The 'say it with Starbucks' (用星说) social gifting campaign is billed as a "pioneering online-to-offline innovation" and positions Starbucks as the first retail brand to "bring to life a locally-relevant social gifting experience in China".
Domestic WeChat users will be able to select from a curated selection of Starbucks-branded gifts from the Starbucks China official WeChat account, pay for it using the in-built Wallet function and add a personalised message in the form of text, image or video.
Once a gift is received, it will be saved in the recipient’s WeChat app and can be redeemed at any Starbucks store in China.
This feature aims to leverage the 846-million reach of WeChat to "elevate the unique Starbucks Experience beyond our retail stores in China”, said Belinda Wong, CEO of Starbucks China. ”
Chinese locals are already accustomed to gifting on WeChat since it is both a cultural and a lifestyle habit. A total of 46 billion red packets filled with virtual cash were gifted during the just-past Lunar New Year holiday—this is 5.7 times more than the previous year.
During a trial phase two weeks ago, Starbucks employees and customers sent "tens of thousands" of such gift cards which they endearingly termed "green packets".