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Peapod’s New Virtual Shopping Uses M-Commerce to Reinforce Brand Identity
By: Elaine Reed
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The online grocery store, Peapod, has taken their main value proposition to a new level. Peapod began as an online grocery service designed to help out people who weren’t able to make it to the supermarket on a regular basis. Now Peapod is taking their program to the next level. Rather than requiring shoppers to go to Peapod.com, they are bringing the store to them in the form of virtual shopping.

Peapod has set up virtual stores in several Chicago El stations, allowing people to scan and shop while they wait for their trains. Shoppers need to have the Peapod app on their phones, as well as an account to shop, two hurdles that aren’t terribly difficult to overcome. This virtual shopping strategy is brilliant for several reasons. First, it reaffirms one of Peapod’s biggest selling points: convenience. Second, it creates a unique m-commerce experience, and finally, it encourages impulse shopping.

As a marketer, Peapod’s new venture is a great case study. They took an emerging technology and used it to reinforce what is perhaps their most important value proposition. Rather than requiring people to go to their website to shop, they brought the store to them. And not only that, they did it in a way that incorporates it into their target market’s day-to-day life. This is the digital equivalent of Dunkin' Donuts placing their stores on the side of the street that is most convenient for morning commuters. How often have you cobbled together a meal or done without something for a day or two because you were too busy or too tired to go to the store? Peapod is all but removing time and energy constraints from grocery shopping.

They are also reinforcing app use. Studies show that most people download apps, use them a few times, and then forget about them. Virtual shopping reminds people that their app is ready and waiting for them to use at their leisure. This approach will drive m-commerce sales, perhaps to the point in some markets where people will use the app more than the website.

Using Peapod as an example, what can you do to reinforce your brand’s main selling point? Specialty stores can create an app that creates and saves shopping lists and store directories. Sports trainers can create an app full of custom content and video to help people exercise on the go. Musicians can create an app that allows people to purchase new music exclusives while they attend a concert. How would you use m-commerce to reinforce your brand?

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About the Author
Elaine Reed is a marketing professional with heavy emphasis on e-commerce and Internet marketing. She blogs regularly on her website and tweets often.
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