In Search of Online Grocery Profits
Companies have been looking to strike gold with online
grocery services for years. The list of those that have tried and failed is
significantly longer than those that have succeeded.
Peapod is among the survivors.
The Ahold-owned company is celebrating 20 years of taking orders and delivering
groceries to consumers. Today the company, which estimates it has filled 14
million orders, serves 360,000 households in 22 markets.
co-founder and chief technology officer of Peapod, recalled the early days
of the business where he helped customers with their dial-up modems.
“There were moments of sweat rolling down my face as I
thought I’d messed up someone’s hard drive,” Mr. Thomas told the Chicago
Sun-Times. “One woman asked, ‘What do I use this foot
pedal for?’ Turned out, it was the mouse.”
It’s unlikely that one of the newest
players in the online grocery business, GroceryU.com, will find much mouse
confusion among its customers. The service, started by three seniors at Penn
State University, offers students on the campus who do not have a car a means
to get groceries without getting on a bus.
“For the last two years, I’ve lived
with four other guys, and it was a hassle because none of us had a car,” co-founder
Tyler Droney told The Daily Collegian.
GroceryU requires a $40 minimum
order and charges a delivery fee of $5 for orders under $100. Orders of more
than $100 are free, Mr. Droney said.
Questions: How do you perceive the state of online grocery today? What
do you see as the future prospects for online grocers? Is there a company (or
companies) that you believe has figured the business out?
- Peapod celebrates
20 years – Chicago
- Students create online grocery delivery
service – The Daily Collegian