Alibaba Digital Economy Introduces “Starbucks Now” on Four Flagship Apps

Extended service reflects Alibaba’s ability to accelerate brand digitalization in China

HANGZHOU, China, July 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Alibaba Group ("Alibaba") (NYSE: BABA; SEHK: 9988) today announced that the Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks Coffee Company ("Starbucks") will expand its reach to customers across the Chinese mainland by introducing its mobile order and pay feature "Starbucks Now" to multiple platforms in the Alibaba Digital Economy including Taobao, digital mapping and information provider Amap, local services app Koubei and Alipay.

Alibaba Digital Economy introduces “Starbucks Now” mobile order and pay feature on four flagship apps - Taobao, Amap, Koubei and Alipay
Alibaba Digital Economy introduces “Starbucks Now” mobile order and pay feature on four flagship apps – Taobao, Amap, Koubei and Alipay

By activating "Starbucks Now" through any of these apps, users can pre-order and pay for their favorite Starbucks beverage and food online, and then pick up in-person at most Starbucks stores across the Chinese mainland. Previously, this service was only available through the Starbucks China mobile app.

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. It also gives China’s growing number of coffee lovers the added convenience of having their online orders ready for pick-up at the store location of their choice whether on the way to the office or on an adventure in an unfamiliar city.

Alibaba Business Operating System Empowerment

The latest announcement spotlights Alibaba’s unmatched ability to help brands of all sizes unlock new growth using the Alibaba Business Operation System (ABOS). Through the ABOS, with the support of a cross-functional team at Alibaba, brand partners can access all the tools available in the Alibaba Digital Economy to help accelerate their digital transformation to innovate and become more competitive.

"The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of digitalization, which is the cornerstone for any successful brand in China. Alibaba is committed to bolstering businesses’ digital firepower through ABOS. Through this partnership, we will continue to support Starbucks in expanding its digital service offerings across China to meet ever-evolving customer preferences and create long-term value," said Toby Xu, Vice President of Alibaba Group.

Merging Online Ordering and Offline Dining

Earlier this year, the COVID-19 lockdown severely disrupted much of China’s offline retail. As the country bounces back from the pandemic, retailers are seeing an uptrend in foot traffic while online business remains robust.

With more consumers heading back to the stores, the extended "Starbucks Now" services available via Alipay, Taobao, Koubei, and Amap make it easier for them to enjoy their daily cup of coffee at their favorite Starbucks locations.

This latest service expansion follows the successful strategic partnership entered into by Starbucks and Alibaba in 2018 that helped create a seamless Starbucks Experience. Alibaba’s local services platform began to deliver Starbucks coffee to consumers’ doorsteps in September 2018.

About Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a good company that lasts 102 years.

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