Photo: Business Insider
PetFlow.com is a website that sells and delivers pet food and sets up an automatic delivery schedule so your dog or cat never goes hungry.The founders of PetFlow know all about the downfall of Pets.com, and they’re making sure to not repeat the same failed methods of the now-defunct site.
“They sold product for below cost,” PetFlow co-founder Alex Zhardanovsky says of Pets.com. “You can’t get a customer to buy a product for half price and then later charge them twice the price. It makes no sense.”
PetFlow might not offer insanely low prices, but they’re making a profit on each order they ship and are projecting to break even by the end of the year. In January, PetFlow has shipped out 7,000 different orders resulting in $600,000 of revenue for the month.
Whereas Pets.com offered free shipping even on heavy bags of food, PetFlow charges a consistent $4.95 shipping fee per order. They also have an exclusive deal with FedEx that reduces their shipping costs even more – similar to the shipping deal Zappos has in place with UPS.
“We’re definitely not trying to be a low-cost provider here,” co-founder Joe Speiser says. “It’s just all about the convenience.”
The founders are relying on their automatic delivery service to carry the business. At the same time, this auto-delivery system gives them a better sense of how much inventory and supply they need. Alex and Joe drew their inspiration from working with Netflix at their previous company. They fell in love with the idea that once a customer signed up, they were locked into a recurring plan.
“You get hooked on the convenience,” says Joe.
Through its exit survey, PetFlow has found that only 4% of pet food purchases occur online. Despite the existing competition in Petco and PetSmart, the guys at PetFlow think the two goliaths focus too much offline on its retail stores.
PetFlow is tapping into the online space and is looking to increase that 4% figure by making people realise the huge convenience in having a 40-lb bag of dog food delivered to their door step.
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