With its connected button, La Poste realizes its ambitions in the Internet of Things
Las Vegas, January 2016. One year after launching its “Digital Hub”, La Poste is back at the Consumer Electronic Show. An opportunity for the French multiple-business and multichannel group, the leader in neighbourhood services, to present the 15 most innovative projects of its “French IoT” innovation programme and unveil Domino, its connected button.
Its principle is simple. By using the button, the customer no longer needs to go to a post office to send a parcel. In concrete terms, this is a 3-step process:
1. Your place your parcel in your letterbox without packing it.
2. Press the Domino button connected to the low-bandwidth Sigfox network that covers nearly 90% of the French population.
3. Confirm by entering the address of the addressee in the dedicated application.
So you no longer need to pack and put a stamp on your parcel. The postman does all this on his daily round.
The Domino button, just like other initiatives launched this year, clearly illustrates the explosion of the Internet of Things. The test phase that is starting will validate the business model. However, its possible success will be part of a more global paradigm.
In itself, the “thing” is indeed devoid of all meaning. Only the benefit perceived by the user gives it its usefulness. For Michael Gillespie, Domino’s Pizza Digital Director, the Easy Order button meets the need of customers “to be connected with the brand through new technologies, wherever they are and at any time”. By simplifying the ordering process in the extreme, the buttons are an appropriate response to the Facilitation driver of consumer spending.
IN fact we should stop speaking of the Internet of Things and speak rather of the Internet of Services. Because it’s the latter that create differentiation and will construct the customer relationship of tomorrow. It is from this aspect of construction of an ecosystem that La Poste’s announcement should be analysed. For Docapost CEO Muriel Barneoud, “the connected Domino also enables La Poste to remain in people’s homes and stay connected with its customers”. That says it all.
At a time when Google, Alibaba or Apple are developing global ecosystems making them veritable “Personal Life Assistants”, the established players are reacting, organizing themselves. Until a European champion is created capable of competing on with the GAFAs and BATs equal terms? Watch this space…