ALIBABA
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alibaba Group is seen at an exhibition during the World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin, China May 16, 2019.
(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Lee)

Starbucks Corporation is taking its delivery expertise a notch higher for its Chinese clients with the introduction of its latest voice ordering and delivery system via Alibaba's smart speaker, the Tmall Genie.

A new alliance between Starbucks Corp and Alibaba for the voice offering capability will allow customers to order food and beverages using the new smart tech for delivery in just half an hour. The platform utilizes Alibaba's on-demand food delivery infrastructure, Ele.me.

Starbucks is focused on ensuring that its voice ordering system will have a personal touch. "We look forward to offering our customers more convenient moments and new experiences to engage with Starbucks on a new platform," Molly Liu, Starbucks China vice president for digital ventures, said.

Starbucks' latest capabilities in partnership with Alibaba sets the stage for a new period of digital client relations for the food and beverage giant, as Starbucks leverages imaginative innovation to new heights.

Running on Alibaba's speech artificial intelligence software, Tmall Genie orders come with splash-proof covers for hot and cold drinks and tamper-proof packaging seals. An exclusively-designed Starbucks-themed Tmall Genie is available on Starbucks online outlet in China, which integrates the company's products within the Chinese retail giant's mobile applications, sources said.

Another added feature allows Chinese Starbucks fans to listen to its latest in-store list of music through Alibaba's music streaming app, Xiami Music.

Based on an eServices survey, the global food delivery market is valued at $95 billion. The market is seen to grow 12 percent every year through 2023. For the US online food delivery business, estimated to be worth almost $18 billion last year, is projected to have a value of $25 billion in four years.

Starbucks has been setting its sights on penetrating more locations globally for its delivery services. Clearly, it has begun its online delivery services in China, India, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Colombia, and Mexico.

Currently, Starbucks Delivers has reached over 2,900 stores in China across almost 80 cities. By the end of the fiscal year, Starbucks plans to boost the capabilities of Starbucks Delivers to reach 3,000 more Chinese outlets.

The company's presence in China is growing at a fast rate courtesy of innovative shop interiors, product innovations and the success of its MSR campaign. Starbucks recently sealed an agreement with Uber Eats to bring the Starbucks Delivers experience to major US states by early 2020.