Coresight Research Countdown to 11.11 Series, #3: 88 Members’ Day; A “Seamless Starbucks Experience” in China; Burberry Launches its First WeChat Mini Program and Two Handbags Just for China

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KEY POINTS

Started by Alibaba in 2009, 11.11, also known as Double 11 or Singles’ Day, has become a famous shopping festival that takes place on November 11. This report series will cover the various shopping festivals and developments in New Retail that take place between now and November 11.

  • Alibaba has its latest shopping event 88 Members’ Day on August 8. The Japanese brand Sharp is promoting its products with discounts as steep as 60% on offer.
  • Starbucks is collaborating across key businesses within the Alibaba ecosystem, including Ele.me, Hema, Tmall, Alipay and Koubei. The partnership is poised to enable a seamless Starbucks experience, delivering greater levels of personalization to Starbucks’ customers in China.
  • Burberry launched its first WeChat mini program on August 3, which is a lightweight app embedded inside WeChat that does not have to be installed separately. Burberry has also released two Qixi handbags exclusive to China in honor of Qixi—China’s equivalent to Valentine’s Day, which falls on Friday, August 17 this year

Countdown to 11.11

When it comes to online shopping festivals in China, the first one that comes to mind is Alibaba’s now famous Double 11 Shopping Festival. The success of the first-ever 11.11 event has led to many more shopping festivals held throughout the year, notably, Women’s Day on March 8, the 618 Shopping Festival and the 88 Members Festival on August 8. 

This is the third report in our Countdown to 11.11 series which covers the various shopping festivals as well as developments in New Retail that take place between now and November 11.

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Upcoming Festivals

88 Members’ Day

This week, the shopping festival on the calendar is 88 Members’ Day by Alibaba on August 8. During the promotion period, the Japanese brand Sharp is offering TV buyers a free one-year subscription on Youku (an online video hub fully owned by Alibaba). 

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What’s New in New Retail?

A “Seamless Starbucks Experience” in China

Starbucks is collaborating across key businesses within the Alibaba ecosystem, including on-demand delivery platform Ele.me, Supermarket chain Hema and e-commerce sites Taobao and Tmall, Alipay and Koubei, a restaurant review and local services platform. The partnership is poised to enable a seamless Starbucks experience, delivering greater levels of personalization to Starbucks’ customers in China. 

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Together with Alibaba, Starbucks plans to incorporate several New Retail features:

  • First-class coffee delivery service through Ele.me: Leveraging Ele.me’s delivery infrastructure, Starbucks plans to create a tailored order-to-delivery program, including dedicated delivery riders, precise delivery time and custom carriers. 
  • “Starbucks Delivery Kitchens” within Hema: The “Starbucks Delivery Kitchens” will complement current Starbucks stores to offer delivery of customers’ coffee and tea orders to surrounding areas. Starbucks will also leverage Hema’s big data ability—all purchases and payments will be tracked digitally—to establish a profile of consumer preferences and make customized recommendations and offers.
  • Virtual Starbucks store: Leveraging Alibaba’s various digital platforms such as Taobao, Tmall, Alipay and Koubei, Starbucks will develop a first-of-its-kind virtual store. The store is expected to transcend the traditional limitations of a single-app-visit by providing multiple-entry options. Starbucks also plans to include a loyalty program and centralized system to enable customers to order coffee, purchase merchandise or send Starbucks gift to friends.

Burberry Launches its First WeChat Mini Program and Two Handbags Just for China

On August 3, Burberry launched its first WeChat mini program, which is a lightweight app embedded inside WeChat that does not have to be installed separately. The company plans to offer customers convenient and engaging shopping experiences. At the same time, Burberry released two Qixi handbags exclusive to China in honor of Qixi, which is China’s equivalent to Valentine’s Day, which falls on Friday, August 17 this year.  

Within the WeChat mini program, Burberry has introduced several New Retail features:

  • Leveraging WeChat’s social commerce: Thanks to WeChat’s all-in-one platform—combining social networking, mobile payments and shopping—Burberry can tap into around one billion monthly active users (MAU). 
  • Gamify the shopping process: To welcome Chinese Valentine’s Day, Qixi, Burberry has included a game on relationships that takes the form of a quiz. Users can invite their partners to answer quiz questions such as “what color shirt would you like your partner to wear during your first meet up.” 
  • Convenient payment: Upon completing the game, the shop page of the two Qixi handbags will appear, and users can place their order by scanning the QR code. Buyers can pay with WeChat Pay and fill in their address details and the handbag will be delivered directly to their home.

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