But take this full digital picture into consideration: Right now, Starbucks has close to 30 million U.S. customers connected digitally between its Rewards program and its digitally registered base.
While Starbucks continues to drive customer data into the equation from multiple angles, it's conducting back-end work to improve the loyalty platform. This way, the company said, those guests who are already engaged will keep coming back. And those who funnel in from the digitally registered arena will have a compelling reason to do so.
This spring, Johnson said, Starbucks will enhance its Rewards program to enable loyalty customers to earn and redeem more quickly, and to redeem those rewards across a broader range of items in-store. “We have leveraged learnings and customer insight from prior changes to the Rewards program to inform our work ahead of this launch,” Johnson said. “This includes a robust marketing activation plan to drive not only awareness of the changes but overall awareness of the program and key customer benefits.”
“As we have shared in the past, lack of awareness has historically been one of the limiting factors to customer adoption, and we have a significant opportunity to amplify a powerful message around loyalty,” he added.
Coming in Q2, Starbucks’ will launch a multi-tier redemption program. This will allow Starbucks to provide additional access to customers, Brewer said. It also offers benefits broadly to the non-Rewards members.
Brewer said it would still be a transaction-to-spend based program, just with a larger range of opportunity. Some benefits will include: Customers being able to redeem from the start—no more levels to hurdle such as instant goals. There will be options to redeem faster. Engagement will benefit from lower thresholds for items and add-ons, Brewer said.
“Choice and flexibility are really at the heart of this program,” Brewer said. “And we really believe that it’ll increase the overall appeal of the program to these individuals that we’ve not been able to attract straight into the Starbucks Rewards program.”
Brewer said Starbucks continues to grow its business at peak in the morning, which is also where the chain sees its strongest Rewards customers. Also, Starbucks is seeing spend-per-member increase on Rewards transactions—a trend that has defined the program since day one.
On a side note, the delivery rollout that’s headed to 2,000 stores by spring? Starbucks is working to make it so guests can access Starbucks Delivers through the Rewards app.
Additionally, with those digitally registered customers, Starbucks has been able to learn plenty that can help it drive sales, Brewer said. For instance, by watching their spend levels, Brewer said, Starbucks noticed that non-Rewards members tend to shop more in the afternoon. It’s helped the chain tailor beverage innovation and make sure it’s meeting the targeted customers right where they want to be.