The efforts of technology to make sure you need to spend as little time as possible outside of your home continue. Don’t want to make the extra trip to the grocery store? Knock that out at the train station.
No, I don’t mean you should run over to the 7-11 near the train station in the few minutes you have before the train arrives. If you live in a major city in the eastern United States, there’s a good chance you might see one of these grocery store billboards the next time you’re waiting for a train.
These Peapod billboards are designed to look like grocery shelves stocked with real items available for purchase, and feature QR codes that you can scan in order to take care of grocery shopping. Peapod is a relatively new Internet start-up that specializes in online grocery shopping and deliveries – you shop online, then schedule when you want Peapod to deliver the groceries to your home. Currently, Peapod is only partnered with a few major magnates – Coca-Cola, Kimberly Clark, Barilla, Proctor & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, and the legions of brands under the umbrellas of those corporations. Over 100 of the billboards will pop up in commuter rail stations in Boston, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
In truth, the billboards aren’t so much virtual grocery stores as they are very, very cleverly disguised advertising. Scanning any QR code on the billboard will result in the Peapod app being downloaded to your mobile device. Once you have the app installed, you can scan the QR codes next to the products on the billboards to add them to your Peapod cart, but you can just as easily use the app to shop the 11,000 plus products Peapod has for sale on their service. As far as marketing schemes go, this is one of the most shrewd ways of seen to get your app noticed and, better yet, used. But, one gets the sense that, from Peapod or not, there’s going to be a lot more where this came from in the near future.