What Starbucks’ investment in NFTs tells us about the future of loyalty

Starbucks’ loyalty programme is a hugely successful part of the company, accounting for more than half of all sales. The program’s connection to the virtual world, as well as the blockchain technology that underpins NFTs, could pave the way for future programmes.

NFTs may make sense for loyalty programmes because they provide another avenue for interaction with customers. With the depreciation of cookies, access to first-party data [in other ways] will be critical.

Taco Bell and Domino’s are reportedly considering ways to integrate NFTs into their loyalty programmes, but so far, the brands’ NFT promotions have focused on raising funds for their charitable arms.

Heavy focus on NFTs could benefit business for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is the opportunity to market to younger consumers who have yet to join Starbucks’ rewards programme. If the strategy is successful, other marketers seeking to engage Generation Z may follow suit.

As data privacy and access become more of a concern, NFTs provide a way for consumers to receive something of value in exchange for the information they share with brands. An NFT linked to loyalty rewards provides a tangible value exchange, making the transaction feel worthwhile for both parties.

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