Starbucks Launches Blockchain-Based ‘Odyssey’ Loyalty Program in Beta Testing Phase

Starbucks Launches Blockchain-Based ‘Odyssey’ Loyalty Program in Beta Testing Phase

Starbucks has released its Web3 loyalty rewards program in beta phase for limited members. The service provided as an extension to the Starbucks Rewards program on the mobile app will offer members several extra perks like NFTs and a trip to the Starbucks coffee farm in Costa Rica. 

The popular American coffee chain is launching its highly anticipated blockchain-based NFT loyalty program, ‘Starbucks Odyssey’, in a beta testing phase. Odyssey, which was developed in collaboration with Web3 loyalty startup ‘Forum3’, is an extension to the brand’s existing ‘Starbucks Rewards’ customer loyalty program. 

According to an announcement made by the company, Odyssey was opened to a small group of waitlist clients who had signed-up to test the new feature, including employees and customers. The initiative, first announced by the coffee giant in September, was envisioned as a way to offer its most loyal customers with an even wider range of benefits and experiences than just the rewards points they earn today, which are mostly redeemed for free drinks.

“Starbucks Odyssey is an experience, surrounded by a digital community, where members can come together, interact, and share their love of coffee. Starbucks is using meaningful elements of Web3 technology to reward members in innovative ways,” read the company statement. 

Odyssey is a completely different platform within the Starbucks Rewards app where customers can engage in interactive experiences called “Journeys”, which are activities designed by the brand to teach customers more about its history and most importantly about the element that brings them all together – coffee. The activities include, watching videos, taking quizzes, solving puzzles, and even going to Starbucks outlets to try out the brand’s latest drinks. When customers complete each of the challenges, they earn reward tokens that are added to their Odyssey wallets. 

Once a member accumulates 500 points, they will be rewarded with ‘Stamps’ – coffee-themed NFTs deployed on the Polygon blockchain. Stamps give members access to three tiers of benefits depending on the amount of points they accumulate, such as, access to online classes that teach customers how to make an espresso; being rewarded with unique Starbucks merchandises designed by curated artists; and real-world experiences like access to events hosted at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries – the brand’s premium outlets, or even a trip to the company’s coffee farm in Costa Rica. 

Unlike the ‘Star’ reward points that can be redeemed for benefits at any time, points earned on Odyssey are accumulated over the course of a year, after which they are reset. However, the NFTs will still remain in the members’ accounts which can later be printed on their Starbucks Cards or merchandise they purchase from stores. The NFTs will be rated by a point value system based on their unique rarities, which gives them value. 

The first Journey ‘NFT’ Stamps will include designs inspired by the company’s history, like its first outlet in Pike Place Market in Seattle. Starbucks has partnered with NFT company Nifty Gateway, to develop a marketplace on Odyssey where customers can buy and sell ‘Stamps’. The marketplace will be launched in 2023. The company is also making it easy for customers to purchase the NFTs, as they will not necessarily require crypto wallets and instead can buy the items using credit cards.  

Starbucks has already begun sending out invitations to a small group of members on the Odyssey waiting list. In the coming months, the coffee-chain will continue to send out monthly invites to more clients on the waiting list, onboarding more users until the full version of the service is ready to be launched next year. 

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