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e-Commerce innovation, and it’s not from Amazon

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.

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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.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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