Starbucks makes the daring decision to close their online store in an effort to enforce their experiential brand. In a time when every store is trying to join the e-commerce market, Starbucks’ decision comes as quite a shock.
Online sales include things that cannot be found in the stores, like syrups and specialty mugs. Customers were in an uproar when the announcement was made and took to Twitter to express their dismay. How else will I make my favorite fall time Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the comfort of my own home? But disgruntled Pumpkin Spice Latte lovers are not enough to make Starbucks regret their well thought out decision.
Howard Schultz, chairman of Starbucks, believes brands like his need to focus on experience to survive. Simply making a profit off of espresso makers purchased online is not enough when competitors like Amazon can provide the same product. Focusing on the customers’ experience will keep them coming back.
When did people lose sight of the point of cafes? Cafes are meant to be a gathering space to meet new people, read a book, or have a noteworthy experience. Now with the ability to recreate all drinks at home, people skip the cafe altogether. Even in the cafe, today people are so concerned with their wifi connectivity that they do not even remember what the person next to them looked like. Starbucks’ new decision to focus on in-store experience is sure to keep them out of harm from Amazon. Do not worry, you can still buy your favorite coffee in select grocery stores.