring” the effort. “Square will be present within the stores and suggestions to download it right now,” Dorsey told me. “This will help build general awareness of Square. More and more businesses will get on it and with one app, you’ll be able to interact with a huge portion of your city no matter where you live. We’ve seen adoption of Pay with Square in some unlikely places like the Midwest, not just metropolitan areas.”
Photo credit: @jack