Creating an opportunity for customers to earn points for food and beverages by simply using the Lyft ride service, coffee-giant Starbucks has entered into a multi-year partnership with Uber’s main competitor, Lyft. Using the My Starbucks Rewards program as the core centerpiece of the loyalty program, anyone that takes a Lyft car to a destination can earn those reward points according to the announcement on the Starbucks Newsroom.
In addition, Lyft drivers will be eligible to earn points on the same trip. On top of that, Lyft customers can utilize the My Starbucks Rewards points as a secondary tipping currency for their driver. Within the company, Starbucks executives are also looking into the possibility of Lyft drivers providing transportation for Starbucks employees that need a ride to work. That is expected to be tested in a small, unnamed city later this year.
Speaking about the new program, Starbucks chief digital officer Adam Brotman said “With Lyft’s presence in 65 cities across the U.S., where we also have Starbucks serving the same communities, we knew this relationship would benefit our partners, Lyft’s drivers as well as our mutual customers who are already coming to Starbucks and using Lyft services…Our digital loyalty ecosystem will strengthen Lyft’s ability to attract and retain customers in a highly profitable way, while at the same time accelerating the incrementality of redemption of rewards.”
According to the details of the agreement, Lyft is actually purchasing the points from Starbucks and awarding the points internally. Complete financial details of the arrangement were not released, but if the partnership is successful for Lyft and increases market share over Uber, it’s likely that Lyft will continue to purchase points over time to continue rewarding customers.
Of course, this isn’t the first partnership that Starbucks has announced this year. Just yesterday, Starbucks announced a partnership with the New York Times to bring select news articles to Starbucks loyalty members next year. During May 2015, a similar content partnership was put into place with Spotify for access to music playlists in select stores.
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