Starbucks preparing coffee ordering service for mobile app

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Great news Starbucks-goers. You may soon be able to order your coffee using your iPhone. In a recent interview with Recode, the company’s Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman said that it plans to start testing a pickup service later this year via its mobile app.

The move comes as Americans are increasingly turning to smartphone-friendly services like Uber and GrubHub. And with nearly 15% of Starbucks’ US purchases now coming via its mobile app, adding the ability to order from it seems like a natural evolution…

Here’s more from Recode’s Jason Del Rey:

The Seattle-based coffee giant, which said in March that more than 14 percent of purchases in its U.S. stores are paid for through its app, will allow customers in one undisclosed geographic test market to start placing pickup orders from the Starbucks app later this year, according to the company’s Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman. This should not be confused as an experiment, Brotman made clear. Starbucks is determined to eventually roll out the technology nationwide, no matter how long it takes.

The move, which will certainly appease those who have been requesting this feature for years, is a risky one due to the nature of coffee. Like the beverage itself, Starbucks will have to work to get the process just right, or risk customers arriving to cold cups of joe.

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Del Rey says the team behind the initiative consists of employees from various Starbucks divisions, and meets with Brotman once a week. The CDO calls the team the most cross-functional he’s ever worked with, on the most important project he’s ever worked on.

And that’s not an overstatement, as Starbucks has ambitions beyond a coffee ordering/pickup service. Brotman says “we want to get mobile ordering right first, but you could be hearing more about us in the mobile wallet or universal loyalty space sooner than later.”