Cape Town-based SWARM Loyalty, a specialist developer of mobile loyalty and customer marketing applications, has helped Starbucks South Africa deliver its much-anticipated loyalty programme, Starbucks Rewards.
SWARM was tasked with integrating the three key components of the Starbucks Rewards system: the point of sale (POS) system, the Starbucks website and the Starbucks Mobile App. The integration delivers a consistent experience for Starbucks customers, with the same information, promotions and personalised offers presented online, on the phone and at the till.
Innovation and strategy manager at Taste Holdings, the licensee of Starbucks South Africa, Roland Ellingworth, says SWARM played a crucial role in getting the different parts of the system to integrate seamlessly with each other, thus delivering the rich experience customers expect when they connect with Starbucks.
Our Starbucks Rewards platform has different touch points, the most obvious being our website and the newly-developed smartphone app. Both of these customer-facing interfaces need to be in sync with our backend point of sale system, so whenever a customer makes a purchase in-store or retrieves and makes use of a Reward, the action is immediately updated and reflected across our system. – says Ellingworth.
The integration goes even deeper in that it gives us a real-time view of purchases and buying habits for all our customers across our network, allowing us to personalise their experience further and tailor it to their preferences,” he says.
It’s all part of the extra value we aim to give our customers every time they enjoy the Starbucks experience.
Starbucks Rewards consists of two levels, Green and Gold, each offering value-added benefits to customers. Customers start on the Green level and earn one star for every R2 spent; when customers have earned 250 stars, they unlock rewards such as free handcrafted beverages and food.
Members also enjoy exclusive offers such as early access to seasonal beverages. To get to the Gold level, customers need to earn 750 stars when they can obtain even more benefits, like free birthday coffee, free refills on freshly brewed coffee and tea, as well as invitations to member-only events. Customers can join the programme by registering directly on the app or through a Starbucks card available from stores.
Starbucks Rewards is a great example of a modern rewards system delivered exclusively on a digital platform, with numerous benefits for both Starbucks and its customers. – SWARM director Rowan Vlaming.
“Our experience in integrating front- and back-end payment and CRM systems, and developing POS-integrated mobile smartphone loyalty platforms for some of SA’s leading hospitality and retail brands, helped us develop a fluid and flexible system for Starbucks.”
SWARM’s solution has been successfully used by other local brands, including Kauai, TWISP, Bootlegger, Wakaberry and Carlton Hair, to replace paper and card-based loyalty systems with a full consumer engagement mobile app solution, complete with backend POS integration, giving customers a powerful tool that complements and extends their loyalty and rewards campaigns.
Starbucks Rewards was officially launched in February this year, and is available now online, as a smartphone application for iOS and Android, and from Starbucks outlets countrywide.