TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, China

Starbucks-Alibaba partnership unveils first virtual store in China

It provides customers access to both companies’ digital platforms.

Starbucks China, in partnership with Alibaba launched the coffee giant’s first virtual store that allows customers to have access to digital offerings across the Starbucks app and customer-facing mobile apps within the Alibaba ecosystem.

This includes platforms such as Starbucks Delivers and Alibaba’s customer-facing mobile apps Taobao, Tmall and Alipay. The virtual store is powered by an online management hub created by the e-commerce company.

“For 20 years, we listened intently to the aspirational lifestyle needs of our customers and consistently challenged the status quo to elevate their mobile Starbucks digital experiences,” Molly Liu, vice-president for digital venture of Starbucks China, said.

“Leveraging the strengths of our transformative strategic partnership with Alibaba Group, this new milestone in the Starbucks digital strategy will significantly fuel our capabilities to provide an even more personalized and enticing one-touch digital experience for the Chinese consumer, while extending the accessibility of our digital innovations into the everyday lifestyle rituals of our customers, regardless of time or place.”

Additionally, the virtual store provides the ‘Say it with Starbucks’ social gifting feature where customers can purchase a digital beverage gift card along with a physical Starbucks merchandise.

Starbucks also said that they now have extended their delivery platform with to 2,000 stores across 30 cities in China. 

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