Since the unveiling of the government initiative Le Panier Bleu by Prime Minister François Legault, we have witnessed a flood of mixed reactions (even negative) in Quebec’s digital and entrepreneurial business community. A wave of reactions which took me completely by surprise!
First, everyone has their own definition of what “Le Panier Bleu” (LPB) should be, creating an anticipated disappointment in a service that does not even exist yet.
Also, many had instant reluctance about the form this service will take, because several independent initiatives in the past have tried to be the “Quebec Amazon” or to become the “Google of Quebec products” … and all of a sudden, the form or content of these platforms did not meet the real needs of buyers here.
I ask you: How do better?
In short, I understand the reactions, but why not put our old web experiences aside for a few moments? I believe that this is a golden opportunity to finally be able to put our best ideas (us web professionals) to profit. We can redefine together what Le Panier Bleu should be.
I therefore invite you to tell me in comments about your expectations for the platform, and perhaps in this way, we can open a proactive dialogue that can benefit all of Quebec!
What should be Le Panier Bleu
First of all, let’s clear things up: No, Le Panier Bleu should neither be the “Amazon” nor the “Google” of Quebec products. Why do the same when we can adapt to the specific economic culture of our province? But of course, a little inspiration will be harmful at the marketing level either.
To do this, some guideline already established must be defined.
Here is what the official government told us:
- The initiative is not even in the testing / beta phase yet.
- Le Panier Bleu will be a long-term project.
- While it won’t be a transactional platform at first, that doesn’t mean it never will be.
- It is not a for-profit project.
(although here … I believe that there would be a way to add tools to extract profits and taxes in order to improve our national social services)
- Quebec wishes to quickly and seriously develop delivery services in the province.
(Ok, it has nothing to do with Le Panier Bleu, but I’m getting there …)
Here are some ideas and guidelines that I suggest, and which therefore, could redefine the future of this online tool. The goal is to stand out, but also for it to be profitable (economically and culturally) for the people of Quebec:
- An official partnership with M Ta Région : The two platforms (if) integrated together, could work quite well! M Ta Région is very popular with current users, and the mission and vision of this application is very much in line with that of Le Panier Bleu. It could be something like an “Amazon Prime” subscription, but in Quebec style: with exclusive discounts to members on online purchases, but also on meals from local restaurants and more!
- Smart recommendations : It is good to create the web “directory” of all businesses in Quebec, but to navigate effectively and to keep the interest and attention of consumers, it will be essential to find options that suit our preferences. Ideally, these could be customizable: creation of lists, favorites, subscription to shops in order to follow new collections, etc.
- A dedicated and national delivery service : Unless you live under a rock (and even there …) you currently probably have a closer relationship with the delivery man than with your best friend. The online shopping trend is adding a lot of pressure to current delivery services (including Canada Post, which has experienced major administrative cutback for 15 years).
Since the current crisis, the need for delivery is exponential. As the Prime Minister himself mentioned an economic interest in developing the delivery sector in Quebec, why not launch the idea of having a new “national” delivery service! And while developing the concept, why not test it with Le Panier Bleu when purchasing will be available on the platform! In addition, if a service of the “Amazon Prime” type were to be developed (as in my first suggestion) it would also be interesting to offer the possibility of rapid delivery (optional).
- Cultural services : Again, nothing really new under the radar, as Amazon already offers music streaming and film services on its platform in exchange for an annual paid subscription. Why not take inspiration from it ?! We have magnificent film and musical productions in Quebec! Just think of all the projects funded by our government that made it to the Oscars or were nominated for Polaris Awards. It would be wonderful to be able to have privileged access to some of this content in exchange for an online subscription to Le Panier Bleu! For inspiration: just look on the website of the NFB or ICI Musique to reckon that we too could have a national platform that would easily compete with Play Musique or Prime Video in Quebec!
And now, do you have any suggestions? What can Le PAnier Bleu become in your opinion?