RealTime IT News

Peapod Launches Online Research Service

Skokie, IL-based Internet grocer Peapod Inc. launched Consumer Directions, an online research service designed to provide consumer goods companies with information about the potentially large Internet grocery "consumer direct" channel.

Initial subscribers include Colgate-Palmolive Co., Kraft Foods Inc., Nestle U.S.A. Inc. and Ralston Purina Co.

Consumer Directions is structured as a two-year learning cooperative. During the term, Peapod will design and execute research projects regarding the effectiveness of various marketing tactics unique to the Internet distribution channel.

Research topics will include optimal product assortments, virtual point-of- sale displays, Web advertising, the use of targeting technology to customize products and promotions, and the appropriate mix of online and off-line marketing to build sales.

Subscribers pay an unspecified fixed fee for their participation in both cooperative and customized research. Peapod said it is in a unique position to provide these research services due to its dominant share of the Internet grocery market, and its Web site technology that allows it to generate customized stores, promotions and test environments.

"Recent forecasts of the potential size of the consumer direct channel are in the tens of billions of dollars," said George Douaire, Peapod's vice president and general manager of interactive marketing services. "We believe we can offer significant learning to consumer goods companies that will assist them in effectively participating in this channel growth."