How Starbucks Can Utilize Voice Tech (& Why Your Business Should Too)

Starbucks Coffee can utilize voice technology to enhance their employee experience, office efficiency, store efficiency, and customer experience. However, for this piece, I will be discussing the advantage of Starbucks using voice technology and why their customers will love this experience.

How Starbucks Is Currently Utilizing Voice Tech

You can currently download the Starbucks Reorder skill in the Amazon Skill Store and order a drink from Starbucks that you have previously ordered with the Starbucks app.

Alexa will also keep track of your last ten orders so you can shuffle between them. In a rush? No worries, you just tell Alexa to order your usual and it will be ready in minutes.

Other features of the Alexa Skill include checking your primary Starbucks card balance. This saves the time of calling or checking your app to simply asking Alexa a question. Lastly, it can be used to switch between your last five orders.

Starbucks has also previously rolled out the My Starbucks Barista voice app for the iPhone. This was debuted to select customers in 2017 but we have not heard much of it since. I searched the app store and could not find it. The acceptance of this technology is even more likely today, two years later. You can watch the promo video for it below.

Back to this piece…

How Starbucks Can Further Utilize Voice Tech

Customer Experience

From Netflix to Uber we all love efficiency and convenience. In fact, our actions often prove that we value that over money. For instance, at times we cannot afford an Uber but we take one anyways. We can go to Walmart which is three minutes down the road but instead, we choose the gas station for a marked-up drink and bag of chips. Netflix is so convenient that we can sit at home, with the family, in our pajamas and watch movies all day long. No more going to those clunky movie stores like Blockbuster.

It is no wonder that the efficiency and convenience voice tech brings is ever growing in popularity with consumers. This is not any different for the opportunities that lie ahead with Starbucks customers.

Order Ahead

Via Tack10

Starbucks mobile order is brilliant. It is the grocery pickup of coffee. I do not know why more coffee shops don’t deploy this. It simply saves people time and provides people with convenience. Especially families with children who know better than anyone that a quick trip into the grocery store with kids is everything but quick. Even those who aren’t in a hurry use it just so they don’t have to stand in a line. No judgment there by the way.

Remember, everything is about efficiency and convenience.

This reveals the extra beneficial usage of Starbucks utilizing voice technology. It adds another layer to the efficiency and convenience for the end consumer. It provides a vast amount of empathy to the customer allowing them to engage with Starbucks in another way.

Retrieve Member Information

This feature will allow the customer to access all of their member information they would typically retrieve from the app directly from their virtual assistant. They will be able to not only check their balance but also reload the balance on their beloved Starbucks membership gold card.

As Alexa gets smarter, it will be able to send out reminders to reload the Starbucks card. Not just a reminder to reload, but a straight up ask if they would like to order their usual Starbucks drink at the usual time they order one. Who says no to that? Nobody, that’s who.

The convenience this provides is unmatched. The efficiency this produces is more than beneficial and the opportunity for Starbucks to sell more seems to be a no brainer.

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want another easier way to order Starbucks Coffee?

Order Starbucks Products

Ordering coffee is not the only thing voice technology can do for Starbucks and its customers. This will provide a huge opportunity for Starbucks to enter the V-Commerce scene. V-Commerce is a somewhat new term that is the equivalent to E-Commerce but on voice tech platforms. Hence the “V”.

Shopping on voice technology is going to become to online shopping what Netflix became to Blockbuster.

This is a great opportunity for Starbucks to enter this market providing their customers with a new way of engaging with their brand.


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Imagine “Tonya” at home. She was up all night with her newborn and yet again, the baby is crying. She finally gets her to sleep and just wants a cup of coffee to help get the day started.

There is only one problem…

She’s out of coffee.

So, she says something like, “Hey Alexa, Order me some coffee”. This is where branding comes in because if she just says “coffee” than she gets whoever Amazon has deemed to be first in line under the term coffee.

However, if she says something to the effect of, “Hey Alexa, Order me my usual from Starbucks” then she’s going to get that beloved coffee, perhaps even delivered to her door via Uber in a Tesla?

General Starbucks Information

Such people as Tonya will also be able to access general information on Starbucks. If the information is public than it will be accessible with a simple ask. Such as the nearest location, contact information, or the latest stock price.

Not only will they be able to get things like contact information but they will also be able to contact Starbucks through the virtual assistant they are using.

Perhaps even other things they will be able to check are the length of the line or seating availability.

Gone are the days of searching a website for far too long for what seems like a simple thing like an address or event date. Now we will be able to just ask the assistant and retrieve the answer in seconds.

Why Your Business Should Utilize Voice Tech

Customer experience

Providing voice tech, as mentioned above, greatly enhances your customer experience and you don’t need me to tell you that across the board no matter your clientele, customer experience matters.

You, me, and your in-laws love efficiency and convenience. Sometimes the in-laws love the convenience a little too much and move next door. That, however, is for another article on another day. Perhaps, “How To Utilize Alexa To Get Time Alone (Without Your In-Laws).”

Order Ahead

Maybe your company doesn't have the need for services such as ordering ahead but voice tech can certainly be used to bring your customers ease of access to your company and that which you provide.

They may not need to order ahead, but they can certainly contact you to order your product or request your service and all from a virtual assistant.

Member Information

Collecting information on your customers is a great resource to have. Even if it is only collected to provide value to them through things like happy birthday cards or sending them their favorite NBA players trading card for being a great customer.

SIDE NOTE: Take care of your customers because they are taking care of you.

However, collecting new information can be difficult and understandably so. We are all inundated with new things to sign up for multiple times a day. This provides an easy way to collect such information for company records when the user only has to answer the virtual assistant verbally with a quick answer. No more glitchy forms.

Order Products

You may not offer physical products and that is okay. V-Commerce is projected to be massive and it only makes sense that it would be based on the way we shop today compared to 15 years ago. Even if you offer services you are still in this boat because you’ll want to be who they ask for when they look for a service in your market.

We shop from home as it is. Imagine shopping via Alexa, a device that gets smarter the more you use it and remembers your habits. The possibilities seem a bit endless.

General Information

As mentioned above, your clients will no longer have to search your website for information. No matter how easy it is to find they will be able to just simply ask it a question and retrieve the answer. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Providing such opportunities in voice technology reduces the friction between your business and the end consumer. This increases efficiency for the consumer and gives them ease of access to your company. This will increase customer engagement which ultimately increases sales.

Welcome to a Voice-First Starbucks World.

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Zachary Duncan

Written by

CMO of @VoiciSkills, love marketing, leadership, culture and writing about it!

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