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Starbucks unveils chatbot app for ordering

Feb 02, 2017, 00:15

As with Alexa's Domino's Pizza skill, placing an order with Alexa voice commands is simple, but limited.

Late previous year, Starbucks previewed the voice ordering service at the company's investor day presentation. Sure, you could already place orders for pickup using the mobile Starbucks app, but now you don't even need to open your phone.

On its earnings conference call last week, Starbucks said Mobile Order & Pay represented 7 percent of the company's US transactions in the most recent quarter, up 3 percentage points from the prior year.

It would also appear that Starbucks is working with Amazon in order to integrate Barista with Alexa so that users can just replicate their orders for when they want to have it the next time around.

Gerri Martin-Flickinger, the chief technology officer of Starbucks, said that the new capability reflects the company's sensibility of "personal connection between our barista and customer".

Starbucks unveiled a new third-party skill for Amazon Alexa this morning, letting regular customers reorder their favorite coffee and food by saying "Alexa, order my Starbucks" to a device powered by the online retail giant's voice-enabled personal assistant.

"The customers who can use this feature can order their coffee through the "My Starbucks® barista" as part of an initial feature rollout integrated seamlessly into the Starbucks mobile app for iOS". If you have Amazon's Alexa, there's now a Starbucks Reorder Skill.

It's a notable partnership between the two Seattle-based retail and technology titans.

Although Barista is only available to about a thousand iOS users right now, the company states that an Android version will also be released sometime in the future. Amazon and Starbucks are likely to cross paths more as Amazon launches new physical retail stores, and Starbucks goes increasingly digital. According to Fortune, baristas have had difficulty keeping up with mobile orders, which has led to bottlenecks at delivery stations and caused some walk-in customers to leave. The interface, as pointed by Tech Times, function a lot like Siri.

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