Tealive innovates with DIY bubble tea kits, simultaneously launches eCommerce channel

Tealive is venturing into the eCommerce space, beginning with the sale of DIY bubble tea kit during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period. CEO Bryan Loo took to Instagram last week to survey the interest of consumers regarding the DIY kit.

According to him, he was "immediately overhelmed by the tremendous response" and an online store, shop.tealive.com.my, dedicated to selling the DIY kits was launched. Within the first few days of the launch last week, Tealive sold "hundreds of kits" and as of 1 April, the company sold about 1,000 kits. It is also introducing more plant-based milk options MILKLAB, an Australian barista milk company, to complement consumers' DIY creations.

"When I first posted this DIY kit, I was suggesting tea lovers that they could try their hands at what our Tea-ristas do every day for them. It will make them appreciate the effort put behind each cup that we serve at the store," he explained. Loo added that this was also part of its initiative to remain relevant with tea lovers. 

Tealive also produced a series of tutorials for consumers on the art of bubble tea making on its YouTube channel named Tealive TV. The DIY kit comprises the ingredients consumers need to satisfy their bubble tea cravings while at home, and is available for delivery within Klang Valley and Peninsular Malaysia. It can also be found at Jaya Grocer supermarkets and selected Tealive stores in the Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya.

Separately, Loo told A+M that to further drum up hype for the kits during the MCO period, Tealive teamed up with 30 micro-influencers with a fan base of 50,000 to 200,000 on Instagram and a strong following on TikTok. The influencers will live stream the whole process of them unboxing the DIY kit and making their own bubble tea using the hashtag #mybubbleteakit. "We will also be sharing promo codes with the influencers so they can promote it to their fans, who will then be able to enjoy exclusive deals from our online store," he added.

According to Loo, Tealive is always working on its new ideas using "a poor man mindset", meaning thinking big, starting small and scaling fast once it hits the sweet spot. He intends to take the DIY kits global to satisfy the cravings of bubble tea fans overseas who are working from home. "We have been receiving plenty of interest [in the DIY kits] from Singapore and Australia. I am very humbled to see the progress since the launch," he added.

When asked about his plans for the online store, Loo said he intends for it to be "the ultimate eCommerce store for bubble tea craze" featuring various interesting ingredients required to make a delicious cup of bubble tea. Loo added that it is also launching its in-house delivery platform on 2 April for its online store.

The bubble tea chain is known for its innovative initiatives. Earlier this month, it tied up with dUCk Cosmetics to turn bubble tea flavours into lipsticks with a limited-edition dUCk boba lipstick collection featuring five different shades. Loo told A+M previously that the project was in the works for two months and that Tealive wanted to engage lipstick lovers, more specifically the urban Millennials. In Australia, it also morphed an ATM space into a cashless quick service restaurant.

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