Starbucks and Alibaba Form Delivery Partnership

The two companies have teamed up to allow consumers in China to order coffee using a smart speaker.

September 23, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Inside Retail Asia reports that Starbucks and Alibaba, a popular e-commerce company in Southest Asia, are meeting the needs of China’s digitally savvy customers by getting their coffee delivered by voice command.

Those with a Tmall Genie smart speaker can simply call out “Tmall Genie: I want Starbucks delivered,” and within 30 minutes, will receive their order. They can also track the delivery status of their orders in real time, as well as connect membership accounts to the smart speaker to earn Star rewards with every purchase, which add up to free food and drinks.

Soon, members will also receive personalized recommendations based on their previous orders and trending items from Starbucks’ seasonal menu. The collaboration between Starbucks and Alibaba helps meet the demands of on-demand delivery—and comes just one year after the companies started their partnership to transform the coffee experience in China.

In 2017, Starbucks locations in China began accepting mobile wallet Alipay for payment. And just a few months later, a new roaster opened in Changhai, which featured Alibaba-designed mobile technology and augmented reality.

The International Coffee Organization found that total coffee consumption in China grew at an average annual rate of 16% in the past decade, significantly outpacing the world average of 2%.