Starbucks CEO on the Future of Retail

Starbucks CEO
Howard Schultz

The CEO of one of the world’s largest retailers has showcased his company’s vision for the future of retail, foreseeing it as a hybrid environment of the digital and physical worlds, underwritten by mobile connectivity.

‘Imagine the ability to create a standing order that Starbucks delivered hot or iced to your desk daily, that’s our version of ecommerce on steroids,’ commented Starbucks’ CEO Howard Shultz during last week’s Q4 earnings call.

The statement was the catalyst of many digitally focused comments made by the executive in reference to the changing landscape of the retail industry and where he sees Starbucks in this evolution.

Underwriting his position is Shultz’s belief that there has been a cultural shift with regards to the allocation of time for retail consumption:

‘What’s actually occurring is the cultural shift in time allocation, away from retail experiences people have felt forced to undertake and towards retail experiences that people want to enjoy with convenience as the key enabler,’ he said. ‘The [shift] has people spending less time shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores and more time online.’

For Shultz, the challenge which Starbucks and the retail community as a whole has is to create a customer experience which is still relevant to this shift. He points to convenient mobile technology as being a key catalyst to ensuring this occurs for Starbucks.

‘We continue to see consumers favour retailers who improve their customer experience through the integration of convenient mobile technology,’ he said. ‘And while Starbucks is today an uncontested leader in mobile, we will continue to innovate and lead around all things mobile in order to attract additional users of our app and provide and enhance and simplified experience for our customers.’

Using the company’s vision to deliver its product to your door, it is clear that the global giant has gone beyond the traditional confines of bricks and mortar retail and are investing heavily in creating a phygital experience for its customers. OCM.

Source: Seeking Alpha

Image: Starbucks

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