Starbucks on Friday announced a new virtual store in China that allows customers to order their favorite drinks and food from the Seattle-based coffee company across several Alibaba Group mobile apps and Starbucks own China app.
The virtual store unites Starbuck's offerings in Alibaba apps, including Taobao, Alipay and soon, Tmall. Alibaba's technology supports the overall experience.
The one-stop-integrated hub is part of the ongoing collaboration between Starbucks and Hangzhou headquarters technology giant. Talks to Alibaba's efforts aim to strengthen their on-demand local services and are in line with Starbuck's mission to inspire and care for the spirit of man – one person, one cup and one at a time.
The launch of the virtual store also exemplifies the possibility of "Alibaba Operating System", which aims to authorize traditional retailers. After many years of development in this digital age, Alibaba has created a unique system of support for digital transformation companies that cover critical areas such as retail, marketing, finance and logistics.
"This groundbreaking digital collaboration with Alibaba Group launches new levels of commitment invisibly on the market today with customers," Starbucks said in a statement.
Starbucks on the go
In October Starbucks piloted its first "Star Kitchens" within two Freshippo supermarket locations in Hangzhou and Shanghai. Star Kitchens utilizes Freshippo's delivery and delivery features, with delivery time of 30 minutes or less, to further expand the scope and scope of Starbucks delivery service. Currently, the Starbuck Delivers program covers 2000 stores across 30 cities in China.
"Taking advantage of the strength of our transformative strategic partnership with Alibaba Group, this new milestone in Starbuck's digital strategy will significantly increase our capacity to provide an even more personal and enticing digital experience to Chinese customers," said Molly Liu, vice president for digital venture by Starbucks China.
The new Starbucks virtual store also allows customers to buy gifts for their friends and loved ones via "Say It with Starbucks". Aside from gift cards, the store contains Starbucks goods and goods, such as coffee beans and mugs, from Starbucks Tmall flagship store.
The virtual store is a blessing for customers who are interested in or have enrolled in the Starbucks Reward Program. From membership registration, redemption of benefits, to and a number of Starbucks branded offers, the virtual store offers more opportunities for customers to earn points from their purchases.
Starbucks said it expects that Alibaba's strong leadership pipeline will help to burn "an exponential growth" in its reward membership in China.