Starbucks Expands its Services to Alibaba Apps in China

Multinational chain of coffeehouses, Starbucks Corporation has expanded its ordering services to multiple Alibaba apps in China. On Tuesday, the company said that the Chinese customers of the American multinational will now be able to order the coffees and drinks on Taobao, Alibaba’s marketplace, and Amap, mobile map app. Through this deal, the two companies will expand their partnership which was signed in 2018.

Reportedly, Starbucks Now, Starbucks’ pre-order and in-store pick up mobile feature which was previously available only on its mobile app will be now be extended to Alibaba’s all four platforms. These include

  • Koubei
  • Local services app
  • Alipay
  • Digital payment app

Alibaba said in a statement “The extended service enables Starbucks to engage with more Chinese consumers through multiple channels that tap into the Alibaba digital economy’s user base of nearly 1 billion.”

In a separate statement by Starbucks, it said that they are hoping that the new offering would provide coffee lovers in China with additional convenience. Since Monday, this new feature of Starbucks service was available on Alibaba’s platforms, the Alipay and Koubei apps. They also offered an option to order Starbucks delivery.

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Under a partnership that was signed in the year 2018, customers have been able to order deliveries via Ele.me, Alibaba’s food delivery app. This was also the first time Starbucks offered a formal online delivery service in China.

China is the coffee giant’s biggest growth market and hence, the company is expecting sales in the region. It is also expecting to recover from a deep drop because of the pandemic by the end of September.

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In May, Starbucks has launched a program with Tencent Holdings, Alibaba’s rival, on its chat app WeChat. It allowed access to Starbucks’ membership rights and delivery services.

The Chinese economy has started to recovers from the intense impact of coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns. As a result, big U.S. companies are seeing China as the best market for growth despite the growing political tensions between the two countries.