Starbucks Exits E-Commerce, Doubles Down on ‘Digital Relationships’

Starbucks, which has been part of the vanguard of mobile payments—both in-store and online—since it launched its app in 2010, has taken an interesting step as it continues to solidify itself as a digital-first company. On Oct. 1, the Seattle-based coffee giant will close down its online shop at Starbucks.com where it currently sells coffee, tea, espresso makers, mugs, glasses and more. The company said it will continue to sell those items online at Amazon, at grocery stores and in Starbucks locations. In a seemingly paradoxical move, Starbucks will shut down a digital asset that accepts card-not-present payments to advance its digital and mobile aspirations.

“We’re continuing to invest in amplifying Starbucks as a must-visit destination and are looking across our portfolio to make disciplined, thoughtful decisions,” said Maggie Jantzen, spokesperson for Starbucks. “This includes doubling down on our digital relationships with our customers to further elevate our digital flywheel through our mobile app and our Starbucks Rewards loyalty program. Continued integration of these digital and mobile customer connections into our store experience is among the highest priorities for us, and to enhance that focus we’ve looked for ways to simplify our current efforts.”

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