May 19, 2020

Starbucks closes online shop to boost in store and mobile app experiences

Pouyan Broukhim
2 min
Starbucks closes online shop to boost in store and mobile app experiences

Whilst other firms are putting emphasis on their ecommerce presence with increasingly more customers looking to shop online, Starbucks has gone against the trend by closing down its online store.

The site that previously stocked the company’s branded coffee, mugs, tumblers and alike has now closed.

“You can purchase your favourite coffee and Starbucks merchandise in your local Starbucks. We cannot guarantee availability of any product in stores, but we know you will find many choices to enjoy,” the company said.

“Products are also still available on the app, in grocery stores and through company partners such as Amazon.”

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The decision was taken with the aim of improving its in store experience, in addition to attracting more customers in store, as well as facilitating the growth of its mobile app that currently contributes to 30% of all its transactions in the US.

“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 company spokesperson Maggie Jantzen.

“Integration of these digital and mobile customer connections into our store experience is among the highest priorities for us.”

The company held a 50% off clearance sale in the lead up to the close of its website, and has also announced that it will be discontinuing the sale of its syrups and sauces.

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

NASCAR
Microsoft
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

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