How the pandemic breathed new life into AMIGOS

  • Timur Erdag

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Pro Senectute and Migros rolled up their sleeves and within a few days brought the social shopping platform AMIGOS back to life.

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During the lockdown in spring 2020, everything stood still. Many shops were closed, restaurants were just ticking over operating in take-away mode, and we had to work from home. This was especially stressful for older people and people with disabilities. Even weekly shopping became difficult to do independently without exposing oneself to risks. Social contact had to be avoided for the most part – especially for at-risk groups.

3, 2, 1 AMIGOS

A social crisis always brings with it a rethink; humanity has proven that many times over. And so it was in this case. Shortly after the Federal Council declared a nationwide lockdown at the beginning of March 2020, the social shopping platform AMIGOS enjoyed a revival. Within three days, Migros together with Pro Senectute were able, thanks to the support of dreipol and Liip, to give neighbourhood help a fresh, new face. AMIGOS was reactivated and immediately put to active use. The service in this second launch was primarily aimed at older people, people with pre-existing conditions and citizens who were in quarantine or self-isolation. The aforementioned target groups put together their shopping lists on the platform, and private individuals stepped in to provide voluntary neighbourly help. All users had to comply with the safety and hygiene instructions of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) at all times and confirm this online.

The first live switch-on was back in 2018

To go from 0 to 100 in three days was not possible. The AMIGOS platform was launched back in 2018 as a pilot project. Following the example of the social shopping principle from the USA, Migros was the first retailer to set up such a platform in Switzerland. We developed the first launch jointly with dreipol. The test phase ran until the end of 2019. After that, the platform was taken offline for the time being until it was revived again in spring 2020.

Awards and successes

Various features of the platform have won recognition. AMIGOS has won a total of nine Best of Swiss Web Awards in various categories. The second time for Liip and Migros we also won the Master of Swiss Web. The platform impressed both technically and in terms of innovation and user-friendliness. The fact that the users were very satisfied with the platform is also reflected in Migros's star rating. With a rating of 4.98 (max. 5), AMIGOS performed impressively. Since the pandemic is (hopefully) slowly coming to an end, the platform was taken offline on 31 May 2021.

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