Tag Archive | "Eats"

Starbucks Delivery via Uber Eats Goes National After Seeing Higher Average Sales

Based on a successful delivery trial in China via Alibaba and Uber Eats in Miami, Starbucks has announced that they are adding delivery nationwide. Starbucks COO Rosalind Brewer says they are still looking at the total cost of delivery very “carefully” but they are emboldened by the higher average sale with delivery orders.

Rosalind Brewer, Starbucks COO, recently discussed the new Uber Eats partnership on CNBC:

Starbucks Delivery via Uber Eats Expanding Nationwide

We’ve had a great trial in Miami and we chose Miami because we know what the temperatures are in Miami. We’ve seen great drink consistency. We’ve seen really good leverage on the ticket, so we’re seeing both food and beverages being ordered. We’re seeing a much larger ticket when we see a delivery from Starbucks.

We’re really pleased that we’re doing this partnership with Uber. We’re learning a lot about technology integration and that’s the real result here, just really making sure that the technology comes together and then we deliver the best product for the customer.

The question around is this a profitable opportunity for us is one of the things that we’re evaluating because it does cost more to deliver coffee. But we are seeing an expanded ticket and that average ticket is really what we need to see happen as we approach delivery. We’re encouraged right now but we’re actually monitoring that very carefully.

Learned From the Alibaba Partnership in China

We’re using a lot of the learnings from China in terms of things like packaging. Not only is it an automobile delivery, we’re seeing that it’s bicycle delivery as well. So we’re understanding that very well. We’re also understanding what is the offering? Should it be the full menu and what dreams do best when they have to be delivered?

State of the Starbucks Economy

What we’re seeing right now is that something like a Starbucks cup of coffee which some assume is an affordable luxury, we’re really comfortable right now. I will tell you one thing about our holiday season that we’re in right now. We learned a lot from what we did last year and we’re really encouraged by the reusable red cup that we entered this year.

We’re doing marketing campaigns and every time we see the Starbucks name mentioned in media we get a pop in our performance. So we’re really pleased with what we’re seeing and we’re a little bit less concerned with the turndown that everyone’s talking about.

When you look at what Starbucks is doing particularly in China and in the US is that we’re still opening new stores. In China, there is still a lot of addressable market for us to participate in. You’ll see us be pretty bullish on the work that we’re doing with new stores and we’re adding delivery which is all incremental business. At this time there’s opportunity for us to continue to grow but we’re watching carefully some other things that are happening globally.

Beverage Innovation is Our Biggest Driver of Growth

The biggest driver of growth for us going forward will be our beverage innovation. You saw us earlier this year introduce a new espresso. You’ll see us bring more of our learnings from our roasteries in terms of what can happen with our beverage innovation. You’ll see us talk more about our Cold Platform, things like our Nitro Cold Brew, and then some of our other beverages that are really doing well for us right now.

The post Starbucks Delivery via Uber Eats Goes National After Seeing Higher Average Sales appeared first on WebProNews.

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Knowledge Graph Eats Featured Snippets, Jumps +30%

Posted by Dr-Pete

Over the past two years, we’ve seen a steady and substantial increase in Featured Snippets on Google SERPs. In our 10,000-keyword daily tracking set, Featured Snippets have gone from about 5.5% of queries in November 2015 to a recent high of just over 16% (roughly tripling). Other data sets, with longer tail searches, have shown even higher prevalence.

Near the end of October (far-right of the graph), we saw our first significant dip (spotted by Brian Patterson and Chris Long on SEL). This dip occurred over about a 4-day period, and represents roughly a 10% drop in searches with Featured Snippets. Here’s an enhanced, 2-week view (note: Y-axis is expanded to show the day-over-day changes more clearly):

Given the up-and-to-the-right history of Featured Snippets and the investments people have been making optimizing for these results, a 10% drop is worthy of our attention.

What happened, exactly?

To be honest, when we investigate changes like this, the best we can usually do is produce a list of keywords that lost Featured Snippets. Usually, we focus on high-volume keywords, which tend to be more interesting. Here’s a list of keywords that lost Featured Snippets during that time period:

  • CRM
  • ERP
  • MBA
  • buddhism
  • web design
  • anger management
  • hosting
  • DSL
  • ActiveX
  • ovulation

From an explanatory standpoint, this list isn’t usually very helpful – what exactly do “web design”, “buddhism”, and “ovulation” have in common (please, don’t answer that)? In this case, though, there was a clear and interesting pattern. Almost all of the queries that lost Featured Snippets gained Knowledge Panels that look something like this one:

These new panels account for the vast majority of the lost Featured Snippets I’ve spot-checked, and all of them are general Knowledge Panels coming directly from Wikipedia. In some cases, Google is using a more generic Knowledge Graph entry. For example, “HDMI cables”, which used to show a Featured Snippet (dominated by Amazon, last I checked), now shows no snippet and a generic panel for “HDMI”:

In very rare cases, a SERP added the new Knowledge Panel but retained the Featured Snippet, such as the top of this search for “credit score”:

These situations seemed to be the exceptions to the rule.

