It can definitely be said that mobile ordering has been grabbing the headlines recently. It may not be a new technology for some, the Starbucks Mobile Order And Pay app has taken the world by storm and accounts for 8% of all US transactions. Coupled with the arrival of fast food giants McDonalds on the scene, it has become front and centre of people’s minds. And mobile screens.

It would be easy to think that for the food and beverage sector, the focus is now on implementation rather than innovation. .But you would be wrong – very, very wrong.

Technology is set on shaking up the future of pre-ordering. In fact, getting your hands on your cappuccino may never be the same again.

Can you hear me now?

You don’t need us to tell you that we spend hours a day on our smartphones. Apparently, we stare at the screen for up to 5 hours a day (1). We can almost feel the finger cramps forming.

But don’t fear – you will still be able to get your daily coffee with fewer taps. Voice-activated mobile ordering is on its way!

Amazon and Starbucks have teamed up. Voice powered assistant Amazon Alexa will be able to download a ‘skill’ to enable customers to grab their favourite coffee through the usual Starbucks mobile order and pay channel.

“It only takes a little imagination to think about where conversation ordering will show up next.” – Gerri Martin-Flickinger, chief technology officer, Starbucks (2)

Considering Amazon Alexa is making itself at home in Ford, Volkswagen and Hyundai cars, and these car companies are forming partnerships with major food and drink outlets, conversation ordering could be set for a whole new journey. (2)


“I ordered it through Instagram”

Yes, engagement marketing is taking on a whole new identity with social media powerhouse, Instagram. Within the next few months, the 600m active users will be able to book appointments and make reservations through the platform. (3)

Whilst the current aim of this technology is to create “a primary storefront” for the estimated eight million businesses on Instagram (3), there has to be a future here for pre-ordering.

The current feature means you can currently book a table for 2 at your favourite restaurant, but what if you could pre-order and pay for your meal as well? Mobile ordering might never be the same again…

Navigating your pre-order

Most of us would be lost without our sat-nav (sometimes we even get lost WITH our sat-nav) but now we won’t be hungry either. US-based navigation app Waze has partnered up with Dunkin’ Donuts to not only reroute you to the store but pre-order too. (4)

This is the first partnership for Waze but according to the company, it is the first of many. Just by typing in where you want to go – whether it’s a takeaway joint, the pharmacy, or the supermarket – it will also help you order ahead.

Think of all that spare time!


The pre-order store of the future

We don’t think anyone was prepared for the popularity of the Starbucks mobile order and pay app. Around 7 million customer orders were received through the mobile order and pay app last year, and it’s thought that within the next few years 50 percent of its orders will come from smartphones (5).

Now that is a ‘grande’ amount of orders.

However, this has led to a few issues with the logistics and the nightmare of queuing. Ever quick to buck the trend of negative headlines, they announce the first Starbucks mobile order and pay only store.

Using its own employees at its Seattle headquarters as willing guinea pigs, the mega-chain has implemented a large window for pick-ups (6). A sort-of ‘walk-by’ pick up window. And if it works for its employees, you can expect Starbucks will be rolling them out globally quick smart.

Another exciting bit of technology we have seen that could be the mobile ordering pick-up of the future is the ‘food locker’. When you’ve completed your pre-order via your smartphone, a bar code is sent to your phone which then opens the door to your locker.

At Ordoo, we definitely think this could be the next step for the collection experience – especially when it is busy.

starbuck mobile order and pay collections

Whilst mobile ordering is the present, it is so exciting to see that there is an interesting future ahead. As an industry, we are not resting until we get the customer experience and marketing engagement right.

But you have to admit, the journey ahead is looking pretty exciting!

Take the first step with Ordoo – leave us your details and we’ll set up a demo

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Read and consider the benefits of mobile ordering to customers and venues alike. We've distilled our insights from years of experience in the industry. Mobile ordering is here - be prepared! 

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