Starbucks today updated its iOS app to introduce a new feature that allows Starbucks customers to send digital gift cards to friends and family members using the Messages app.
To send a digital Starbucks gift card, the Starbucks Gifts app will need to be installed from the Messages App Store. From there, the app offers an interface with several different gift card graphic options and $5, $10, and $25 denominations.
Sending a gift card requires Apple Pay, which is used to pay for the gift card directly in the Messages app, charging the amount to an Apple Pay credit or debit card. Giftees can then use the digital gift card like any other digital gift card sent via email.
Along with the new Starbucks Gifts feature, today's update also introduces new push notifications, a store location filter for the Nitro cold brew, and a new design and interface for the mobile ordering feature.
What's New in Version 4.3.4
Starbucks(R) Gifts in iMessage
Send a digital gift card with the Starbucks(R) iMessage app and Apple Pay. Surprise someone special with an instant gift, seamlessly integrated into your texting conversation. It's way more delightful than asking someone you love to check their email.
If you're opted-in to receive notifications, you may receive new messages based on how often you use the app.
Mobile Order & Pay
Reviewing your order has a brand-new look and animations. Remove or duplicate items with a tap. You can now see all customizations in the updated card views. Visual updates to suggested items.
Are you as obsessed with Nitro cold brew as we are? Find it at a store near you with a new filter option.
Starbucks today launched a limited iOS beta test for a new artificial intelligence assistant called "My Starbucks barista," which will let customers order their favorite menu items by speaking with a virtual barista within a new messaging interface in the company's mobile app (via TechCrunch).
If they choose to, users can also opt to simply type their order to Starbucks, similar to chatbots that have become popular in apps like Facebook Messenger. My Starbucks barista will ask to confirm the pick-up location for the order and can help customers through the payment process as well, leaving them only needing to pass by their local Starbucks and pick up their order when it's ready.
“The Starbucks experience is built on the personal connection between our barista and customer, so everything we do in our digital ecosystem must reflect that sensibility,” said Gerri Martin-Flickinger, chief technology officer for Starbucks, in a statement. “Our team is focused on making sure that Starbucks voice ordering within our app is truly personal and equally important was finding the right partner in Amazon to test and learn from this new capability.”
Additionally, a new "Starbucks Reorder Skill" is being implemented for Amazon's Alexa devices, giving users the chance to simply say, "Alexa, order my Starbucks" to reorder their usual items. The process requires the Starbucks app to be installed, with an account already in place that includes a designated favorite order.
The Starbucks app has increased in popularity over the years thanks to its ability to let customers place orders online and arrive in the store to receive their drinks and food at the pick-up counter. The practice has become so popular in some locations, however, that customers have been known to leave when faced with long wait times. To fix the problem, Starbucks has begun hiring online order-only baristas, as well as testing out text notifications that alert customers when to arrive at the store.
The beta test is currently beginning, but is limited to a small set of 1,000 iOS users in the U.S., with "a phased rollout" estimated to begin on a larger scale this summer. An update to the Android app is said to come later in 2017.
Expending the energy to swipe through the Starbucks’ app menu to order coffee first thing in the morning is hard, right? It would be much easier to just groggily command Siri to queue up the order — with extra sugar.
For all those people for whom Starbucks just isn’t fancy enough, ready your dainty little pinky fingers for the next big thing.
Starbucks is readying an expansion of Princi, a chain of high-end Italian bakeries in which Starbucks first invested in July 2016. New stores are slated to open in Seattle, New York and Chicago in 2017 and 2018.
Princi’s baked goods will also be served in the company’s growing group of flagship locations, which Starbucks calls Roasteries. There’s currently one in Seattle and the company plans to open Roasteries in Shanghai in 2017 and New York in 2018.
In addition to those flagship locations, Starbucks has plans to open around 1,000 Starbucks Reserve stores, which the company bills as “a new retail format that will integrate the theatre and romance of the Roastery with the unique culinary experience of the company’s new Italian food partner, Princi.” Read more…
Luckily, James Corden has all three of those things. In the clip above, Corden visits a Starbucks in LA and finds a man working on a movie script. He then proceeds to recruit members of staff and the public (and, randomly, Jason Schwartzman) to turn the script into a reality.
Needless to say, the finished product is a thing of beauty.
Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa is, “made with steamed milk, white chocolate mocha sauce and cinnamon dolce syrup topped with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon sugar,” Starbucks explained in a release sent to Mashable.
The new beverage joins three other cocoas on Starbucks’ menu: Peppermint Hot Cocoa, Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa and White Chocolate Hot Cocoa. Read more…