Starbucks: Express-o | KHWS

Starbucks: Express-o


In a bid to further reduce the amount of face-to-face time we already endure in our busy lives, Starbucks have started trialling a new way for customers to receive their daily dose of caffeine.

The new process essentially means that when a customer enters the coffee shop, they are first presented with a screen to place their order. This is then automatically printed at the till where a barista will start making their Iced Caramel Macchiato with skimmed milk and extra cream. .

As a previous ‘partner’ at Starbucks myself, I would happily have taken this new technology on board. From asking what cup size they’d like to whether they wanted whipped cream or an extra shot of the new bean (not to mention the embarrassment of mishearing or misspelling their name), the whole process was far too convoluted. And on the other side of things, it’s pretty obvious that few customers enjoy the lengthy ordering process – especially those in a rush. Having a printed label for your order also minimises error in the order, which would definitely lead to increase customer trust and happiness.

However, will this new process affect the Starbucks brand experience? It definitely reduces touch points with customers, but perhaps speed is the main priority for London regulars?

Currently, this new Starbucks Express set-up can only be experienced in Canary Wharf, but it has already seen overseas success in New York, Toronto and Chicago. If the London location generates a good response, it will be rolled out across the rest of the UK and Europe, but only at locations where the footfall is rapid.

For those customers who still prefer an old-fashioned face-to-face chat, the original Starbucks experience will be available at many outlets.