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Starbucks Ends Metaverse Program

Starbucks is discontinuing its metaverse program, which provides customers with a virtual experience and rewards them with NFTs, at the end of this month.

As an enhancement to its current loyalty program, Starbucks’ Metaverse initiative enabled customers to earn rewards by completing “Journeys” within the metaverse. However, Starbucks is ending its foray into the metaverse in order to explore new digital frontiers.

Starbucks pulls out of the Metaverse

Launched in 2022, Starbucks Odyssey was a program enabling customers to earn rewards in both the virtual and real world by completing specific tasks. Through these activities, customers could collect, trade, and gain additional benefits from the NFTs they acquired. The program featured artwork created by Starbucks employees and other artists. After the program’s conclusion, Starbucks intends to explore new ways to engage with its customers, particularly those enrolled in its Rewards (loyalty program).

The decision to close the program is part of Starbucks’ preparation for future developments as it continues to refine its engagement strategies. Starbucks was among several brands venturing into the metaverse, including restaurant chains like Wendy’s and Chipotle, which established their digital presence there. Wendy’s introduced a virtual restaurant and mini-games, whereas Chipotle offered free burrito promotions on Roblox. Starbucks’ withdrawal from the metaverse is likely to influence the digital initiatives of other brands and the future of loyalty programs within the metaverse.

Starbucks’ decision to close its metaverse program underscores the challenges brands encounter in the digital universe and suggests that loyalty programs based in the real world may prove more effective. This development serves as a significant indicator of the role the metaverse will play in the business world and how other brands might establish their presence in the digital universe.

What impact do you think Starbucks’ action will have on the digital strategies of other companies? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below.

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