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Mobile Innovation: Commuter Grocery Shopping

Chicagoans spend more than 200 hours a year commuting to and from work. Much of that time is spent mindlessly wandering the transit platforms of the city, waiting for their train to come in. Now, thanks to Peapod, commuters can use that time to grocery shop.

Peapod has turned the busy State and Lake Station Tunnel in Chicago into a virtual grocery store by lining the walls with larger-than-life photos of stocked grocery store shelves.

To order groceries, customers simply use their smartphone to scan the bar codes printed along the wall. 2 boxes of Barilla pasta, 10 Chobani yogurts, a six-pack of Powerade. Then they schedule delivery for the next day or the next week. Groceries can be delivered to their home or to the office. Perfect for the office manager who needs to keep the company break room stocked.

Once they’ve connected with the Peapod app, they’ll have access to over 12,000 items including fresh meats, specialty foods and pet supplies so they can complete their list.

Peapod ran a smaller version of the campaign in Philadelphia earlier this year but the tunnel takeover in Chicago is the first of its kind. It’s a large scale example of what mobile can really do for us. People don’t have to shop from giant, virtual aisles, all they need is their phone, but creating an interactive wall draws folks in and sharpens the idea. There’s something cool about scanning groceries then having them show up at your house the next day. And since the process starts on the platform, they’ve got plenty of train time to work out the details on their phone.

Have you seen an innovating campaign using mobile? We’d like to hear about it.