What about other SERPs?

The SERPs that lost Featured Snippets were only one part of this story. Over the same time period, we saw an explosion (about +30%) in Knowledge Panels:

This Y-axis has not been magnified – the jump in Knowledge Panels is clearly visible even at normal scale. Other tracking sites saw similar, dramatic increases, including this data from RankRanger. This jump appears to be a similar type of descriptive panel, ranging from commercial keywords, like “wedding dresses” and “Halloween costumes”…

…to brand keywords, like “Ray-Ban”…

Unlike definition boxes, many of these new panels appear on words and phrases that appear to be common knowledge and add little value. Here’s a panel on “job search”…

I suspect that most people searching for “job search” or “job hunting” don’t need it defined. Likewise, people searching for “travel” probably weren’t confused about what travel actually is…

Thanks for clearing that up, Google. I’ve decided to spare you all and leave out a screenshot for “toilet” (go ahead and Google it). Almost all of these new panels appear to be driven by Wikipedia (or Wikidata), and most of them are single-paragraph definitions of terms.

Were there other changes?

During the exact same period, we also noticed a drop in SERPs with inline image results. Here’s a graph of the same 2-week period reported for the other features:

This drop almost exactly mirrors the increase in Knowledge Panels. In cases where the new panels were added, those panels almost always contain a block of images at the top. This block seems to have replaced inline image results. It’s interesting to note that, because image blocks in the left-hand column consume an organic position, this change freed up an organic spot on the first page of results for those terms.

Why did Google do this?

It’s likely that Google is trying to standardize answers for common terms, and perhaps they were seeing quality or consistency issues in Featured Snippets. In some cases, like “HDMI cables”, Featured Snippets were often coming from top e-commerce sites, which are trying to sell products. These aren’t always a good fit for unbiased definitions. Its also likely that Google would like to beef up the Knowledge Graph and rely less, where possible, on outside sites for answers.

Unfortunately, this also means that the answers are coming from a much less diverse pool (and, from what we’ve seen, almost entirely from Wikipedia), and it reduces the organic opportunity for sites that were previously ranking for or trying to compete for Featured Snippets. In many cases, these new panels also seem to add very little. Someone searching for “ERP” might be helped by a brief definition, but someone searching for “travel” is unlikely looking to have it explained to them.

As always, there’s not much we can do but monitor the situation and adapt. Featured Snippets are still at historically high levels and represent a legitimate organic opportunity. There’s also win-win, since efforts invested in winning Featured Snippets tend to improve organic ranking and, done right, can produce a better user experience for both search and website visitors.

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Google Eats Their Organic Search Results

“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” – William Gibson

Any Google search engineer care to have a public debate as to the legitimacy of this search result set?

Not only do they monetize via AdWords, but Google has 6 listings in the “organic” search results.

If an SEO gets half of the search results (for anything other than his own brand) he is an overt spammer. If Google eats half of the search results with duplicating nepotism across their own house “brands” then it is legitimate.

Making the above even worse, smaller niche brands are regularly disappeared from Google’s index. Google has the ability to redirect search intent to one that is easier to monetize & more along a path they approve of. I was searching for a post John Andrews (webmaster of johnon.com) wrote about Google censorship & what did Google do? They used their power over the dictionary to change the words I searched for on the fly & then promoted their ebooks offering yet again.

Note that listings 1 & 2 promote the exact same book. Google just lists the content they scraped into multiple categories that deserve to be showcased multiple times.

As a publisher you are *required* to keep spending more money on deeper editorial to avoid being labeled as spam or tripping some arbitrary “algorithmic” threshold. And as you do so, Google is humping you from the backside to ensure your profit margins stay low, scraping whatever they can within the limits of the law & operating the types of websites that would be considered spam if anyone else ran them. Once regulatory pressures or public opinion catch on to Google’s parasitic behavior, they buy a brand & leverage its content to legitimize their (often) illegitimate enterprise. :)

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