The Chinese market presents a steep barrier to entry. In addition to national legislation that makes access to foreign firms, the peculiarities of the resident company in the Asian giant also makes things easy, at this time of history accentuated by the invasion of coronavirus.
To bring out any commercial expansion strategy in China, It is mandatory but also needed the support of a local partner. It is therefore not surprising that the collaboration between Starbucks Y Alibaba announced a few months ago.
Starbucks out of a period of economic stagnation closely linked to the maturity of the company in Western markets. Here, coffee chain no longer had room for growth, because the brand establishments began to cannibalize their customers because of the proximity of local. The reality is that no big city of North America or Europe is free of Starbucks.
To try to combat this lack of growth were proposed two commercial strategies from the top management of the corporation. On the one hand promote specialty products, items with higher profit margins, and on the other hand expand into the Asian market, that back 2017 I was still little explored even though the company had entered China and the 11 of January of 1999.
Within this strategic line last news that concerns us now integrated. Coffee consumption in China has soared from 2014 Y 2018. Although local companies like Luckin Coffee They have led the change, Chinese citizens have a controversial relationship with the West, a relationship that attracts them to the cafeteria siren despite the subterfuge that are imposed from the government. The implementation of Starbucks in China has been amazing, going to have only a few establishments have more of 4300 Local nationwide in just a few years.
And that They have achieved thanks to a partner who knows the Chinese market: Alibaba. The first collaboration between Eastern titan distribution and the cafeteria took place in August 2018, when the Starbucks Experience initiated campaign that sought to draw the attention of local consumers.
Since then they have joined several other initiatives, always with a clear vision imposed on rivals. They have cooperated to offer products derived from coffee in supermarkets Frehippo, and also to establish a distribution system house order online through the application Ele.me.
Now, Alibaba and Starbucks again collaborate to address new technologies that shape the supermini scene. The chatbots They have given way to a more sophisticated version that allows control by voice, These are called virtual assistants.
Its adoption is still timid as it is a very recent appearance technology. The models known, Google Home Y Alexa Amazon boast presence in some homes, but are only families more techies which bet on this technology.
Despite the above, large companies in the sector know well the potential of this type of equipment and the revolution that will bring when its use is widespread. That's why it is not surprising that the largest chains of organized restoration and technological giants operating in other markets are also interested in these applications. early positioning involves a competitive advantage when adopting technology reaches its peak, time when capitalization is also high.
In China, Google Home and Alexa have an anecdotal presence. The virtual assistants niche is occupied by a Smart speakers known as Tmall Genie, creation, as you can imagine readers, Alibaba.
The Tmall Genie is powered with artificial intelligence, as it is often the case in these chatbots conversational. Voice orders can be made with full guarantees and ease never seen before. Once the order confirmed, this reaches the address within 30 minutes, according to the press release issued jointly by Starbucks and Alibaba.
This same statement reveals some other interesting features of the system. First there is a Starbucks version of the Genie Tmall, A piece of merchandising Collectors and diehard fans of the company. On the other hand, users of the virtual assistant can track your order, well through integration with the platform Ele.me home delivery food has been provided a traceability system. Another interesting integration for Chinese consumers is to Starbucks Rewards, All drinks that are closed through the corresponding Tmall Genie will reward in the form of stars in the loyalty program franchise cafes.
These three interesting points must be added also customization system based on order history of the consumer and temporary offers Starbucks. Voice orders are not the only utility smart speaker, In addition to commissioning of conversationally, the owner of the Tmall Genie who use it to order coffee at Starbucks can enjoy the music charts thanks to the cafeteria app from streaming Xiami Music.
In summary, wonderful piece of technology that will delight more than one Chinese consumer, not only for its undeniable effectiveness in ordering a specialty coffee, but by its technical features that make it an art apparatus highly prized.
What it is still to be seen whether this strategy will serve to Starbucks afloat in the race holding his nearest rival in China, Luckin Coffee. Some analysts suggest that this year will be a sharp escalation in the percentage of orders online carried out by automatic means Conversational. Nevertheless, China has always shown some latency technology adoption regarding highly innovative countries like EE. UU., place of origin of studies that indicate this paradigm shift.
To find out what happens with this matter no choice but to show patience and wait to see what happens in Chinese society, if possible always having a good coffee hand.