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The introduction of web3 technology to the international coffeehouse’s rewards program could potentially drive mainstream blockchain and NFT adoption.
Starbucks has announced a new web3 rewards program aimed at attracting new customers. The program, which is set to be an extension of the current rewards program is expected to also retain current customers in their core retail stores. The announcement comes after the company’s CEO revealed that Starbucks would be “in the NFT business” by the end of the year.
During the company’s fiscal third-quarter earnings call, Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz announced that a new web3-enabled digital initiative would be unveiled at the company’s Investor Day on September 13. Without going into much detail, Schultz hinted that the initiative would include unique and exclusive customer experiences and branded digital collectables.
“This new digital Web 3-enabled initiative will allow us to build on the current Starbucks Rewards engagement model with its powerful spend-to-earn Stars approach while also introducing new methods of emotionally engaging customers, expanding our digital third place community and offering a broader set of rewards, including one-of-a-kind experiences that you can’t get anywhere else, integrating our digital Starbucks Rewards ecosystem with Starbucks-branded digital collectibles as both a reward and a community building element. This will create an entirely new set of digital network effects that will attract new customers and be accretive to existing customers in our core retail stores, Schultz said.”
Under the current Starbucks Rewards program, coffee-lovers can earn from one to three “Stars” for every dollar they spend. These stars can then be traded for real-life perks like free drinks. The introduction of web3 technology to the international coffeehouse’s rewards program could potentially drive mainstream blockchain and NFT adoption as people begin to see more practical ways the technology can be applied.
Schultz also observed that the updated rewards program could bring in a younger customer base.
“We don’t want to be in a business where our customer base is ageing and we have a less relevant situation with younger people,” he said, adding that the company has “never been, in our history, more relevant than we are today to Gen Z.”
It is reported that the company has sought out the services of its Mobile Order & Pay system as an advisor on the project. Order & Pay remains one of the company’s most successful tech ventures as mobile ordering and payments have seen a significant rise. According to the company’s fiscal Q3 data, mobile orders hit a record 47% high, with a year-over-year increase of 13%.