Starbucks announced on Friday a new virtual store in China that allows customers to order their favorite drinks and food from the Seattle coffee company over a large number of mobile applications by Alibaba Group and Starbucks' Starbucks app.
The virtual store unites Starbucks in Alibaba applications, including Taobao, Alipay and soon, Tmall. Alibaba's technology puts the unified experience.
A one-time integrated hub is part of the ongoing collaboration between Starbucks and the technology giant of Hangzhou. He talks about Alibaba's effort to strengthen local services on its own demand and is consistent with Starbucks' mission of inspiring and cultivating the human spirit – one person, one glass and one neighborhood at a time.
The launch of the virtual store also demonstrates the ability of the "Alibaba operating system" aimed at empowering traditional retailers. After years of development in this digital age, Alibaba has created a unique system to support organizations in the process of digital change covering critical areas such as retail, marketing, finance and logistics.
"This groundbreaking digital collaboration with Alibaba Group opens up new levels of invisible engagement in the market today with customers," Starbucks said in a statement.
Starbucks on the move
In October, Starbucks piloted her first "star kitchens" within two supermarket sites in Freshippo in Hangzhou and Shanghai. Star kitchens leverage Freshippo's fulfillment and delivery capabilities, with a 30-minute delivery time or less, to further extend the scale and range of Starbucks delivery service. Today, the program "Starbuck provides" covers 2,000 stores across 30 cities in China.
"Leveraging the strengths of our transformational strategic partnership with the Alibaba Group, this new milestone in Starbucks' digital strategy, will dramatically enhance our capabilities to deliver one more compelling digital experience for Chinese customers," said Molly Liu, vice president of Starbucks Digital Enterprise China.
The new Starbucks virtual store also allows customers to buy gifts for their friends and loved ones by using the "Tell Starbucks" option. Apart from gift cards, the store includes Starbucks items and merchandise, such as coffee beans and mugs, from Starbucks Tmall flagship store.
The virtual store is a boon for customers who are interested or have signed up for the Starbucks Rewards program. From listing companies, revenue of benefits, and a variety of branded Starbucks offerings, the virtual store provides more ways for customers to earn points from their purchases.
Starbucks said it expects the rich social referral pipeline from Alibaba to help fuel "exponential growth" in its Rewards companies in China.