People Are Abandoning Their Morning Starbucks Run For An Unexpected Reason

Many customers are skipping their morning lattes because of this.

A morning rush is nothing new for a coffee shop, especially not Starbucks. However, the global coffee chain recently found that its struggle to keep up with demand is leading some customers to second-guess purchasing their morning coffee.

Starbucks just announced its financial earnings for the second quarter of 2024. Overall, its leadership was upfront in saying that the second quarter of 2024 was not a successful one for the business as a whole. The chain's U.S. same-store sales declined 3%, and sales outside of North America decreased 6%.

"Let me be clear," Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan said on the company's most recent earnings call. "Our performance this quarter was disappointing and did not meet expectations ... these results do not reflect our strengths, our capabilities, or the opportunities ahead."

Where Starbucks saw some positive points was in its mobile transactions and loyalty program. Narasimhan noted on the call that loyalty program members ordering through the Starbucks app account for more than 60% of the chain's morning business. However, within that silver lining there is still money being left on the table, as the brand noticed many mobile customers deciding not to actually place their orders after adding them to their cart.

"We saw a mid-teens percent order incompletion rate within the order channel this past quarter," the CEO said. "In other words, customers using Mobile Order-Pay put items into their carts and sometimes chose not to complete the order, citing long wait times and product unavailability."

Narasimhan used the example of Starbucks' Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes to illustrate the company's failure to meet demand. The CEO said the bakes were popular among customers, but Starbucks is currently only able to offer them in 2,000 of its U.S. stores.

How Starbucks is going to win back mobile customers

Although the chain's Q2 performance did not paint a very pretty picture to its investors, Starbucks' CEO also presented a plan of action alongside the disappointing sales numbers. To remedy the lack of product availability, Starbucks is investing more into its supply chain and focusing on stocking more of its customer base's favorite items.

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The coffee chain is also rolling out new equipment and making updates to its mobile app frequently. Narasimhan explained these changes are meant to reduce wait times and create more transparency with customers so that they can get a better idea of exactly when their order will be ready.

Starbucks also wants to capture the attention of the less loyal "occasional customers," who are not signed up for its loyalty program. It plans to do this by offering mobile ordering and pay capabilities to non-loyalty program members starting in July. For now, it looks like Starbucks and its investors will have to wait until next quarter to find out if these changes are enough to win over the caffeine connoisseurs of the early morning.

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