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Starbucks’ success with Mobile Order & Pay spawns Asian expansion

Starbucks’ Mobile Order & Pay will make its debut in China and Japan later this year as the application heads towards driving 50 percent of the chain’s purchases within the next few years.

Following the significant success of mobile ordering in the United States, Starbucks has plans to roll out the program to China and Japan in 2016, as 20 percent of all American transactions are now made through mobile. The mobile app is seeing growth of 15 to 20 percent in the U.S., congruent with the rise in popularity of mobile transaction usage.

“Starbuck’s forward-looking approach over the last decade has put them way out ahead of the competition, when it comes to app-based mobile commerce,” said Wilson Kerr vice president of business development and sales for Unbound Commerce, Boston. . “They have made cliché reality with mobile order and pay and are surely banking troves of useful customer behavior data, as well as revenue.”

Serving mobile innovation
The coffeehouse chain is known as a leader in mobile retail and payments, and its recent foray into mobile order and pay has made significant strides for the company with widespread adoption rates across the U.S. The program allows users to bypass long lines by preordering through the app and also paying for transactions.

China and Japan will be the latest countries to see the program arrive. Asian countries are known for bullish adoption rates when it comes to technology and mobile devices, which means the program is likely to be a hit overseas.

The retailer has noted that a significant part of the feature’s positive results is due to the morning rush, when consumers want to skip long waits. Starbucks has also mentioned that 7 million orders were transacted through the mobile app in just this past February alone.

The mobile payments leader is shaping the way for a wide range of retailers foraying into more digital technologies. Starbucks has alluded to mobile further shaping the in-store experience in the future, which may lie in a different layout.

Starbucks mobile news
News of the Chinese and Japanese rollout has come on the heels of its rewards program revamp. Starbucks made big changes to its mobile loyalty, adding Chase Pay to checkout and shifting how customers earn points in a bid to maintain its leadership role as competition grows (see more).

Starbucks also built on its faith in Mobile Order & Pay by expanding to Toronto and Vancouver recently, following initial successful adoptions in major markets in the U.S (see more).

“Starbucks is banking on the expansion of the Chinese middle class and has pledged to open 500 stores a year for the next 5 years in cities across China,” Mr. Kerr said.