Starbucks, a well-known international coffee chain, has teamed up with blockchain service provider Polygon to create a brand-new non-fungible token (NFT) loyalty program that will debut later this year. This innovative Web3 experience, Starbucks Odyssey, combines the company’s popular Starbucks Rewards loyalty program with an NFT platform, enabling users to earn and buy digital assets that unlock premium experiences and rewards. Starbucks Odyssey aims to foster community among its most loyal customers by enabling them to earn a wider range of benefits.
According to a blog post by the company, Starbucks Odyssey is an extension of the current Starbucks Rewards model, where users earn “stars” that can be redeemed for perks like free beverages and Wi-Fi. Customers in the US can acquire digital collector stamps in NFT form that provide rewards and immersive experiences through the NFT loyalty program. Rewards could include virtual classes on making espresso martinis, invitations to special events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, and even vacations to the Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica.
Despite being housed on the Polygon blockchain, these NFTs will be purchased with a credit or debit card instead of a crypto wallet. Starbucks thinks that by decreasing the entry barrier, it will make it easier for customers to participate in the web3 experience. Additionally, it will give bundled pricing rather than adding extra costs to consumers’ transactions, such as “gas fees.”
Starbucks selected Polygon because of its ability to provide low-cost, high-speed transactions while running on top of the Ethereum network. By decreasing Polygon’s carbon footprint by 99.91% as a result of the Ethereum Merge, the scaling solution will be one step closer to achieving its goal of becoming carbon negative by the end of 2022.
Prior to the platform’s official debut later in 2022, Starbucks Odyssey’s waitlist started to take signups on Sept. 12.
Starbucks Rewards members can log in to the web app using their current reward program credentials in order to interact with the Starbucks Odyssey experience. Once in, users will be able to participate in a variety of activities, referred to by Starbucks as “journeys,” such as playing interactive games or completing tasks that will expand their understanding of the Starbucks brand or coffee in general. Members can accumulate digital collectibles in the form of NFTs as they accomplish these journeys. However, Starbucks Odyssey forgoes the technical jargon and refers to these NFT collections as “journey stamps.”
A selection of limited-edition-stamps NFTs will also be sold on the Starbucks Odyessy web app, which is compatible with mobile devices. Each journey stamp will have a point value depending on how rare it is, and the stamps may be purchased or transferred between users in the marketplace with ownership verified on a blockchain. As stamps are collected, members’ points will increase, giving them access to one-of-a-kind benefits and experiences.
Every stamp will include famous Starbucks artwork co-created with Starbucks partners as well as independent artists, allowing members and partners access to these prized assets for the first time. Additionally, a percentage of the profit generated through the sale of limited-edition stamps will be given to organizations important to Starbucks Rewards members and partners.
Since April, Starbucks has been exploring NFT collaborations in an effort to promote a novel convergence of blockchain and customer engagement. Watching how the Starbucks Odyssey performs by tapping into Starbucks’ coffee experience with the Web3 ecosystem will be fascinating.