Starbucks Expands Special Offers Via iOS App

Coffee king's digital rewards hint at next-gen shopping.

Starbucks' Pick Of The Week promotional service is now expanding so that the coffee retailer can offer its clients digital content--such as an app, or a free music track--via its own iOS app over the store's wireless link.

Since its 2008 launch Pick of The Week was based on printed cards which linked to content that Starbucks had arranged a deal for. It's an expansion of the store's loyalty scheme, enticing customers into the store with a far more 21st Century incentive than merely the usual "one free cup of coffee for every ten purchased" idea.

But while the new move seems simple, it's actually significant. What Starbucks can now do is rely on its iOS app as a loyalty system all of its own--providing the store with analytics and letting it foster a more meaningful loyalty relationship with its customers who now get more hassle-free access to free apps, books, music and so on. The app is also a brand projection vehicle for the store because it's always there on the user's phone, reminding them to pop in for a coffee and a free content download. Starbucks has been proactive in pushing toward the mobile device future of retail, even if it's not rolled out all such efforts internationally and its baristas don't necessarily know how to process payments using Square.

[Image: Flickr user ljrmike]

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