The world’s biggest coffee chain, Starbucks, will be introducing its mobile payment and loyalty app in India in the next quarter as the country moves towards a cashless economy owning to demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
The app will show the nearest Tata Starbucks outlet and menu options and it will also enable consumers to make payments apart from participating in the ‘My Starbucks Rewards’ program.
It will allow customers to locate the nearest outlet and pre-order from the menu, thereby letting them to jump to the beginning of the queue. The new app aims to entitle consumers to earn stars, which can then be encashed for free drinks at Starbucks outlets later. With this app, the points will get directly added to a customer’s account via their phones.
Speaking exclusively to Indiaretailing Bureau, CEO, Tata Starbucks, Sumitro Ghosh confirmed the news. He said, “Sometime in the next quarter we will be launching our digital mobile app through which customers will be able to locate Starbucks outlets, look at the menu, pay through their mobile and points will be added to their loyalty card automatically.”
He further added, “The app will also allow customers to pre-order from their app and they can collect their order from the nearest outlet.”
And coffee is just a part of the game. Tata Starbucks is also venturing into the tea market and will introduce their new brand, Teavana, in India. Teavana will be hitting the market early next year, and will be located within Starbucks outlets to begin with.
Ghosh revealed, “Launch plans for Teavana are in place. We are on target and consumers will be able to see the brand soon after the calendar year begins.”
Talking about the brand, Ghosh said, “We will be bringing different high quality teas to India. We will also be introducing whole leaf tea along with incredible infusions like real fruit etc that I think Indian consumers will be wowed by.”
Starbucks entered India in the year 2012 by forming a joint venture with Tata Global Beverages and at present the brand has 86 outlets spread across India. Going further, the company is planning to open more outlets and counting on a lot of variables to explore new cities.
Ghosh is confident about where India and Tata Starbucks are going to go but refused to share the number of new stores that the company plans to open here.
He instead said, “We feel that this will be one of the top markets for us outside of the US as we continue to grow and India has seen the fastest rollout of stores in Starbucks’ history, in any market.”
He also added, “We can make out the brand is doing well in the Indian market by the fact that whenever I visit Starbucks outlets, I see it blooming with consumers, spending time and enjoying our offerings.”
He also said that the growth plans of the company are strong and strategies in place. And to expand further, the company is evaluating which markets to target beyond the six cities it is are currently in.
“We are capturing the first harvest of what is available and moving forward we are exploring more opportunities and we are looking forward to expand in new markets too,” Ghosh concluded.