A few months ago we got a knock on the door one evening. It was the milkman saying hello. We’d been living in the place for almost a year and this was the first time we’d come across him. Up until this point I suspected that we were in an area that wasn’t served at all.
My wife promptly ordered a bottle of milk each morning. The chap also handed her a leaflet promoting Milk&More — an enhanced offering from Dairy Crest, the company behind the milk service. I remember thinking it was a super idea. The concept is simple: Order online before 9pm and the milkman will bring you other goodies too. You can choose from a pretty wide range of 250 daily essentials from Corn Flakes to biscuits.
I like things like this. I like anything that augments the daily grind and boosts convenience. When you’re living on your own, it’s pretty easy to work out what you’ve got in the cupboards and what’s left in the fridge. It’s a little bit more dynamic with a family. The carton of Corn Flakes that was half full yesterday morning might be near-empty the next day on account of a surprisingly hungry child and the rest of it being tipped on the floor and distributed throughout the house by the other child.
The ability therefore to quickly tap-tap-click and order a box of Corn Flakes that arrives very early the next morning is pleasing. The convenience really appeals.
If you’re UK based, the chances are you may well be served by a local milkman who provides Milk&More. You can find out by sticking in your post code on their frontpage search box.
There are a few complicating factors that I’ve discovered that have prevented me so far from making good use of the service.
At the end of the week, the milkman left a little receipt below the milk bottle. “Ah hah!” I thought, “I will stick in the receipt reference and get this paid right now”.
No. That doesn’t work. Because the milkman came and spoke to my wife, we can’t pay his bill via Milk&more. My wife had to write him a cheque. Now then, there’s probably all sorts of sensible reasons why it wasn’t possible to chuck the guy five pounds via Milk&more’s website, but what a silly situation. This is the sort of issue that Amazon would have fixed. Serious executives would have got in a room and banged the problems around until the solution — to allow me to pay online — was delivered. It seems Dairy Crest’s executives did the sensible British thing: Ignore it. Make it my problem.
By not fixing the issue, Dairy Crest ensured that both my wife and I ignored Milk&more each week — when we could have been prompted to shop some more every time.
The system administrators at Milk&more have got a little bit carried away with their password requirements. Keep in mind that this is a facility that should be as easy to use as flipping possible. I have an array of passwords that I regularly use. Unfortunately none of them were applicable because their system wouldn’t accept repeating characters. A proper approach I’m sure. But goodness me look at all the repeating letters in just this sentence. We’re not talking nuclear launch codes, are we. I just want to order some milk. I ended up having to choose a random numerical sequence that included random alphas. So I definitely can’t remember how to login. If Amazon doesn’t insist on this, neither should you, Milke&more.
The Mobile Question
Which brings me to mobile — and the main topic of this website. Surely Milk&more is an excellent, excellent candidate for a mobile service? I’d imagine that the people who would get value from this delivery service are reasonably time poor. Otherwise you’d just go to Tesco yourself. Time poor probably means they want to get stuff done fast. Which means they probably don’t necessarily want to sit down at their laptop/computer and use a desktop experience.
Despite these points I think there’s substantial opportunity for the service to evolve. The ability to deliver early in the morning — before the business day starts — is a real advantage. Nobody else in the country can offer this.
I didn’t see batteries or nappies on the inventory list when I searched — I wonder if they could do a good trade offering baby related supplies for delivery. That might be rather useful, especially for new mothers.
As we’ve moved, I am going to get things setup properly (i.e. order the milk online). I’ve checked and there’s a milkman ready to deliver to our new location. I’ll let you know how I get on.
What’s your view? Have you come across the service? Ever used it?