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For customer experience, satisfaction, and convenience, Peapod achieves those three lofty goals on a routine basis.
When the Parkinson brothers started Peapod in 1989, it was a two-person operation based out of the family garage. Customers were required to have RAM space on their original Macintosh desktops, a dial-up modem and a floppy disk drive–a far cry from today’s mobile app, iCloud storage, and easy-click checkout.
“If you look back at our first instructional video and compare it to the technology we have now, it’s pretty amusing,” Thomas Parkinson explained in a company release.
A customer placed grocery orders online using Peapod’s software, and the brothers would hand-pick the desired items themselves at a local grocery store and deliver them to the customer’s home.
Fast forward 25 years, and Peapod operates sophisticated fulfillment centers, most with distinctive climate controlled zones, including several zones specific to produce type. Peapod’s friendly delivery drivers arrive promptly at customer homes and businesses or on-the-go customers swing by convenient Pick-Up locations to collect their orders in under five minutes. Its transportation fleet of its familiar green delivery trucks seeks to use the most environmentally friendly fuel and technology available.
Peapod.com and shopping from a computer for home-delivered goods was born. Peapod was the first online grocery service, giving customers first in Chicago and later in 23 other U.S. markets the convenience and value of shopping on their own terms–anytime, anywhere.
“We wanted to fundamentally improve people’s lives by making it easier to shop,” Andrew Parkinson, president, CEO and co-founder of Peapod, who also served as delivery driver along with his brother and their wives in the early Peapod days, said. “We did that by bringing an interactive shopping experience to a broad customer market.”
Today, Peapod has 1,500 employees and offers more than 15,000 items in its digital aisles, has filled more than 29 million grocery orders across 24 U.S. markets, and continues to leverage its relationship with America’s finest supermarkets: Stop & Shop, Giant Foods, and GIANT/MARTIN’S as a member of the Ahold USA family of companies.
“First and foremost, Peapod is a grocer,” Andrew Parkinson said. “And we are proud to partner with some of the premier supermarkets in the country. By leveraging the food expertise of Ahold’s retail companies and combining it with Peapod’s dedication to innovative mobile technology and improving the digital customer experience, we are uniquely positioned to offer our customers options to shop for their groceries how, where and when they want. We pack a one-two punch that places us at the top of the pack of online grocery retailers.”
A large segment of Peapod’s customers is time-starved, tech-savvy Millennial moms.
“Our aim is to bring convenience to their lives, and we recognized early on that that means putting mobile first,” Andrew Parkinson said.
The free Peapod smart phone and tablet app released in 2010 was the first of its kind. Today, 40% of the company’s total sales come from mobile devices, and 70% of its mobile sales are from apps.
“At 25, we’ve come into our own,” Andrew Parkinson said. “We’re the best of a grocery store plus more. We’ll celebrate this milestone by continuing to deliver the most convenient shopping experience, with the most diverse selection of products, at the best value, to our customers.”
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