Technology is helping Starbucks to make big bucks. In a way, Starbucks relies on technology to deploy psychology on their customers. It’s all about business, and nothing is personal. We all know how us humans love to shop if we can afford, and so we buy anything. When come to use real cash, humans tend to count the physical amount in their head, but often people tend to forget how much they have left and so they would fish into their wallets and purses to see how much they really have left. Before now we have credit cards, but now Starbucks deploys mobile payment system for customers to buy coffee so nobody has to ever physically count how much money they have left in their wallets or purses. OK, I admit humans aren’t robots, they can carry cash along with their credit cards and mobile phones so they can always have a choice of using cash to buy whatever they need. Still, more ways to buy equates more ways to spend. Here is an example:
Jane wants to buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks, but she runs out of cash on the way to Starbucks as she had stopped for gas. Inside Starbucks, Jane could not refuse her coffee craving, and without cash Jane uses her credit card to buy coffee. Unfortunately, she leaves her credit card inside her car’s front compartment, and so she whips out her mobile phone to pay for a cup of coffee.
It’s smart business strategy for Starbucks, because people are using more mobile phones than ever. Some people may have mobile phones but not credit cards, and mobile phones’ applications can be made to tie with bank accounts or other incentive accounts. Basically, credit cards have nothing on mobile phones since mobile phones open up a whole new battle field where businesses will create applications that lure customers into associate with them — either for becoming a loyal customer or signing up for becoming a new account holder or a club member.
People often cannot remember how much they have spent easily when using other forms of payment. People are much more careful when they use cash! Also, without the physical form, as if people are aware but in a way they don’t care as much since any point/credit payment system looks more like a game. In the moment of trance such as a craving of buying a brand new handbag, point/credit payment system becomes useless as a deterrence for overspending. It hits home when they check their bills or online accounts of point/credit payment systems. Some people often only check their online accounts of point/credit payment systems once a month which encourages them to forget how much they have spent even more.
Starbucks are not going to be the only one who will use technology to create incentives and psychologically enchant customers into buying more. More businesses will see mobile payment system is one heck of a genie. What you think?
Afterthought: For saying all that, I’m probably one of those who will use mobile phone to pay for a cup of coffee! Cheer!