Starbucks Launches Alibaba Virtual Store



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Starbucks on Friday announced a new online store in China that allows customers to purchase their favorite beverages and foods from Seattle's coffee company in various Alibaba Group mobile apps and Starbucks's own China app.

The online store unifies Starbucks offerings within Alibaba applications, including Taobao, Alipay and, soon, Tmall. Alibaba technology supports the unified experience.

The one-stop integrated hub is part of the ongoing collaboration between Starbucks and Hangzhou-based technology giant. He speaks to Alibaba's effort to strengthen its on-demand local services and is in line with Starbucks' mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

The launch of the virtual store also exemplifies the ability of the "Alibaba Operating System", which aims to empower traditional retailers. After years of development in this digital age, Alibaba has created an exclusive system to support companies in the digital transformation process that covers critical areas like retail, marketing, finance and logistics.

"This innovative digital collaboration with Alibaba Group unlocks new levels of engagement unmatched in the market today with customers," Starbucks said in a statement.

Starbucks

By accessing the Starbucks page on Taobao, customers can now choose to receive their coffee, buy a gift for someone else, or be directed to the Starbucks store on Tmall.

Starbucks on the move

In October, Starbucks piloted its first "Star Kitchens" at two Freshippo supermarkets in Hangzhou and Shanghai. Star Kitchens leverages Freshippo's delivery and delivery capabilities, with a lead time of 30 minutes or less, to further expand the scale and reach of Starbucks delivery service. Currently, the "Starbuck Delivers" program covers 2,000 stores in 30 cities in China.

"Leveraging the strengths of our transformative strategic partnership with Alibaba Group, this new milestone in Starbucks' digital strategy will significantly increase our capabilities to deliver a unique yet more personalized and attractive digital touch experience for Chinese customers," said Molly Liu, vice president of the digital enterprise of Starbucks China.

Starbucks' new online store also allows customers to buy gifts for their friends and loved ones through the "Tell Starbucks" option. In addition to gift cards, the store features Starbucks items and merchandise, such as coffee beans and mugs, from Starbucks Tmall's flagship store.

The online store is a benefit for customers who are interested or have signed up for the Starbucks Rewards Program. From membership registration, benefit redemption and the variety of Starbucks brand offerings, the online store offers more opportunities for customers to earn points on their purchases.

Starbucks said it expects Alibaba's strong referral flow to help boost "exponential growth" in its association with Rewards in China.

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