Disruptive technology is challenging the retail landscape, and with “just get and go” technology entering more stores, and the rising use of in-store robots, what was once extremely innovative will become a prerequisite.
Still, the collaboration between Starbucks and Amazon is a truly innovative one. A Starbucks “Pickup with Amazon Go” opened in New York City, with plans to open more locations. The store utilizes the “order ahead” feature in the Starbucks app and Amazon Go’s “Just Walk Out” technology to create an easy, cashier-less checkout experience – but still offers a lounge that features individual workspaces and expanded tables with power outlets and USB ports. (This, by the way, is a whole other story worthy of another post: how Starbucks embraced people coming to work at the Cafe).
Furthermore, the new store offers the full Starbucks menu as well as a curated assortment of food and beverages in the Amazon Go market, including fresh-prepared salads, sandwiches, bakery items, and snack options. This gives Amazon potential access to a whole new sales channel.
Starbucks usually stars in Schieber Research’s “Stress-Free Trend” talks under “should I stay or should I go?”. They tailor the experience to the need state: sometimes destressing means you want to escape to your “third place” and sometimes you just want that coffee and muffin, as fast as humanely possible. Here we see all of those options in one concept.
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