Peapod's New Innovation Lab & Digital Media Platform
Brands have put innovation at the fore of their digital strategies, and those with the resources have been opening whole departments to come up with fresh new ideas.
As one of the world's first online-only grocery suppliers, innovation has been hardwired into the DNA of Peapod. The company not only carries out grocery deliveries from its own warehouses, but also facilitates home delivery for other Ahold Delhaize-owned supermarket brands, including Stop & Shop, Food Lion, and Giant-Landover. The company recently introduced same-day delivery and is presently working to extend that service over as wide an area as possible.
Now, the innovative brand is making an even bigger investment in the digital world with the opening of a dedicated digital lab.
The Peapod Digital Lab opened on the same premises as the company's Chicago headquarters back in January and has already established itself as a driving force for change within the organization.
Bringing the previously disparate departments of marketing, data science and analytics, technology, engineering, and innovation together under one roof has empowered them to collaborate and communicate on projects more effectively than ever before. Peapod presently sits at fourth place in the so-called grocery wars, lagging behind giants Amazon, Walmart, and Kroger, but the brand believes this new focus on digital innovation will help it compete with these behemoths.
"The future of grocery retailing is powered by digital and driven by the customer," said Peapod Chief Marketing Officer, Carrie Bienkowski. "As an ecommerce retailer, we have the golden goose of retailing, which is first-party data. So, most important is changing the customer experience to be more personalized to benefit the customer at the end of the day. We feel a huge amount of responsibility to create more relevance."
As an online-only brand, Peapod can gather purchase history data on all its customers - not just those using loyalty card schemes like its brick-and-mortar equivalents - and can use this information to deliver up-to-the-minute bespoke advertising. In fact, thanks to the nature of the data gathered by Peapod, the company has a database of over 3,000 zip codes which can be used to display location-specific advertisements to its customers.
The lab is also working to add further convenience to the company's offering with instant delivery.
Peapod Media Platform
As if this wasn't enough, the Peapod Digital Lab is presently planning to launch a digital media service.
The platform, named Peapod Digital Labs Media Partnerships, aims to work with other consumer goods companies to develop new ways of delivering contemporary and data-driven media campaigns, designed to be optimized, targeted, and measured across all customer touch points - both on- and offline.
"A hallmark of Ahold Delhaize USA's great local brands is the close connections that each brand holds with its customers," said Chief Ecommerce Officer and President of Peapod Digital Labs, JJ Fleeman, in a statement. "As we stand up Peapod Digital Labs, the engine that will power brands' digital strategies, we're pleased to launch this new platform, which will strengthen the brands' abilities to incorporate our partners into the omnichannel experience each delivers and to leverage a best-in-class technology platform to engage consumers at every stage of their shopping journeys."
Like the home delivery service, the platform will work with all Ahold Delhaize-owned supermarket brands and help drive consistent online grocery sales, roll out new products, amplify in-store events, boost brand loyalty, and support shopper themes across them all.
Bringing together the various Ahold Delhaize brands and leveraging the data produced across them all is a fantastic way for Peapod to start catching up to Amazon, Walmart, and Kroger. With a combination of online and brick-and-mortar shoppers to leverage, the data that can be gathered is rich and powerful. It will enable the new media platform to deliver better and more appropriate advertising to consumers at just the right moment.
"The benefit that creates for our customer is that it allows us to take media and content and get it to her directly at the channel of her choice," concluded Fleeman. "And you would also imagine that this will generate new revenue streams for Ahold Delhaize, which will help fund the new omnichannel strategy that we plan on launching soon."
Innovation labs and data are set to be hot topics at Digital Food and Beverage 2019, taking place in July at the Hyatt Regency Austin, TX.
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