Starbucks Adds eGift Feature To iPhone, iPod App To Increase Mobile Loyalty and Purchases

Following the success of the My Starbucks and Starbucks Card Mobile Application, Seattle-based Starbucks has furthered its mobile capabilities by adding a gift card option to the Starbucks for iPhone application. The app currently is available for free in the App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch.

The new eGift feature provides the ability for customers to send a Starbucks gift card to a friend or family member via a mobile device, allowing recipients to utilize all mobile Starbucks Card features, employ mobile payment for future purchases, and track My Starbucks Rewards.

Starbucks’ release of its newest app coincides with the growth of the mobile application trend and the projected increase in eGift Card purchases. App downloads are expected to soar from $10.7 million in 2010 to an estimated $182.7 billion in 2015, according to the Worldwide and U.S. Mobile Applications, Storefronts, Developer, and In-App Advertising 2011-2015 Forecast: Emergence of Postdownload Business Models, released by International Data Corporation (IDC).


Digital gifting and incentives provider CashStar determined that during the 2011 Mother’s Day holiday period, eGift Card sales were up 453% year-over-year, and the number of individual cards sold on the actual holiday increased 434%, according to aggregated data of purchases across the platform. Starbucks, The Home Depot, Gap, CVS and The Container Store are all clients of CashStar.

New App Offers Multiple Features

Coinciding with current Starbucks mobile programs, the new app is designed to let consumers check balances and reload their Starbucks card with Paypal or credit card, search store locations, view nutritional information for food and beverages, and access the company’s Drink Builder, which creates a virtual beverage before the customer makes a purchase decision. With the eGift card app, customers also gain access to the Starbucks Quick Response (QR) code reader to view and redeem current promotions.

Customers purchase a $5-$100 eGift card and send it to any contact or Facebook friend along with a customized message. The card is redeemable online or at any participating company owned and licensed Starbucks location nationwide.

Previously only available on the Starbucks web site, the mobile gift card is expected to increase customer satisfaction and adoption of the retailer’s applications. “Finding new ways to connect with our customers and elevate the experience in and out of our stores drives our continued growth in the mobile space,” said Adam Brotman, VP and GM of Digital Ventures at Starbucks, in a press release. “We’re inspired by our customers and their feedback on which led us to develop the new Starbucks for iPhone App. ”

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