Starbucks Offers Its First Augmented Reality Coffee Experience in China
Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai, claimed to be the first fully immersive coffee experience in Asia, will celebrate its opening tomorrow, Dec. 6.
When the doors open to the world’s second Starbucks Roastery, created three years after the inaugural Seattle Roastery, customers will be greeted by a multi-sensory coffee experience in an interactive coffee and retail destination.
The company says the Roastery is the epitome of coffee and retail innovation for Starbucks in China, the company’s fastest growing market with more than 3,000 stores across 136 cities. Starbucks already has over 600 stores in Shanghai – the largest number of stores in any city where Starbucks has a presence.
As customers enter the Roastery and step through the front doors of the 2,700 square-meter (30,000 square-foot) building, they’ll be greeted by the sight of a two-story, copper cask, adorned with more than 1,000 traditional Chinese chops, or stamps, hand-engraved to narrate the story of Starbucks and coffee.
As part of their experience, customers can visit many attractions including one of three coffee bars offering multiple brewing methods, explore specially crafted teas at the 3-D printed tea bar, enjoy freshly baked Italian artisanal food by Princi, and marvel at the ceiling made of 10,000 handmade wooden hexagon-shaped tiles, inspired by the locking of an espresso shot on an espresso machine.
And, all along the way, customers can point their mobile devices around the Roastery for even more moments of discovery as they immerse themselves in the augmented reality (AR) experience.
Integrating this technology into the store, located at 789 Nanjing Road W., in one of the world’s busiest shopping destinations, makes it one of the most advanced digital locations for Starbucks in the world.
The Shanghai Roastery will become the first Starbucks location, and the first-of-its kind in China, to seamlessly integrate a real-time, in-store and online customer experience.
Roastery customers are being invited to immerse themselves in the first Starbucks augmented reality (AR) experience – accessible through the custom-designed Roastery digital web-app platform or on Alibaba’s Taobao app – by simply pointing their mobile devices at key features around the Roastery to bring to life information about the Starbucks bean-to-cup story.
To help customers create their personal Roastery discovery journey, the Roastery digital web-app platform also incorporates a digital menu and will intuitively, through AR technology, share details of the coffee bars, brewing methods, as well as other online and offline experiences.
Each step of the way, customers unlock a virtual badge and once all badges are earned, they receive a custom Roastery filter to commemorate the moment and share on social media.
The Shanghai Roastery digital experience is designed by Starbucks and powered by Alibaba Group’s scene-recognition technology.
This experience also extends to Alibaba’s online marketplace, Tmall, allowing customers to purchase Shanghai Roastery and Reserve branded merchandise and whole bean coffee for delivery directly to their homes, or to register for specially curated coffee tasting experiences that can be enjoyed at the Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai.