In response to the growing emphasis on loyalty rewards programs and a large uptick in its own program, Starbucks has boosted the incentives available to customers through its partnership with TD Canada.
The partnership was first announced in 2020 as a first-of-its-kind collaboration within the QSR category in Canada, integrating Starbucks’ loyalty rewards program with TD’s. That integration offers customer rewards across multiple platforms through purchases made in the Starbucks app, as well as transfer value across brands by exchanging loyalty points for Stars.
As of March 1, 2022, Starbucks Canada will now allow customers who link their Starbucks Rewards account to an eligible TD debit or credit card to earn more Stars and TD Rewards or Aeroplan points per purchase.
Customers can now earn 50 per cent more Stars on purchases or card re-loads made through the Starbucks app and TD Rewards or TD Aeroplan cardholders can also earn 50 per cent more TD points or Aeroplan points on purchases through the Starbucks app.
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In addition, TD Rewards cardholders can convert TD points to Stars in real-time to use toward free food or beverages at Starbucks in what the coffee giant calls “an industry first in Canada”.
A Starbucks release notes that consumer habits have shifted dramatically since the beginning of COVID-19. A recent report revealed that 47 per cent of consumers believe reward incentives are more important now than pre-pandemic.
Starbucks has certainly seen that rising demand, as its own Starbucks Rewards program has grown by more than half a million active users since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.
The Seattle coffeehouse is far from the only market leader to focus on loyalty in the pandemic age. Other QSR giants such as McDonald’s have done extensive work to overhaul their loyalty rewards program to capture and retain custom.
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Starbucks is also looking to the future.
The brand says it “intends to be at the forefront” of digital transformation over the next few years and that it is exploring how to tokenize Starbucks Stars using Blockchain and other innovative technologies, creating the ability for other merchants to connect their loyalty programs to Starbucks Rewards.