‘Virtual Supermarket’ Launched At Mahwah Train Station
Look for a billboard that looks like a supermarket aisle at the Mahwah train station
Commuters can now pick up their groceries while waiting for and taking the train from the Mahwah train station. Online grocer Peapod installed a billboard at the Mahwah station last week that will allow residents waiting at the train station to access their virtual store via smartphones and iPads.
According to a release from Peapod, the aisle-like billboards contain QR codes that commuters can scan with their iPhones, iPads or Android phones to download the Peapod App. Virtual customers can then scan items’ bar codes from the billboard to add them to their virtual shopping carts, browse other items using the app, purchase the items, and schedule an at-home delivery all from the train platform, or while riding the train.
The billboards at the Mahwah and Ramsey train stations were two of 11 installed in N.J. last week. Others were in Denville, Glen Ridge, Montclair Heights, 34th Street (Bayonne), Tonnelle, Towaco, Mountain View, Glen Ridge, and Hoboken. Peapod installed 100 of the billboards at train stations in metro and suburban areas across the country.
The billboards feature what Peapod identified as commonly-purchased items, like coffee, cleaning products, soft drinks, snacks, milk, bread, fruits, vegetables and health and beauty products.
According to Peapod Marketing Director Peg Merzbacher, Mahwah’s and Ramsey’s train stations were chosen because the company wants to target commuters in the area.
“We’re targeting a wide spectrum of grocery shoppers -- from students to working parents," Merzbacher told Patch. “We hope to increase Peapod’s presence in Bergen County and thought these stops would be a great way to reach consumers.”
The company piloted the virtual supermarket billboards in Philadelphia and Chicago earlier this year. COO Mike Brennan said in the release the billboards “stopped people, it engaged them,” in the pilot cities, and the company is hoping to recreate that effect amongst commuters in Mahwah and Ramsey.
Merzbacher said if successful, train station billboards are just the beginning of the virtual supermarkets’ potential.
“We think that mass transit stations are a great place to hit a wide spectrum of grocery shoppers. The size of the signs dictates the appropriate venue, so we need a pretty wide expanse to display products,” she told Patch. “Interestingly, we've had inquiries from parking garages that have plenty of open space.”