SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (TheStreet) -- Just hours after Starbucks (SBUX) kicked off a mobile order pilot program in Portland, Ore., the coffee conglomerate provided Wall Street first-time specifics on how it plans to build on the digital pay-ahead option to launch a delivery service next year.
"Mobile ordering is not just order-ahead, but it's also the potential for mobile ordering and delivery, again a significant potential transaction driver for the company," Starbucks Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman said at the company's biennial investor day, held at its Seattle, Wash. headquarters. "Delivery is one our most-requested ideas for unlocking the power of our mobile app."
The company's mobile order initiative, Brotman said, will lay the foundation for a delivery service that the company plans to launch in select markets in mid to late 2015.
Wednesday afternoon, Starbucks went public with the new mobile order option, which is now available to Portland area customers inside the retailer's updated iPhone application. Mobile order will soon be available on the Starbucks for Android application, and the system will launch across the U.S. before the end of 2015, the company said. The skip-the-line digital option lets customers place orders, customize drinks, and preview wait times at nearby stores right from their smartphone.
The feature is not meant merely as a novelty addition, but rather intended as an instrumental driver of sales. The company expects the added convenience of order-ahead to increase the frequency of customer visits and give the brand a way to up sell mobile customers on food items.