United Arab Emirates

Alibaba Group

Redefining Online to Offline with a Fun App Plugin

We conceptualised, designed, and built an easily accessible mobile app mini-program that provides fun user engagement aimed at driving offline store foot traffic.
Alibaba Group, the multinational e-commerce conglomerate, was looking to increase its market share in the lifestyle and experience segment and simultaneously help more businesses operating traditionally in the industry get more customers through technology.

Alibaba launched the Koubei mobile app specifically created to cater to the lifestyle industry segment. They were looking to increase app adoption by shop owners/merchants as well as to grow the number of end-user customers. Koubei contacted Monstarlab to develop an easily accessible app plug-in that greatly enhances the user experience from both the businesses and the customer’s perspectives. Thus generating more app engagement and driving offline shop foot traffic.

Transitioning Traditional to Digital

New retailing, pertaining to the use of emerging technology to create meaningful integration of services online and offline, has started to gain ground among Chinese industries. However, most businesses are still operating traditionally and finding it difficult to adapt to the new trends.

To address this, Alibaba launched the Koubei app which has since been used by 2.5 million merchants nationwide. But they were looking to drive exponential growth and have tapped Monstarlab for this undertaking.

Monstarlab China conducted research to understand issues, coming up with three key insights: tight competition among commercial complexes, ineffective use of digital channels by traditional marketeers, and merchants lack resources to develop their own digital channels.

Monstarlab opted to develop a mini-program built for accessibility without download required but can instead be used via existing popular apps, such as AliPay. The team designed a great user-friendly experience to effectively elicit customer engagement.

About Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group Holding Limited, is a Chinese multinational conglomerate specialising in e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI and technology. The company provides C2C, B2C and B2B sales services via web portals, as well as electronic payment services, shopping search engines, and cloud computing services.

As of 2018, Alibaba has the 9th highest global brand value. With operations in over 200 countries and territories, its online sales and profits surpassed all US retailers (including Walmart, Amazon, and eBay) combined since 2015.

Alibaba's annual sales reached USD $46.5 Billion In 2019, up 51% year-on-year, with the e-commerce business accounting for 86% of overall sales. Then in 2020, Alipay becomes the largest mobile payment platform in the world, together with their local partners worldwide users that amounts for 1.2 billion.

The Future

The Beginning of an Enduring Partnership

The Koubei project laid the foundation for a lasting partnership between Monstarlab and Alibaba. Having developed and delivered technology that greatly compliments their system, this has opened doors to future projects and tech developments within the conglomerate.


  • Python
  • H5
  • React
  • Vue
  • Phaser


  • Swagger
  • Django
  • Alicloud


  • Alipay open platform API