Digital fulfilment is the future

 In marketing

Update 2014: Starbucks in the UK now send your free drink to the mobile app. Perhaps they read my blog?

Some months ago, Starbucks told me (on their website) that I had qualified for a free coffee as I had accumulated enough points for using my Starbucks card.

They informed me that I would receive a voucher via post to redeem the free coffee.  At the time I blogged about how 1970’s this was.

starbucks

Well this week I received the voucher in the post – some THREE MONTHS after I was told it was on the way. Click the image below for a larger picture.

starbucks-snail-mail

Amazingly, the expiry on the voucher is a mere 2 months away, a shorter timeframe than the time it took to deliver it to me!

How simpler might it have been to just add a free coffee (or the credit against one) on my Starbucks card, rather than having to wait THREE MONTHS for this!

Crazy Starbucks, crazy. Digital fulfilment IS the future, and also think of how much cheaper it would be (no physical card to send) and the landfill saved by NOT sending me an envelope (which I will throw away) and a card that the barista will throw away (complete with my address – redacted above in the image – not great for identity theft) once redeemed.

Also while you’re at it – you should make it simple for people to use their mobile to pay for drinks.

Even thought you don’t have a blackberry app, I managed to “hack” my Starbuck card – details at http://lc.tl/sbb to ensure that I don’t have to swipe my plastic Starbucks card 8 times every morning because the card reader are so old.

With my blackberry app hack, I can pay for my coffee first time from London to Los Angeles.

While you are here ...

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About 

Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.