Online grocer Peapod is taking its virtual store on the road. The e-grocer has had billboards in subway and commuter train stations for more than a year that let customers order by scanning a QR code with a smartphone. Now Peapod is literally rolling those signs out at summer events, according to Supermarket News.
The new version of the order-it-yourself signs will be on the sides of Peapod delivery trucks that will be sent to concert venues, ballparks and other summer gathering places in Peapod's East Coast markets as well as Chicago. Potential customers will be able to download the Peapod app using a QR code on the truck-mounted billboards, then order from among 23 items displayed on the truck, ranging from Coke and Campbell's soup to Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers and Finish dishwasher detergent.
The items will then be delivered by Peapod's service, presuming the would-be customer isn't a tourist from a non-Peapod locale. It's also not clear whether a customer ordering at, say, a baseball game in Philadelphia would be able to order products to be delivered at home in Milwaukee.
Experiments in QR-code-based grocery ordering aren't new—Tesco tried it first with signs in South Korean subways in 2011, and a Walmart subsidiary created 1,000 half-male-long virtual stores in China last year.
But Peapod has been especially smart in how it has targeted its signs—they're in places where customers are likely to want groceries delivered soon (but not right away), and where customers have a few minutes to spare. Putting the billboards on wheels and rolling them out to events may be an even more effective promotion—the curiosity factor alone should get people looking. If someone in the crowd actually orders dinner, the biggest source of complaints may be from people who spent too much time at the truck when they should have been getting into the concert or ball game.
- See this Supermarket News story