Collaboration is the act of working with others to achieve shared goals. In this way, it focuses on goal achievement between businesses and other businesses or between businesses and their consumers. while collaboration can be short lived in the case of employee to employee or business to business, in business to consumer cases, the collaboration is usually meant to be long term to improve the financial performance of the business in the long term. E-commerce has emerged as the main business innovation driver in the last decade with organizations working to create an exemplary digital experience for their consumers.
On the e-commerce avenue, there are several ways to classify e-commerce transactions. One of this is by looking at the nature of the participants in each transaction. This perspective results in 3 e-commerce categories namely business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B) and consumer to consumer (C2C). Business to consumer e-commerce involves the retail of services and product to individual consumers (Laudon & Laudon, 2014, p.328). Business to Business e-commerce involves the exchange of goods and services between businesses, while consumer to consumer models allow consumers to directly trade goods and services between theme selves. Starbucks primary product is its coffee and food which makes it best suited for a Business to Consumer e-commerce method.
Another way to classify e-commerce transactions is by the platform of use by the participants. Until recently, most e-commerce transactions involved the use of a PC connected over a wired connection. However, in recent times, several mobile alternatives have emerged such as smartphones, tablets, and dedicated e-readers all of which have the added functionality of mobile money wallets. M-commerce, as mobile financial transactions are dubbed, has emerged as popular among consumers as it allows them to conveniently pay from any location (Laudon & Laudon, 2014, p.341). Additionally, since most Starbucks consumers are millennials and technology savvy, the digital payment methods are usually preferred as they decrease the amount of time a consumer has to spend for a purchase.
Since Starbucks is a service oriented business, B2C e-commerce is the most applicable e-commerce model. This model allows the business to reach more consumers through technological innovations. In recent years, mobile phone shopping has expanded exponentially since it makes the shopping experience more personalized while removing the hassle associated with shopping. Therefore, the most appropriate e-commerce technique for Starbucks to utilize is increase mobile optimization. As Starbucks case study shows, giving consumers a personalized experience has resulted in increased sales and consumer loyalty. While Bush (2008) initially criticized the establishment of the MyStarbucksIdea forum citing it as a waste of time and an avenue for corporate propaganda, history has proven him wrong as Starbucks consumers have responded positively. After five-years of the forum, Starbucks released a survey on its impact on overall sales and consumer experiences. The report shows that allowing consumers to contribute in the collaboration process has vastly enhanced the Starbucks experience. At the date of the review, there were more than 3 million mobile payment transactions every week for the US based stores (Starbucks, 2013). Additionally, there were greater levels of consumer satisfaction as the consumers could contribute their ideas for new drink flavors and snacks. This shows adopting digital innovations can revolutionize the existing service model to increase organizational competence.
Starbucks can leverage the growing number of mobile users who are also their consumers to increase sales. Mobile apps are the most recent craze amongst traditional service oriented businesses in the digital era. They allow the organizations to personalize the consumer experience in their stores while also decreasing the amount of time spent in line waiting for service. By having consumers download apps for different popular mobile platforms such as IOS, Android, and Blackberry, Starbucks will be able to create a more personalized consumer experience in the digital space than they would in their physical store spaces. Some of the features that Starbucks can include in their mobile apps include the ability to pre-order a product, create customized drinks, easily pay via various mobile wallets, plus keep updated with the Starbucks loyalty program points. These apps would also have the added advantage of providing advanced analytics on consumer data as some of the possible insights from such data include a consumers favorite drinks, purchase frequency, favorite store locations, and their loyalty program status. The analytics results can offer insightful recommendations on how to increase consumer purchases or brand loyalty for existing customers.
Collaboration is important since it allows all stakeholders in a transaction to provide input to the business process. For service-oriented businesses, consumer satisfaction is the main determinant of corporate profits hence necessitating a need to continually innovate the services provided. Starbucks has already emerged as a leader in utilizing digital innovations to increase consumer satisfaction and consequently, sales. However, continued market dominance requires that they continue to innovate their products and business processes to increase consumer satisfaction and provide a unique experience to their customers. The mobile optimization strategy would achieve this by providing an enhanced consumer experience through ordering custom drinks and simplifying the payment process. Additionally, it would also improve the employee experience by allowing the managerial staff to optimize their stores according to the regional demand statistics that would determine the amount of resources dedicated to specific stores. In this way, Starbucks can maintain and increase their market share while increasing profits.
Bush, M. (2008). Starbucks gets web 2.0 religion, but can it convert nonbelievers? Advertising Age, 79(12), 1-1,28. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/208370056?accountid=458
Laudon, K. C., Laudon, J. P. (01/2014). Essentials of MIS, 11th Edition [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/books/9781323132821
Starbucks celebrates five-year anniversary of my starbucks idea. (2013, Mar 29). Business Wire Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1321356704?accountid=458
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