Starbucks announced the launch of a voice-ordered coffee delivery service in the Chinese market in partnership with Alibaba Group.
The service works using the Tmall Genie smart speaker developed by the Internet giant. Thus, Starbucks customers in the Middle Kingdom were able to order the delivery of their favorite drinks and food from the nearest coffee shop using only their voice. The average delivery time will be about 30 minutes.
With the launch of a new innovative service, Starbucks and Alibaba celebrate the anniversary of a strategic partnership in the Chinese market, one of the world's fastest growing coffee consumption markets. Leveraging Alibaba's food delivery platform Ele.me, Starbucks voice ordering empowers customers in the Starbucks digital ecosystem. As part of the cooperation between the two companies, points for ordering Starbucks coffee in the Star Kitchens format are also being created in the largest cities of the country. They open in the areas of Freshippo supermarkets owned by Alibaba.
According to Miffy Chen, CEO of Alibaba AI Labs, through voice ordering, the company provides Ele.me platform customers with an even richer and richer experience in everyday life. Starbucks notes that with the introduction of the new service, the company is entering a new era of customer interaction using advanced digital technologies.
Voice ordering coffee and food at Starbucks through Tmall Genie allows customers to track their delivery in real time. Starbucks Rewards members also have the opportunity to earn stars and upgrade their own status in the program. Personalized recommendations will be added soon, based on customer preferences for voice orders, seasonal Starbucks menus and other changes. As a bonus, the program will allow its customers to listen to the latest Starbucks playlists through the Xiami Music app.
The Starbucks-exclusive Tmall Genie smart speaker is currently available through the US chain's China virtual store, which bundles Starbucks offerings on Taobao, Alipay, and Tmall apps.