Battle of the Coffee Titans: Starbucks vs Luckin: Starbucks Launches new Ordering App in China

Starbucks has launched in a new app called “Starbucks Now” for Starbucks Rewards members in Beijing and Shanghai. Pending its success, the app will roll out across the rest of China before the end of the year.
The app features GPS functionality so that customers can select their nearest store. Users can then choose and customize a beverage, select food, view order time, and pay for the order all prior to arriving at the store. The service offers incentives so that rewards members are encouraged to use it.  Points are awarded on all purchases made via the app. Accumulated points generate rewards including free items and personalized offers.
This app is similar to Starbucks’ major competitor in China Luckin‘s model. The Luckin ordering process happens entirely on its app. First, you decide how you want to receive the drink: have it delivered within 30 minutes, pick it up at a nearby Luckin kiosk, or sit back and sip at one of its ‘relax stores’, what the company calls cafes. Starbucks seems to be paying close attention to and pushing back against Luckin’s success.
Starbucks also recently open its first signing store in Guangzhou, China. The store employs Deaf and hard of hearing employees, who are fluent in Chinese Sign Language. This is a part of the company’s ongoing commitment to inclusion, accessibility and diversity. The store is equipped with a customized ordering system to support communication between customers and employees. For customers new to sign language, there will be a dedicated area for customers to write down their orders on an electronic board and wireless vibrating pagers will notify customers when their orders are ready.
Starbucks is aggressively growing in China–the company has opened 553 new stores over the last 12 months.
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