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Starbucks scores bingo with a game-take on mobile rewards

Starbucks is gamifying its already powerful mobile rewards program by making it more fun for users to earn rewards and spend more, in another strategy that keeps the chain a top leader in mobile commerce and leans on social advertising.

The coffee giant is continuing to innovate in the mobile space with a Bingo board that encourages spending to win, which is it advertising on Facebook and other sponsored social posts. Users can opt in with their Starbucks account and possibly fill a space on their boards with each purchase.

Mobile prowess
Starbucks’ bingo board is joining fans and rewards members together in an attempt to earn a boatload of new stars, the name of Starbucks’ rewards points. The campaign is likely to bring some newcomers on board as well.

Sponsored posts on social media are advertising the new game that consumers can click onto to start playing and earning more rewards. After logging into their account or registering on, Starbucks walks users through how to play.

Customers that make sure to use their mobile rewards accounts to pay for purchases at Starbucks will have the chance to fill out various spaces on their bingo boards. Once members connect the dots on a full row, column or diagonal line, they will win more bonus stars.

For players that fill up the entire board, Starbucks will reward them with 300 stars.

Each space on the board has a short fun description such as “Fri-Yay,” “Coffee Ranger,” “Jump the Line,” and “Coffee with Friends.” Once a user clicks on a space, an in-depth description will pop up.

For instance, “Fri-Yay,” means any purchase after 12pm on a Friday will fill that spot, and “Coffee with Friends” means any purchase of $12 or more in a single order. The middle space, named “All Day,” is essentially the free space, meaning any purchase at anytime will fill it.

Purchases can also cross off multiple spots on a bingo board. For instance, if a player purchases an order of $12 or more on a Friday afternoon, his or her board will cross off spots “Fri-Yay,” “Coffee with Friends’ and “All Day.”

Starbucks strategy
The bingo game comes on the heels of Starbucks seeing a sizable jump in mobile transactions in the first quarter of this financial year, with mobile orders jumping from three percent to seven percent of all transactions.

The news came amid general optimism for the brand’s mobile efforts. In addition to the figures relating to mobile orders and mobile payment, Starbucks is also introducing a chatbot ordering system as well (see more).

A recent update to Starbucks’ uber-popular application was one of the most significant ones in recent memory, including the long-awaited rollout of My Starbucks barista and a serious user experience revamp.

The update’s bevy of new features, including a leaner order navigation process, a “previous orders” tab, along with a “recommendations” offering mirror advances familiar to those who create and consume apps in the retail sector such as Amazon. Starbucks’ attention to cues from retail and other large-scale ecommerce may indicate that even the most straightforward bricks-and-mortar presences may need to adopt frictionless app experiences to compete (see more).