Bringing neighbours together, promoting local branches

  • Timur Erdag

With the shopping platform AMIGOS, the retailer Migros is bringing people closer together and promoting shopping in smaller, local branches.

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AMIGOS was launched back in 2018, and since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic the platform has been experiencing a revival. Volunteers with great dedication have been supporting particularly vulnerable people and those in quarantine. Using the web platform and app, customers and bringers have been brought together and not only business relationships but also friendships have been formed.

How the different applications work

Online shop for AMIGOS customers: Customers can order their shopping via the online shop. The shop was created with the aim of maximising the user experience. This includes, for example, specific icons, a specific range of products for daily use, a carrier bag indicator, a display of bringers in the vicinity of the customers, etc.

Bringer app: Via the bringer app, AMIGOS bringers can register and receive orders placed in their delivery area (postcode). The menu navigation, interactive shopping list and a map to the customer's address ensure that bringers are guided perfectly through the process.

Matching platform: The matching platform brings customers and bringers together efficiently.

Payment process: Provisional payment on the customer's credit card, final settlement as soon as the bringer completes the order and the final purchase amount is clear. Bringers receive the money credited to their bank account. The transfer takes place automatically.
The interaction between online shop, app and matching platform with the superstructure of the integrated payment process is completely new in Switzerland, and indeed internationally. Many details (interactive shopping list, substitute products function, etc.) round off this successful product.

Advantages for all involved

Firstly, AMIGOS is able to ensure product orders and deliveries within the same or the next hour, provided that a bringer is matched and carries out the purchase and delivery. There is no other online shop in Switzerland that offers this short delivery time. However, the most important aspect is the following: Customers help bringers to supplement their income a little, whilst simultaneously promoting contact between people living in the same neighbourhood.
The resulting sales revenue is generated in the Migros branches instead of in the online shop. This promotes regional representation and focuses on all branches, including the smaller shops. Migros earns nothing through AMIGOS; the focus is on social commitment and bringing people in the same neighbourhood closer together. Migros offers better service for everyone, but specifically also for older people or people with disabilities.

Current status and conclusion

After its launch in 2018, AMIGOS was launched for the second time in March 2020. 29,000 volunteers were out and about for months delivering shopping to the doorsteps of those most affected by the pandemic. A total of 84,000 orders were delivered, including 39,200 bananas – the most purchased product through AMIGOS. Thanks to the ongoing vaccination programme, the social shopping platform started to be used less and less. For this reason, AMIGOS was taken offline on 31 May 2021. Should it become necessary in the course of the pandemic, AMIGOS will be switched on again.

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