Coffee giant Starbucks has launched its first two iPhone applications. The first one, called MyStarbucks, is a no-brainer – you can use the phone’s GPS capability to find nearby stores, search ingredient and calorie information for Starbucks beverages, study coffee bean varieties, and build virtual drinks to see what exactly would be in one if you ordered it.
But it’s the second application, called Starbucks Card Mobile, which could be worth a double-take. As well as allowing for a credit balance check and refilling of Starbucks gift cards, Starbucks has expanded into a customer loyalty program by offering discounts, free refills, and two hours of free Wi-Fi to cardholders. And in two experimental test markets, the Starbucks Card Mobile application can use a barcode to replace the plastic gift card altogether.
Mobile solutions have been waiting in the wings for a number of years now. Will 2010 be the year for them to really take centre stage?
If you think about the technologies and solutions that are new and emerging in this space location aware, Android, iPhone, 4G, GPS, … there is just some much more you are going to be able to do with a mobile device.
Already there is a barcode app for he iPhone which you can use to scan almost anything with a barcode, find the best price on-line and buy it with 1-click. Buying things has never been so easy and the scary part is that this whole process detaches you from the cash UNTIL that credit card bill comes in and it become REAL..OUCH!
Replacing loyalty cards with your mobile is just the start, look out for mobile wallets, mobile payments, barcode readers and much more.