A white Starbucks coffee mug on a blonde table.

Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay

Posted on Dec 17, 2014 · 4 min read



These days at almost any store you check out at, you’re asked if you have that stores loyalty card, and if not, if you would like to open one.  I will admit that I am a sucker for all the loyalty programs especially at stores I shop at a lot because it usually means you will get a discount or free product at some point. I do get annoyed by all the emails and direct mail advertisements that I receive once I sign up but it is nice to be updated on new products and what else is going on in the store.

One of my favorite loyalty programs is from Starbucks – My Starbucks Rewards. If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a basic overview of how it works. You load money onto a Starbucks gift card, use that gift card to pay for your purchases, and once you make it to 30 stars you receive the best thing of all, a Starbucks Gold Card. While it’s just kind of awesome to say you have the status of a Gold Card, it also comes with some perks. Once you have a Starbucks Gold Card, for every 12 purchases, users receive a voucher for a free drink or food item, you also hear about special promotions going on and sometimes even discounts.

My personal favorite part of the Starbucks Reward Program is that you can do everything from the Starbucks app on your phone. You can reload your Starbucks card with money and even pay for your purchases just through scanning your phone screen at the register. It makes transitions so much smoother and I get rewarded for it.

Thanks to all the sponsored tweets in my Twitter feed, the other day I noticed a new sponsored ad from Starbucks that said: “Order Ahead. Walk in. Pick up your drink. Smile hugely. #PortlandOR” I was instantly intrigued by this because:

  1. Had Starbucks somehow found a way to make the ordering process even simpler?
  2. They hashtagged Portland, OR which is only a few hours away from the SheerID in Eugene – why would the randomly hashtag Portland?

After visiting the Starbucks site, I learned that Starbucks is now letting their customers get a jump on their day by ordering the food and drinks ahead of time. Phone displaying the Starbucks Mobile Order Pay appCurrently they are still testing this feature and it is only available to customers in Portland, OR, but soon it will start rolling out in other cities across the US.

In order to send in your Starbucks order ahead of time, all customers have to do is download the Starbucks app, go to the new order section, explore the Starbucks menu where you can also customize, place and pay for your order all within the app. At the end of the transaction, Starbucks will even give you an estimated time of when your order will be ready. Another great thing about the Starbucks app is that it will remember your past orders so you also have the option to choose from a list of your past-orders.

Adding this new feature to the Starbucks app not only gives customers more of an incentive to become a member of My Starbucks Rewards but it will also make the process of getting Starbucks that much easier. I think it will be interesting to see how it plays out in the stores and if you will be able to notice the difference in the number of customers waiting in line versus running in to grab their pre ordered food and drinks behind the counter. It will also be interesting to see how other fast food companies respond to this and if they will follow Starbucks lead in mobile pay and pre-order or if they will stick the old-fashion way of only ordering in a line.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited for mobile order and pay to roll out in my city, I might even just have to get a sneak peak of how it works next time I take a road trip to Portland, OR.

Photo credit: Flickr user Justus Blümer

Madeline Boehmer by Madeline Boehmer