French retailer parodies Amazon Go

Discussion
Source: "Introducing Monoprix Livraison à domicile +"
Dec 27, 2016

A French retailer, Monoprix, has become the first to parody Amazon Go in a campaign promoting its one-hour home delivery service.

The campaign, posted on YouTube, offers nearly a frame-by-frame copy of Amazon’s “Amazon Go” introduction video. The first Amazon Go opened in downtown Seattle in early December.

Matching Amazon’s video by first showing a young, bearded man with a baseball cap shopping, Monoprix’s voiceover begins, “Over ten years ago, we were wondering what would shopping look like if you could walk into a store, grab what you want and just go.”

Amazon’s voiceover starts, “Four years ago we started to wonder what would shopping look like if you could walk into a store, grab what you want and just go.”

Both executions eventually make the promise of “no lines, no checkouts, no registers.”

Monoprix’s storyline veers from Amazon’s when it says shoppers also “don’t need an app to go shopping. So put away your phone and go shop. It’s really that simple.”

Instead of hearing about how Amazon Go’s “just walk technology” is driven by advanced computing, algorithms and sensors, Monoprix said it came up with its system by learning “about our customers’ needs and combined those learnings with Monoprix DNA. We call it human technology.”

The commercial adds, “Once you get everything you want, just go. We’ll put your groceries through the checkout and deliver them to your door only one hour later.”

In addition to no lines and no checkout, one-hour post-delivery promises “no groceries to carry” at no additional charge. Referencing Amazon, the ad concludes the service is available, “At a Monoprix near you (Seattle’s a bit far away.)”

Many reviewers saw Monoprix’s commercial as a subtle knock against the loss of human interaction in the shopping process, all done while touting the value of the chain’s delivery service.

Some other critiques of Amazon Go have also addressed the human interaction theme. In the New Yorker last week, David Sax, author of “Save the Deli,” wrote, “Stores are the fabric of our streets and neighborhoods, and the people who work behind those windows … are what often give us a sense of place.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does Monoprix’s one-hour post-shopping delivery program promise an equal or better experience than Amazon Go? Do you see a shopper backlash over cashier-less concepts such as Amazon Go?

Braintrust
"Delightful customer experience is all that matters, not how much/little technology is employed to achieve it."
"I thought the ad was a great way to capitalize on the publicity that has surrounded Amazon Go’s announcement."
"Neither Amazon’s Go concept or Monoprix’s concept is all that game changing ... most urban stores have offered home delivery for decades."

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12 Comments on "French retailer parodies Amazon Go"

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Bob Phibbs
BrainTrust

Brilliant. It’s about time regular brick-and-mortar stores stop being embarrassed that they are brick-and-mortar stores and find new ways to do more.

Susan O'Neal
BrainTrust
10 months 25 days ago

Agree with the “it’s about time brick and mortar stopped being embarrassed about their brick and mortar” part … otherwise, I don’t agree that either the parody is brilliant (except to get a chuckle out of industry geeks like us) or that the service is all that brilliant (should be price of entry table stakes by now).

Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

Very clever! One thing Monoprix has going for it that Amazon doesn’t: their service exists today and we know it’s real. Amazon put out a video that, as of now, is conceptual and has some flaws in the described functionality. If Amazon Go comes to be it definitely will cause ripples in retail but, as Monoprix points out, it is not the only mechanism to achieve convenience and a delightful customer experience.

And that’s the bottom line: delightful customer experience is all that matters, not how much/little technology is employed to achieve it.

Max Goldberg
BrainTrust

Monoprix offers a promise that is similar to Amazon, with the exception that Monoprix delivers groceries. This is a worthy challenge to Amazon. I don’t think cashier-less Amazon Go will negatively impact consumers. Millennials dislike human interaction, and these stores are targeted to them.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

I have procedural questions. In the hour between selecting items and delivery, are items refrigerated? Frozen? Is there a minimum purchase? There’s a lot to like about the concept, but the execution is important, too …

Phil Masiello
BrainTrust

First and foremost, we need to realize that Amazon is a logistics and technology company. 82% of the sales on Amazon.com are driven by third-party sellers. That is important to understanding what Amazon is trying to do. Amazon wants to dominate e-commerce and be the fastest shipper to consumers. The drone program, the store program — these are means to an end. The stores they are opening are places to keep inventory closer to the consumer so they can deliver faster. If people don’t want to shop there because of no human interaction, it won’t change anything. The volume of product flowing through the stores in these mini-FCs will be more than enough to cover expenses. Amazon will be the first trillion-dollar business.

Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

Like Cathy I had some questions regarding the process. How do they know who you are or where you live? I know you don’t pay at the store but I didn’t see any payment being made at all. All that being said, I thought the ad was a great way to capitalize on the publicity that has surrounded Amazon Go’s announcement.

Adrian Weidmann
BrainTrust

As David Sax noted, “Stores are the fabric of our streets and neighborhoods, and the people who work behind those windows … are what often give us a sense of place.” Technology is undoubtedly invaluable but meaningful interaction with people is the fabric of humanity. Finding the optimal balance between technology and people will always win the day. Hats off to Monoprix for responding with a timely and meaningful message.

Lee Peterson
BrainTrust

That’s pretty good, other than the “poking the bear” business. They one-up Amazon with the home delivery and the human factors but boy, you just have to wonder how that works operationally. You still have to let them know where you live, right? What if they beat you home? Oh well, I guess it doesn’t really matter — we don’t know if either one of them will work! (Amazon Go is not open to the public yet.)

One thing we know for sure — the younger you are, the more receptive you are to concepts like this. So a word of caution to Monoprix: better keep these concepts in youthful demographics.

Susan O'Neal
BrainTrust
10 months 25 days ago

Neither Amazon’s Go concept or Monoprix’s concept is all that game changing. If you like to pick out your own stuff with your own hands, most urban stores have offered home delivery for decades. If you hate going to the store (or just don’t have time) and are willing to pay a bit more and deal with the mistakes a grocery picker inevitably makes – Instacart, Shipt, Uber Delivery, Prime (NOW, Wicked, Fresh) and many more are there for you.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

My thoughts:

  1. Why is the ad in English?
  2. You don’t just “go,” you have to wait an hour and have them delivered.

So whatever the advantages of this idea may or may not be, it’s not really a copy of Amazon — let alone a “parody” — more like a second cousin once removed.

Personally, I’m not impressed — or at least it’s not for me, but I wish them “bon chance.”

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

As with Amazon Go, I’m not sure I see much consumer value here … In other words, seems to be much ado about nothing.

My thinking probably goes against a lot of retail discussion right now. But think about the Internet of Things where, with only a few exceptions, it’s a field filled with technology looking for a serious consumer problem to solve. Mostly, because it offers tiny advantage for the consumer (in reality) and significant cost trying to get it all to work together.

Seems real similar to both Amazon Go and this service. Is there significant enough value here to make much of a difference to the store? Doubt it. But a tricky gimmick for advertising your brand.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Delightful customer experience is all that matters, not how much/little technology is employed to achieve it."
"I thought the ad was a great way to capitalize on the publicity that has surrounded Amazon Go’s announcement."
"Neither Amazon’s Go concept or Monoprix’s concept is all that game changing ... most urban stores have offered home delivery for decades."

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