Starbucks has partnered with Amap, a leading provider of digital map content, navigation, and location-based solutions, to launch a new retail channel in China called Starbucks Curbside.

The service offers customers in Beijing and Shanghai a convenient way of enjoying their coffee routines on the go, amid rush hour traffic, with real-time route planning and positional tracking technologies. Starbucks Curbside automatically calculates the right time for employees to craft and deliver beverages, and all customers have to do upon arrival at designated pick-up points is roll down their car windows and collect their orders. The service is available in 150 stores in Beijing and Shanghai, with plans to expand to over 1,000 stores across China over the next year.

starbucks curbside

Starbucks Curbside is a groundbreaking extension of the Starbucks “third place” concept, which aims to provide customers with a place to relax outside of their homes and workplaces. The service takes the third place concept from “in-store” and “at home” to “on the road”, offering customers an elevated convenience that has been enabled by Amap’s precise geographical positioning and time estimation technologies. Starbucks Curbside is a response to customer insights and has been designed with their needs in mind.

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Starbucks Curbside elevates the physical and digital customer experience

“Designed to help customers navigate the hustle and bustle of urban lifestyles in China, Starbucks Curbside exemplifies our relentless pursuit of innovation in service of our customers,” said Judy Zhang, vice president of digital ventures at Starbucks China. “On arrival, customers only have to roll down their car windows to receive their favourite handcrafted Starbucks coffee on time and with the same quality, along with a warm greeting by our waiting Starbucks partner, just as if they were enjoying it in-store.”

Before starting their journey, customers can input their destination on Amap, click on the Starbucks Curbside icon, and place an order at a Starbucks store along the route. A customized backend system constantly updates customers’ arrival times in real time and automatically calculates the right times for employees to craft and deliver beverages to a designated pick-up point. Customers receive their beverages freshly brewed upon arrival with virtually no time wasted and can receive real-time voice messages during their journey to update them on the preparation status of their orders.

Starbucks has been operating in the Chinese mainland for more than 20 years and now runs over 6,000 stores in the market with close to 60,000 employees. Starbucks China is one of Starbucks largest and fastest-growing international markets and continues to drive innovations that integrate and elevate the physical and digital customer experience. The launch of Starbucks Curbside is an indication of the company’s commitment to its customers in China and its efforts to continue providing them with the highest level of convenience and service.