Starbucks introduces new, Web3 loyalty program

Coffee chain Starbucks has unveiled a new Web3-based loyalty program that will allow users to collect NFTs to buy exclusive products and take part in virtual and real-life events.

The new program, Starbucks Odyssey, will be an extension of the coffee chain’s existing Rewards program, the coffee chain said on September 12. The platform is powered by Polygon technology.

Customers and employees can log into Starbucks Odyssey using their Rewards login credentials and complete a series of activities such as games and fun challenges to obtain “journey stamp” NFTs. 

The Starbucks Odyssey web app will include a marketplace where members can buy limited edition stamp NFTs using a credit card. No crypto wallet or cryptocurrency will be required, making it easier for customers without Web3 experience to take part in the new program.

Each digital collectable stamp will include a point value based on its rarity, and the stamps can be bought or sold among members within the marketplace, Starbucks said. 

As stamps are collected, members’ points will increase, unlocking access to unique benefits and experiences that have never been offered before. These experiences could range from a virtual espresso martini-making class, to access to unique merchandise and artist collaborations, to invitations to exclusive events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries or even trips to Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica, the coffee chain said.

Brady Brewer, Starbucks executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said its vision was to create a place where its digital community can come together over coffee, engage in immersive experiences, and celebrate the heritage and future of Starbucks.

Starbucks had announced its NFT plans as part of its new strategy during a forum with its employees in April, noting that NFTs will not just be a digital collectible, but will also offer exclusive content and benefits to their owners. The company also explained that the NFTs would give customers a new tool to interact with its shops, and announced its intention to launch its own digital assets by the end of this year.