Starbucks Redesigns Rewards Program, Launches New App

Starbucks launched a slick new mobile app to go along with the launch of their new rewards program. The rewards program now awards stars based on dollars spent in stores, rather than frequency of purchase that the old system was based on.

Over 17 million people use the Starbucks app, and the app itself is often held up as an example of a well-designed loyalty program.

A redesign of this program is an auspicious move from a company that dominates much of the conversation when it comes to successful mobile loyalty programs. Mobile payments accounted for about 20% of all Starbucks in-store transactions across the U.S.

Users can also redeem rewards and offers through the coffee giant’s Order and Pay platform, a feature that was not available until now.

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The new app is part of an effort to create a more personalized experience for customers, with features that highlight what’s playing in stores to relevant offers. Plus, it features an interactive star display where users can move stars around the screen.

However, the revamped rewards are drawing some criticism from frequent users, given how much harder it is to get free rewards and advance to different tiers after the changes. The number of tiers has also been reduced from three to two: green and gold.

Customers are now able to earn stars outside of Starbucks through Spotify, Lyft and JP Morgan Chase, which backs the Starbucks Rewards prepaid card.

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