January 17, 2011, 4:44 PM

Peapod delivers Apples to mobile customers

The online grocer has added an app for the iPad.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

The iPad app enables customers to view products in a grid format, a more visual format than a list.

Online grocer Peapod LLC is building out its mobile commerce channel, adding an app for Apple Inc.’s popular iPad tablet PC to its existing roster of smartphone apps for Apple’s iPhone, Google Inc.’s Android and Hewlett-Packard’s Palm. It’s a strategic move to address the quickly increasing number of users of the iPad. Apple sold 8.5 million iPads in 2010, its debut year, and will sell 19.4 million this year, according to research firm eMarketer Inc. The iPad accounted for 88% of all tablet PC sales last year and will make up 81% of tablet sales this year, eMarketer says.

The iPad app from Peapod, No. 47 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, enables customers to search the grocer’s entire slate of offerings by typing in search terms or entering a Universal Product Code number, which precisely identifies a product. The iPad app showcases weekly specials, allows customers to build shopping lists and make quick buys based on past purchases, locate specials based on past purchases, and use a Guess My Order feature that with one touch compiles a grocery list based on items frequently purchased.

And, unlike with the smartphone apps, the iPad app enables shoppers to view items in a list or, making use of the larger screen, in a grid format. A grid format divides the screen into equal-sized boxes that use larger images, affording a highly visual experience that smartphones cannot effectively duplicate due to screen constraints.

“We are excited to expand our technology to the tablet platform,” says Thomas Parkinson, chief technology officer at Peapod.  “Our customers are tech-savvy and demand smart, engaging and well-made solutions to simplify their lives. We think the Peapod iPad app will satisfy that need.”

In addition to the new iPad app, Peapod also has made updates to its smartphone apps. The home screen now features new arrivals; the apps now let shoppers sort by size, unit price, calories and other methods; and the apps now support both portrait and landscape displays.

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