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Unleashing the Power of Gift Cards: A Blueprint for Business Success


In the fast-paced world of retail and coffee culture, Starbucks has not only brewed a perfect cup of coffee but has also stirred up a revolutionary approach to customer engagement and revenue generation through the artful use of gift cards.

The Starbucks Gift Card Phenomenon

Starbucks has become more than just a coffee shop; it's a financial powerhouse that sells coffee. The staggering $1 billion sitting on unused Starbucks gift cards is a testament to the success of their strategy.

With over 120 million people actively using these cards, Starbucks has created a loyal customer base and turned their gift cards into a form of currency.

1. The Starbucks Card as a Digital Wallet

Starbucks has ingeniously transformed its gift cards into closed digital wallets. These wallets hold approximately $1.5 billion in preloaded funds, surpassing the assets of 85% of banks in the USA. The closed nature of these wallets ensures that the money remains within the Starbucks ecosystem, providing the company with a substantial interest-free loan from its customers.

2. Strategic Use of Breakage

One of the key advantages of gift cards lies in breakage — the portion of funds that go unredeemed. Starbucks has capitalized on this phenomenon, recording breakage income of $164.5 million in 2020 alone.

By offering gift cards with no expiration date, Starbucks ensures that a percentage of funds remains unclaimed, effectively translating into free revenue.


3. Building Customer Loyalty through Digital Wallet Features

Starbucks' success is deeply rooted in its ability to create a seamless and rewarding customer experience. The digital wallet features, such as paying with points, targeted deals, and integrated payments, have played a pivotal role.

Customers are incentivized to earn and redeem points, making frequent purchases and building a habit of consuming Starbucks products.

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How Your Business Can Replicate Starbucks' Success

Now that we've dissected the Starbucks strategy, it's time to explore how your business can leverage gift cards to emulate their success.

1. Create a Digital Wallet Experience

Transform your gift cards into digital wallets that offer a frictionless checkout experience. Encourage customers to preload funds, making it convenient for them to make purchases within your ecosystem.

2. Incentivize with Points and Personalized Offers

Implement a loyalty program that rewards customers for using gift cards. Offer points for digital wallet purchases and leverage customer data to provide personalized deals and offers, creating a habit of repeated purchases.

3. Utilize Breakage to Your Advantage

Like Starbucks, offer gift cards with no expiration date and capitalize on breakage. Unclaimed funds can contribute to your revenue, acting as a financial benefit for your business.

4. Promote Gift Cards as a Revolutionary Gifting Idea

Encourage your customers to embrace gift cards as a go-to gifting option. Highlight the convenience and versatility of your gift cards for various occasions, just as Starbucks has done.

5. Leverage Ordering.co's Gift Card Feature

For businesses looking to take their gift card strategy to the next level, explore the innovative features offered by Ordering.co's Gift Card addon here. This powerful tool can seamlessly integrate with your ordering system, enhancing the overall customer experience and maximizing the potential of your gift card program.

6. Adapt to the Digital Age

Incorporate modern features like digital gifting and integrations with popular communication platforms to make the process of sending and receiving gift cards seamless.

Starbucks chose Ordering for the online ordering business- Why (1)

Conclusion: Become the Next Starbucks

Starbucks has set the bar high with its innovative use of gift cards, turning them into a financial powerhouse. By adopting similar strategies, your business can not only enhance customer loyalty but also unlock new revenue streams.

Embrace the power of gift cards, create a seamless digital wallet experience, and position your business to become the next success story, just like Starbucks. Gift cards aren't just pieces of plastic; they're the keys to unlocking a world of business potential.


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