Starbucks and Microsoft Outlook have joined forces to make the first email check of the day a little more exciting. Users can start sending Starbucks gift cards over email to friends, family, coworkers and clients using Outlook 2013 and 2016. Now, rather than traveling to a store to purchase a gift card to give, the giving can happen in a matter of minutes with a single email. This type of marketing could change the way gift cards are given and expand the platforms on which brands can be advertised.
According to Microsoft’s website, Outlook wants to use this new feature to emphasize the importance of personal relationships in business. “Outlook now makes it easier for you to have that personal connection by enabling you to meet your customers, business partners or study group at your favorite Starbucks location,” says Microsoft’s website.
This e-gift card feature is possible because of a free add-in that Outlook now offers. As part of Starbucks’ plan to expand digitally, users can download the add-in and not only send gift cards over email, but also attach gift cards to future emails and schedule meetings at a nearby Starbucks. For a short time, these e-gift cards give back, too! Starbucks is offering $5 gift cards to Outlook users who send Starbucks gift cards of $5 or more.
Both Microsoft Outlook and Starbucks stand to benefit from this partnership. Last quarter, nearly 12 million Starbucks users were a part of the rewards program, and about 25 percent of transactions happened over the Starbucks app. Starbucks now has a new digital platform to expand their sales on, and the option to schedule meetings at a nearby Starbucks with the add-in will further direct traffic to the store.
Likewise, Outlook has started allowing add-ins to help the program run smoother, with useful functions like filtering spam and connecting to other services. This Starbucks add-in could be the first of many as other companies follow the trend and market their product digitally over email servers like Outlook.
For more information about the Starbucks and Outlook partnership, read the full article here: http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/06/20/instant-analysis-starbucks-partners-with-microsoft.aspx