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Three months after Ahold-owned Peapod brought virtual supermarket shopping to Philadelphia-area train stations, allowing people to use their smart phones and a Peapod application to scan QR codes and purchase products that can be delivered to their homes or offices, the company is now using that same technology in Chicago’s State and Lake Station. For the moment, the interactive billboards features just 70 SKUs.

The concept is similar to one that Tesco originated in the Seoul, South Korea, subway system and now is expanding, and that Sears, Kmart, Ocado and even Procter & Gamble have been testing. (you can see the original MNB story, plus a video here.

According to the Peapod announcement, “Commuters can get orders started on the platform, manage shopping lists and schedule deliveries - for next day or even several days or weeks in advance--during their train rides to or from the office ... For a limited time, mobile shoppers can enter promotional code ‘CHICAGORAIL’ for $20 off their first order, and 60 days of free delivery for subsequent orders.”

Peapod says that the Philadelphia campaign was a success, that 90 percent of those consumers who scanned products in the train stations returned to Peapod to shop and order again.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “Other Chicago locations might be added, as well as locations in other cities, depending on what happens during a 12-week run at the station, which averages 17,640 commuters each weekday.”
KC's View:
I love that Peapod is being so aggressive in testing out this technology, looking to see where the limits are on how people will buy groceries. It will, I think, give the company a real advantage down the road.