Members of the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program will soon be able to earn and buy digital stamps to collect, then buy and sell them in a marketplace with other members of the program. This new feature was announced Monday morning.

This is the coffee giant’s long-awaited move into the field known as Web3. It is called Starbucks Odyssey. The stamps will not be exchangeable. The company’s digital marketplace will use blockchain technology to verify each token and keep track of who owns it as it changes hands.

Starbucks says that the Odyssey stamps will give you access to benefits and experiences. The value of each stamp’s points will depend on how rare it is. The company gave examples like getting access to limited-edition items, being invited to a virtual class on how to make an espresso martini, or going to the Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia farm in Costa Rica.

Since Starbucks joined the NFT craze more than a year after it was at its peak, it might be easy to think of them as late to the party. But Brady Brewer, Starbucks’ chief marketing officer, says that the company thinks it will do better if it is “strategically patient” and thinks about how it does things.

“As many brands just jumped right in, we saw a longer-term potential for this technology rather than a one-off,” Brewer said in an interview in advance of the Odyssey announcement. “We were thinking, how can it augment not just our customer experience but our core business, rather than something that would be on the side.”

Members of Starbucks Rewards won’t need to know anything about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or blockchain, own a cryptocurrency wallet, or trade in cryptocurrency in order to take part in the program. They can earn stamps by playing interactive games or doing other tasks. They will also be able to use their credit cards to buy stamps.

It’s part of the company’s larger plan to bring the idea of the “Third Place,” a place other than home and work, into the digital world. Starbucks thinks that it will be the only big brand to use Web3 technologies on a large scale as an addition to its loyalty rewards program.

“In a lot of ways, I think this will usher in a next-generation loyalty model for brands,” Brewer said. “We’re really trying to push the edges of what’s possible here and connect it to our core experience in our core business.”

The company has a history of introducing new technologies, like Mobile Order & Pay, that make new ways of doing things popular and end up being copied by other retailers in different industries.

In May, Starbucks made its first hints about the NFT plan. Starbucks Odyssey will be officially announced by the company, and Starbucks Rewards members will be able to sign up on Monday to be among the first to get access later this year.

The company says that its employees will be given priority on the waitlist. This will give them a chance to help build the community and be a part of it.

It comes at a tough time for the company’s relationship with its workers, as some Starbucks baristas are trying to join a union. While employees who host online learning sessions, for example, would be on the clock, participation in the Odyssey community would be “more for fun and engagement,” Brewer said

Starbucks says that both employees and outside artists will make “iconic Starbucks art” for the stamps. Before the announcement on Monday morning, the company did not give any examples.

Via NFTnewsPro.com

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