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Peapod’s redesigned app pushes more grocery shoppers toward mobile

With Peapod seeing nearly one-third of its orders take place exclusively on smartphones or tablets, the online grocer has redesigned its mobile experience and set its sights on grabbing an even bigger share of wallet from the on-the-go shopper.

The new application features high-resolution photos and tools designed to streamline the shopping process for on-the-go consumers who may not have the time to visit a supermarket in-person. The brand’s ability to enable its users to peruse the digital aisles and filter products by dietary and nutritional needs suggests that more grocery marketers will allocate funds to making the mobile shopping process a bigger focus in the near future.

“Our mobile business is going from strength to strength, and we feel the launch of this mobile app is going to drive that even further,” said Carrie Bienkowski, chief marketing officer at Peapod, Skokie, IL. “Over half of our orders are touched by mobile, meaning that at some point, a mobile device or tablet is part of the process.

“It’s what’s causing us to be thinking mobile-first in terms of design,” she said. “Nearly a third of our orders are exclusively on mobile.

“In the past, the mindset was that mobile was secondary to the core shopping experience. I think the fact that a third of our business doesn’t even touch a desktop device shows how mobile has become the primary device where consumers are starting and stopping the shopping process.”

New features
Digital-savvy consumers frequently use their personal devices when shopping for groceries to search for coupons and product information, proving that turning the entire shopping process over to mobile is a viable strategy. Peapod’s updated app spotlights the various dietary and nutritional requirements of many customers by introducing a new filtering tool.

Users can indicate whether they would prefer to view products that are gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher, low-sugar, low-carb or nut-free. The amount of options and shelves in a grocery store may overwhelm a customer seeking a specific type of product, particularly if he or she is low on time.

However, the filtering abilities on mobile allow consumers to quickly shop and pay for items at a moment’s notice, regardless of their location.

“The nutrition filtering tool allows people to essentially customize the experience,” Ms. Bienkowski said. “It’s meeting a very real customer need to have great filtering tools.”

The Order Genius feature recommends products to users based on previous purchases, allowing customers to fill their carts with several clicks. The tool analyzes items shoppers have purchased in the past, but also factors in purchase cycles.

For example, if a consumer bought a bar of deodorant one week, Order Genius would not recommend it the following week, as it would with general items such as milk or bread.

“Order Genius is a feature we had on our existing experience, called Guess My Order,” Ms. Bienkowski said. “We have changed the algorithm a bit.

“It’s a way to get through the shopping experience much more quickly.”

On-the-go shopping
More consumers are turning to their smartphones and tablets to complete weekly tasks in a bid to save time. Completing an entire weekly grocery run on mobile is a perk that many other food marketers should strive to offer.

Peapod’s new app also syncs with its recipe-planning API partner GatheredTable, which is able to curate weekly meals and add all recipe ingredients to users’ Peapod shopping carts with a single click.

Peapod is aiming to make the shopping process even more streamlined by allowing consumers to scan a favorite product’s barcode with their smartphones to search for it in the grocer’s inventory, filter through limited-time specials, create a list of favorite brands and products and scan a list of past purchases for quick selections.

Additionally, users can set their desired delivery date in the app, as well as pick-up time slots for many locations.

“The very nature of our customer journey really lends itself to a mobile experience,” Ms. Bienkowski said. “Our average order contains over fifty items and has six separate shopping sessions which means that the anytime, anywhere connectivity offered by mobile is not a luxury but a mandatory.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York