Home / Mobile and Tablet Marketing / Starbucks Coupon Fraud: Why not barcode?

Starbucks Coupon Fraud: Why not barcode?

BarcodeSeth’s blog has a note about a poorly handled coupon snafu at Starbucks. Given Starbuck’s size, I don’t understand why they haven’t incorporated a coupon strategy with barcoding. This is a fairly simple and inexpensive technology… it only requires validation at the Point of Service computer.

How can you do this? Most email marketing software vendors allow Substitution Strings (if they don’t, move to ExactTarget). That means that you can easily pass a string in an image path. The string passed at the time the email is opened actually builds the barcode dynamically, so Starbucks could easily encrypt some sort of coupon code – unique to a subscriber – and output it as a barcode.

When redeemed, the cashier can scan the email with the barcode on it. The value is looked up within the system and then checked for authenticity AND redemption. In addition, the redemption of the coupon can be registered back to the actual Email Address – providing the Marketer with some valuable information on who redeemed the coupon, how long it took, where they redeemed it at, etc. This is powerful data! Surely information that will be a great resource down the road!

With some off the shelf technology and some simple planning, Starbucks could have saved themselves the embarrassment.

Free Online SEO Audit

Utilize our free SEO audit tool to identify issues and optimize your site, landing page or blog post:

About Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of The Marketing Technology Blog. Doug is the CMO of CircuPress and CEO of DK New Media, an agency specializing in assisting marketing technology companies with their inbound marketing - leveraging social media, blogging, search engine optimization, pay per click and public relations. Their clients include Angie's List, GoDaddy, Mindjet and many more. Douglas is also the author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies.

Check Also

Retail Trends

5 Retail Trends for 2015 Every Marketer Should Know

Two-thirds of consumers now shop across devices, making multi-touch attribution and omnichannel marketing key to …

One comment

  1. Your idea is excellent. I wonder what Starbuck’s IT guys were doing?

Leave a Reply