Starbucks to unveil its web3-based rewards program next month

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Starbucks will unveil its web3 initiative, which includes coffee-themed NFTs, at its Investor Day event next month. Company at the beginning of this year announced its plans to enter the web3 spacenoting that its NFTs will not just be digital collectibles, but will grant their owners access to exclusive content and other perks.

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At the time, Starbucks did not give details on what its debut NFT suite would look like, what specific features they would provide, or even what blockchain it would be built on. It stated that the plan would likely be multi-chain or circuit-independent, alluding to plans that had yet to be completed.

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Overall, the coffee retailer has maintained a fairly high level of online news, simply explaining that it believes digital collectibles can create a growing business tailored to its stores and that more will be revealed in 2022.

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While some companies have jumped on the NFT bandwagon without much thought about how their investments will align with their larger business goals, Starbucks appears to be trying a different approach. He sees collectibles as an extension of customer loyalty. In fact, the company even brought in Adam Brotman, the architect of its Mobile Order & Pay system and Starbucks app, as a special advisor on the project.

Mobile Order & Pay has been one of Starbucks’ biggest successes in terms of technical innovation. The company was one of the first to introduce the concept of a digital wallet, even before Apple Pay became ubiquitous. Last quarter—Starbucks’ fiscal third quarter—mobile ordering, shipping, and delivery combined accounted for 72% of Starbucks’ US revenue. In addition, mobile order sales rose to an all-time high of 47%, up 13% year-over-year, following changes in consumer behavior caused by Covid, the company said.

founder of Starbucks and interim CEO Howard Schultz, who returned to the company in April, teased its upcoming web3 initiative during an earnings call with investors this week.

“We are working on a very exciting new digital initiative that builds on our existing industry-leading digital platform in innovative new ways focused on coffee and, most importantly, loyalty, which we will highlight at Investor Day,” Schultz said.

The company had previously announced his plans host Investor Day 2022 in Seattle on September 13, 2022.

Schultz continued, “We believe this new web3-enabled digital initiative will allow us to build on the current Starbucks Rewards engagement model with its powerful “spend to earn stars” approach, as well as innovate new ways to engage customers emotionally, expanding our digital third party community. places, and offering a wider range of rewards, including unique experiences you can’t get anywhere else, by integrating our Starbucks Rewards digital ecosystem with Starbucks-branded digital collectibles both as a reward and as part of community building.

“This will create a whole new set of digital network effects that will attract new customers and drive growth for existing customers across our core retail stores,” he added.

Although the details have yet to be fleshed out, the approach here sounds potentially interesting. The company has not previously specified that the NFTs will be directly related to Starbucks Rewards.

Clients are currently earning stars with in-app or Starbucks store purchases which can then turn into material rewards such as free drinks. It looks like new NFTs will now somehow be included in this loyalty program. If customers “earn” collectibles through everyday purchases, perhaps this could attract more people to the web3 ecosystem. This is one of the challenges facing the space today, where buying digital art and collectibles often comes with high costs and significant fees. What’s more, the digital program could give customers a reason to care about NFTs if the rewards and “one-of-a-kind” experiences end up being something really worth earning. (Of course, this remains to be seen.)

However, there are some indications that consumers are interested in easier ways to enter the web3 space. For example, the Sweatcoin crypto rewards app has become a real hit due to the fact that it rewards “Sweatcoins” users for every 1,000 steps they complete. Last quarter, the app ranked 4th in total downloads and 6th in monthly active users. in’s “Top Breakthrough Apps” list — that is, those that had the largest absolute increase in downloads for the quarter. There is also now a good handful of games offering “play to earn” models, the purpose of which is to connect such an exciting activity as games with cryptocurrencies or NFTs. They met with mixed success as some gamers oppose the idea.

During the call, Schultz also stressed the importance of serving younger consumers. While his comments were more of a reflection of Gen Z demand for Starbucks cold drinks and iced espresso, which boosted sales in the quarter, a web3-based loyalty program could serve as another way to attract younger consumers to the brand.

“We don’t want to be in a business where our customer base is aging and we have a less current situation with younger people,” Schultz said, before touting that the company “has never been more relevant in our history than we are.” Today they belong to Generation Z.

“For me, this cohort is so strong, and the level of affection that we have with them and loyalty is only growing,” he added.

Starbucks reported high earnings for the quarter, beating Wall Street’s expectations despite economic woes. The company reported revenue of $8.15 billion versus an expected $8.11, and adjusted earnings per share of 84 cents versus an expected 75 cents.

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