If you're like me, you spend a lot of time looking at how Amazon does business. And for good reason. Amazon seemingly sells everything under the sun and they have been the standard for e-Commerce innovation since--well, since e-Commerce has existed. To me, their genius is in getting you to pay more than you would elsewhere, just because you like it so much. The experience is so easy, so trustworthy, so low-risk, and so time-efficient that you don't even think about shopping elsewhere.

So, I have found a shopping experience that has innovations that I haven't even seen at Amazon. Or at least I haven't noticed them at Amazon. And I don't know if others have them, but I haven't seen them. And this cutting-edge shopping experience is in (drum roll, please)... groceries!

Disappointed? I mean what can you do with groceries? Turns out that if you think about, there are some interesting ideas. The ideas I want to show you today are from Peapod, the online grocery service owned by the brick and mortar Stop 'n Shop chain of supermarkets.

I won't show you all of the interesting ideas in that Peapod shopping experience--just two. The first one is something that many businesses could do. In fact, any business that has regular, repeat business--kind of a supplies replenishment business:

Peapod Guess My Order

Think about all the companies that could do this. Any company for whom customers build up a regular order history could use this. Amazon has an ability to do a standing order for supplies so that they come every two months or whatever, but it handles each item separately and I have always found it hard to use. The Peapod approach works much better for me.

And here is one that works well for the grocery business, but I could imagine using it for restaurants or take-out orders, too:

Peapod allows ordering based on your diet

To me, this is genius. Now, it has to actually deliver on the promise, and you could see it being expected a great deal to cover other situations, such as or vegetarian (which right now you deal with by creating your own custom plan), but you get the idea.  This is a powerful way to make shopping easier and keeps people coming to Peapod.

So, what about you? Have you thought about how you make your customer's experience so easy that they never think about going anywhere else? If you don't, your competitor will.

Originally published on Biznology

October 10, 2011

Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.

Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.

Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.


Innovation can come from anyone! You have to give credit to Peapod for revamping the way people buy groceries. I think the "Guess My Order" function is a terrific idea! It's like when you call your favorite Chinese takeout place and they already know your order. That kind of personalization is really smiled upon by most customers.

Amazon has a grocery deliver program, but it's not available everywhere.

Great internet marketing concept by Peapod and seemingly so simple. That's part of the allure. Group items according to customer research delivering exactly how they want it and in an uncomplicated way.


You're right that it is genius in its' simplicity
The hard part is trying to create the same experience for a store like ours that is only an occasional purchase for our customers

Good point, Derek. As with any personalization feature, it works much better when you have frequent repeat customers than if you are constantly attracting new customers or occasional purchasers. Is there any way for you to increase the frequency of purchase or to set them up on automatic replenishment?

Nice article! I think Dean's comment sums it up very nicely!

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Search Engine Guide > Mike Moran > E-commerce innovation, and it's not from Amazon