Liquid Barcodes

Resources

Starbucks and Alibaba Partnership Announced

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes

06/08/2018

If there was any doubt about the power of digital to drive market growth and dominate the coffee industry, it can be truly put to rest now, as this week saw the announcement of one of biggest industry developments imaginable. The President of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, confirmed a partnership in China with the Alibaba Group – one of the top ten biggest internet companies in the world.

Johnson described the plans as “rocket fuel”, and outlined the three key pillars of this powerful partnership that will drive the company’s growth in it’s most important international market and reassure nervous investors who have seen competition intensify in recent months, with local brands such as Luckin Coffee challenging the American coffee brand’s dominance in the region.

starbucks coffee

Image Source: Shutterstock

Here are the three key pillars of the partnership announced:

  1. Starbucks is opening virtual stores on all Alibaba group properties, giving Starbucks direct digital access to more than 500 million Chinese consumers who use the group’s platforms such as Alipay. This integration is being compared to having the brand completely embedded in each Alibaba platform, similar to the hugely popular Starbucks app. According to Starbucks China CEO Belinda Wong, the virtual stores will benefit from fully integrated membership data between the two brands, and “will include a loyalty program and a centralized platform where they can order coffee, buy merchandise, or gift a coffee to a friend.”
  2. Starbucks will offer coffee delivery services from over 150 stores within one month, and from over 2,000 stores by year end, leveraging the network of over 3 million drivers available through Ele.me – a Shanghai-based logistics company recently acquired by Alibaba as part of it’s strategy to own the entire eCommerce infrastructure in China. Delivering coffee has been a key differentiator for competitor coffee brand Luckin Coffee, in recent months, and this video describes how the service extends each store’s reach by a multiple of 16 times versus the 500 metre radius that a typical customer is willing to walk to reach a store.
  3. Starbucks is starting operations to brew coffee outside it’s own store network for the first time in China, with delivery kitchens being installed in Alibaba’s small format supermarket stores called Hema that are already enjoying “blistering success”.

Delivery services

Delivery services dramatically multiply the available area that each Starbucks store can sell coffee to.

The partnership offers compelling digital, delivery and data benefits to both brands and may perhaps serve as an interesting model in other markets as the leading players both online and offline seek to leverage their unique assets for ultimate ownership of customer’s spend. Wong describes an enhanced “end to end digital experience” for customers that Johnson said will “reshape consumer retail in China”.

Undoubtedly a story to watch closely.

starbucks

Image source: Shutterstock.

About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty technology company specialized for the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

www.LiquidBarcodes.com

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant.

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer, as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards. 

—————————————————————————————–


Blog post

Liquid Barcodes Makes U.S. Debut at 2022 NACS Show

Liquid Barcodes exhibited at the 2022 NACS Show demonstrating loyalty, subscription and payment applications.   For the first time in history, Liquid Barcodes had the pleasure of exhibiting in two prominent locations at the 2022 NACS Show both in the busy New Exhibitor Area as well as in the featured partner kiosk in Verifone’s booth […]

Blog post

Save Thousands in Credit Card Fees With ACH

Visa and Mastercard announced an increase in interchange fees earlier in the year and retailers are taking action and sending a message by migrating their customers to new solutions, including mobile app-based ACH payments, and in the process increasing profits by not only reducing credit card fees but also boosting loyalty via innovative app-based incentive […]

Blog post

Subscription Programs Are Economically Smart Investments

Monthly subscriptions to products and services are economically smart investments for retailers and customers With a recession looming and gas prices still at record-high levels, customers are tightening their grip on their wallets. But this doesn’t mean they’ll be turning their backs on convenience store purchases and there are ways you can weather the impending […]

Blog post

Converting Impulse Shoppers to Automatic Customers

Subscription programs for drinks and snacks encourage customers to change from impulse buyers to automatic customers   Customers stop at gas stations and convenience stores to buy fuel, for beverages and snacks and to use the bathroom, essentially in that order of priority. A NACS survey of gas-buying customers found that half went into the […]

Blog post

Maxol Launches First-of-Its-Kind Loyalty App

Maxol, Ireland’s largest family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer, announced it has launched a new customer loyalty app with never-before-seen features in the Irish market. After more than a century serving Irish customers, Maxol’s 240+ stores and service stations are located throughout Ireland and have enjoyed global recognition for their best-in-class operations, store design and offers. […]

Blog post

Delivering Personalized Content With Machine Learning and Image Recognition

Build personalized customer connections, improve efficiency, and make intelligent, data-driven decisions using machine learning and image recognition.   It’s 7:15 in the morning and a customer – Amy – is on her way to work. She is on the hunt for coffee and breakfast and stops at a convenience store. She opens her store app […]

Blog post

Sweet Tea and Coffee Subscription Beverage Programs Brew Recurring Revenue

As summer nears, consumers are turning their attention towards refreshing iced beverages and iced tea is a hot seller this time of year, especially when sold with a subscription beverage program. Sweet tea might be the quintessential drink of southerners in the U.S, but the rest of the country has developed a taste for the […]

Blog post

Circle K’s Use of Beacon Technology to Activate Car Wash Subscription Program

Beacon Technology and Car Wash Subscription Programs Beacon technology used in tandem with a customer-facing car wash subscription program revolutionizes the customer experience by providing a quick, convenient experience. Innovation is the key to continued growth and ensuring a frictionless customer experience should be top of mind for any retailer. Circle K’s vast global network […]

Blog post

Unlimited Car Washes!

Subscription programs for car washes are a hot trend in convenience retail.

Blog post

Car Wash Program Drives Sales for United Pacific

Car wash programs are revenue drivers for convenience stores and fueling stations around the globe. Making sure the process is convenient and cost-effective for customers increases traffic and drives in-store sales. Oftentimes, car wash units occupy a small corner of the lot and do not receive much attention. This is not the case for those […]

Blog post

Danish Railway Rewards Riders with DSB Plus

The Danish railway system, known as DSB, is going the distance to reward customers by partnering with convenience retailer 7-Eleven to deliver points towards food and coffee simply for riding the rails. Whether commuting or travelling longer distances, riders who join DSB Plus earn points whenever they travel within Denmark. DSB is an abbreviation for […]

Blog post

Subscriptions for the win!

Amazon Prime is, by nature, a subscription under the auspice of membership. Pay an annual fee, get 2-day shipping and exclusive deals. Amazon took it one level further with “Subscribe & Save” where you can get everyday – and not so everyday – items shipped to you on a regular schedule.  In the early days […]

Blog post

Customer Retention Program of Circle K Vietnam

As the first international convenience store brand to launch in Vietnam, Circle K has over a decade of expertise catering to the needs of the 96 million residents of this huge country, operating a network of over four hundred convenience stores each open 24 hours a day! So launching an outstanding customer retention program was […]

Blog post

Stinker Stores Named Best New Loyalty Program in the U.S.

        2021 Best New Loyalty Program  Stinker Stores’ new loyalty program offers multiple redemptions with a single scan and stands out with a gamification feature to keep customers engaged. This article is originally published on CStoreDecisions and written by Erin Del Conte | October 28, 2021 Stinker Stores, with 103 convenience stores across Idaho, […]

Liquid Barcodes

Put a rocket under your loyalty program

With our loyalty platform, we help design and operate world-class, tailor-made subscription and reward programs that make sure your customers always come back.

Book a Demo →

We are trusted by global brands.

Convenience retailers all over the world have engaged and rewarded consumers with our tailor-made loyalty programs.

To our case studies →

Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes

Convenience retailers all over the world have engaged and rewarded consumers with our tailor-made loyalty programs.

To our case studies →

Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes