FastCo: Philz Coffee’s Custom App Makes Transactions Intimate
March 12, 2018
The beloved coffee brand born in Silicon Valley is edging out other chains with a tech-forward approach. Philz Coffee has launched its first mobile app—ensuring every customer can get the perfect cup, made to order, without waiting.
Developed and designed by Work & Co, the mobile experience enables easy ordering and discovery for Philz Coffee customers via a swipeable menu of the chain’s most popular drinks. The app makes drink recommendations, tracks favorites, and lets fans build on personal connections formed at the store by enabling customers to engage with baristas directly through the app.
Noted Fast Company: “Once you buy your coffee, the app also tells you exactly who will be making it, and shows you a picture of that person. That extra touch of the barista’s face on your screen turns a simple transaction into something more intimate.”
“Our new app allows us to extend our philosophy of delivering a personalized experience to mobile fans, while introducing new customers—in a fun and easy way—to our unique ordering process,” said Francisca Hawkins, VP-Digital at Philz Coffee. “From the natural language on every screen to seeing the Barista making your coffee, we’re not building tech for tech’s sake. Instead, we're using the technology as a vehicle to drive more human connections within our community, and that’s at the heart of our culture. It’s truly a customer-centric app built for our fans.”
Data-driven design. Based on past-purchase behaviors, the app remembers and saves your favorites. Reorder your favorite Tesora or Mint Mojito with just a couple of taps. Apple Pay means you never need to take out your wallet.
Fully customizable, with tracking. Choose the location and pick-up time most convenient for you. Customize any drink the way you want it — with honey, almond milk, sugar.
Human-centered tech. Real-time updates. Check the status of your order in real time and get a notification when your drink is being made.
The iOS version of the app has launched nationally to all Philz Coffee stores and an Android version is coming soon. Other features, like food ordering, are slated for the near future. The app was built using React Native, a fast-maturing framework that promotes a shorter development cycle by allowing for a shared codebase between iOS and Android.
Said Zeh Fernando, Technology Director at Work & Co: “Our React Native strategy allowed us to build a fully-custom app — no cookie cutter defaults — that’s also totally consistent across platforms. As a result, the focus for Android is on testing and minor improvements versus building a new version from the ground-up.”
“Every single design and tech decision was made collaboratively,” noted Muriel Alvarez, Group Director of Product Management at Work & Co. “This was a partnership filled with deep respect. We’re proud to support the growth of Philz Coffee as it attracts a new wave of loyal fans.”
The app launch comes as the chain has raised capital and continues to grow its presence nationally. It recently opened in Washington, D.C. and other East Coast markets are on the horizon.
“Our vision is for every customer to feel the warmth and connection of Philz, and for our app to be an extension of the in-store experience,” added Jacob Jaber, CEO of Philz Coffee. Successfully building a product that bridges physical and digital seamlessly was critical because we’re not just in the coffee business, we're in the people business.”