Conventional wisdom has it that Tok Tok Tok is an idea that can’t work. In a few taps, you can order anything you want in Paris, but it will cost you between €5 or €10 depending on where you are. So why would you order a fine burger from Big Fernand if there is a 30 percent premium on the final price? Some users already order dozens of times per month, but the startup has bigger plans and wants to scale its model to become a brand new go-to-market strategy for brick and mortar stores — evidence of this lies in the startup’s latest team member, Eric Reiss.
When founder Serge Alleyne met Reiss, he tried to convince him to join the company and form a duo with him — the founder would become president and handle the product vision of the company, the senior executive would head the company and handle international business development.
“I wanted to have fun again,” Reiss told me in an interview. “Serge knows what he needs to help his business take off, and it was love at first sight when I met him — I said yes in less than 24 hours.”
Before Tok Tok Tok, Reiss spent 13 years at Carrefour, the fourth-largest retail group in the world after Wal-Mart, Tesco and Costco — he then took some time off and worked as an independent consultant. At Carrefour, he quickly became a key member of the business development team in Brazil and Argentina. He came back to France to become CFO of Carrefour Group before returning to Brazil to become CEO of Carrefour hypermarkets in Brazil.
He has first-hand experience of the hypermarket boom and now realizes that hypermarkets are not trendy anymore in European countries. People tend to prefer local shops. And that’s why Tok Tok Tok is promising.
Tok Tok Tok now has hundreds of thousands of items in its catalog. When you open the app, you can browse slick pictures of food, flowers, wine bottles and more. You select what you want, order and get a map to see your runner in real time moving around the city.
At first, Tok Tok Tok was pretty similar to American competitor Postmates. But the French startup is moving away from Postmates as it is rethinking the experience from the ground up, with a big focus on user experience. Postmates is all about optimizing delivery, Tok Tok Tok is all about bringing your local shop to your smartphone and browser.
The value proposition is quite simple: small shops lack visibility and don’t have any incentive to pay delivery persons. Tok Tok Tok brings new clients. The bigger the company becomes, the cheaper it is to deliver something. If the startup manages to scale properly its client base, its runner base and its partnerships, store owners will end up paying the delivery fee. Clients will pay the same list price, without any delivery fee.
Tok Tok Tok wants to open new cities very soon, starting with London. The company raised $2 million earlier this year to do just that. Other cities will come quickly afterwards, and Reiss should be a great asset when it comes to expansion — he speaks six different languages.