Part 2: Analysing the Starbucks Odyssey Loyalty Program: a seamless transition from Web2 to Web3

If you haven’t already, please read Part 1 of this series here.


… and from Web2 to Web3.

One key difference between the two programs is the focus on Web2 versus Web3 technology. The original Starbucks Rewards program was a traditional loyalty program that operated within the framework of Web2 technologies, such as mobile apps and traditional rewards systems. Starbucks Odyssey, on the other hand, is a Web3 program that utilizes blockchain technology and NFTs, which are considered to be part of the next generation of digital technologies. This shift from Web2 to Web3 allows Starbucks Odyssey to offer a more immersive and interactive experience for customers, and to build a brand relationship with customers in new and innovative ways.

In an attempt to increase customer loyalty, engagement, and retention, Starbucks is providing a more diverse set of rewards and experiences that go beyond the traditional perks of a loyalty program such as free drinks. The interactive nature of the Odyssey’s Journeys encourages customers to engage with the Starbucks brand and to learn more about coffee, which can increase their loyalty and appreciation for the company. The collectible Journey Stamps also add a layer of excitement and exclusivity to the loyalty program, especially when we consider the secondary marketplace originating from this program. This marketplace allows customers to trade and collect unique NFTs, adding an element of collectibility and scarcity.

Overall, Starbucks Odyssey represents a significant evolution of the traditional loyalty program model, leveraging Web3 technologies to create a more immersive, interactive, and rewarding experience for its customers. By providing a wider range of benefits and experiences, Starbucks Odyssey is likely to increase customer loyalty, engagement, and retention, and ultimately strengthen the brand’s relationship with its customers.


Aligning Blockchain with Starbucks’ Sustainability and CSR Strategies

Starbucks has a sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy that focuses on environmental, social, and economic sustainability. The company has set a number of ambitious goals related to sustainability, including reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, increasing its use of renewable energy, and sourcing all of its coffee, tea, and cocoa in a responsible and sustainable manner. Starbucks also has a number of initiatives related to social responsibility, including supporting small farmers, providing education and training to its employees, and promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The company has also made a commitment to using its platform and resources to drive positive change in the communities in which it operates, including through initiatives related to sustainability and social impact.

Even though Blockchain technology is not inherently unsustainable, the way that some blockchain networks are designed and operated can be resource-intensive and have a significant environmental impact. This is because many blockchain networks, particularly those that use proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithms, require a large number of computers to work together to process and validate transactions. These computers, called “nodes,” use a significant amount of electricity to perform their work, which can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Efforts are being made to make blockchain more sustainable, including the use of renewable energy sources, carbon offsetting, and the implementation of protocols to optimize the use of resources within the network.

Starbucks chose to use Polygon, a blockchain scaling solution that sits on top of the Ethereum network, for its Odyssey program because it offers a number of benefits over using the Ethereum main network directly.


Polygon is a blockchain platform that enables blockchain networks to connect and scale. It aims to create a multi-chain blockchain ecosystem compatible with Ethereum.


One of the main advantages of using Polygon is its proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which allows the network to process transactions faster and at a lower cost than Ethereum’s proof-of-work mechanism. This means that applications running on Polygon, such as Starbucks Odyssey, can avoid some of the high costs and low transaction speeds caused by congestion on the Ethereum main network. In addition, Polygon is committed to becoming carbon negative by the end of 2022, making it one of the greenest blockchains in existence. This aligns with Starbucks’ commitment to sustainability and may have been a factor in its decision to use Polygon for the Odyssey program.

Finally, Polygon has a thriving ecosystem and is home to some of the most important Web3 projects, including DeFi protocols like Aave and Uniswap, as well as NFT marketplaces like OpenSea. This may have made it an attractive choice for Starbucks as it looks to build a digital community and marketplace around its Odyssey program.


Starbucks has been successful in creating a sense of loyalty and engagement among customers with their traditional Rewards program, but is now taking it to the next level by introducing the Odyssey program, which utilizes blockchain technology and NFTs. The Odyssey program offers a more immersive and interactive experience for customers, and allows Starbucks to build a brand relationship with customers in new and innovative ways. The shift from Web2 to Web3 technologies allows Starbucks Odyssey to provide a wider range of benefits and experiences, which is likely to increase customer loyalty, engagement, and retention, ultimately strengthening the brand’s relationship with its customers.

Businessplug is constantly looking for interesting use-cases for Web3 technologies. Our analysis of the Starbucks Odyssey program is a reflection of our efforts to be up-to-date on the retail and loyalty industries in order to offer our clients the most relevant insights.




Simão Policarpo Nogueira
Simão is a Designer turned Developer turned Manager with 7+ years of experience building digital products for Startups. Experienced UI/UX designer, frontend and backend software developer and product manager. Simão is an award-winning Startup Acceleration Researcher and an Entrepreneurship and Innovation enthusiast. He holds a BSc in Design and Multimedia (University of Coimbra) and a MSc in Business (Portuguese Catholic University).

Businessplug is delivering Next Generation Web3 Business Transformation Services to Corporate Organizations.

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