Starbucks Set To Introduce eGift Card Programme.

Stuck for a last minute gift? Well, Starbucks may just have the answer for you.

The company has announced plans to introduce a Starbucks Card eGift scheme: anyone can now digitally purchase and send Starbuck’s cards to their friends. So, no more excuses from here on in.

Starbucks wants its Card eGift scheme to be viewed as an experience. It is keen to stress that the card scheme is not just a last minute solution to avoid embarrassment for those who are not fully organised, but a convenient and practical solution for those who like to plan ahead.

EGifters will be able to pick their choice of gift card online from a variety of birthday or ‘just-because’ designs and can also personalise these. Payment methods are either via Paypal or credit card, with gifters able to select the value of their gift between $5 and $100.

Those who are very well organised can pull in friends from their Facebook lists, sort their lists by birthday, and make advanced purchases for automatic delivery on specified dates, sending cards by either email or Facebook message. There’s even an option to print out eGift cards that can redeemed by the lucky recipients in a store of their choosing, or add the gift to an existing Starbucks card.

The links with Facebook are already strong: Starbucks has an online Facebook community that would be the envy of many other companies.

According to Ryan Records, Director of the Starbucks card, the eGift scheme was introduced on the back of an overwhelming demand to expand the e-gifting experience to everyone, and took six months to organise.

The Starbucks Card programme has proved to be something of a money-spinner for the coffee giant: it loaded $1.5 billion on its cards in 2010. The company believes that the extension of the digital gift card scheme could prove to very lucrative indeed, and estimate that potentially it might account for 20% of its total gift card business.

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