An americano connoisseur and Trend Hunter addict, I can often be found stationed at a table inside Starbucks, laptop out, catching up on the latest goodies on the site. In addition to my drink, I also have to pay for my internet access, but that could soon change. At least for residents of the US.
In an attempt to battle the competition being brought on by McDonald's McCafes, Starbucks is going to start offering complimentary Wi-Fi at 7,000 Starbucks locations.
With the purchase of every reloadable Starbucks card, the customer will be entitled to two free hours of internet access each day. If you're already an AT&T broadband user, it will be free regardless of card ownership and without a time restriction.
Starbucks to Offer Free Wi-Fi
1. Complimentary Wi-fi Offerings - Other coffee shops might need to follow suit or offer additional value-added services to stay competitive and retain customers.
2. Loyalty Programs - Other businesses could model Starbuck's idea of offering free services with the purchase of reloadable cards, such as free car washes, reduced parking rates, or even free appetizers or meals.
3. Fast Food-ification of Coffee Shops - This is just one example of the growing trend of fast food chains offering more specialized and quality products while coffee shops are becoming more like fast food restaurants.
1. Coffee Shops - Coffee shops need to rethink their business models to stay competitive and offer personalized services and value-added benefits to customers.
2. Telecommunications - Other telecommunication companies could partner with coffee shops and restaurants to offer free internet service to customers and increase their customer base.
3. Retail - Retailers, including coffee shops, that take advantage of new, emerging technologies will remain competitive in the face of growing competition from fast food chains and innovative delivery services.