US coffee giant Starbucks partners with Chinese shopping platform Meituan to expand its delivery and online services in China. Meituan is the biggest food delivery platform in China, as well as one of the most popular “super apps”, referring to apps that offer several services in one.
Even though there’s already the regular Starbucks app in China, the Meituan app will provide more customisation options. According to Starbucks, this partnership is the “delivery debut” of its Starbucks Reserve range in China, which has a more premium range of coffee. In addition, members of the Starbucks customers rewards scheme called Starbucks Rewards will still receive the same benefits on the Meituan app.
On top of the online experience, the two companies also work together on offline experiences. The Meituan app offers services like reserving areas in selected China stores for private events and signing up for events and activities organised by local stores. Starbucks stated that 60 of their Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu outlets are now available for these services through the Meituan app.
Starbucks also plans on expanding its offered services on the app further, including a unique page for every one of its 5,000 stores in China by the end of the year, where users will be able to order coffee and browse through local events and activities.
As users in China prefer using these “super apps”, this partnership with Meituan might potentially assist Starbucks in its position in its biggest market outside of the US, as the company faces increasing competition from local businesses.