Wag.com was launched today and is an online retailer with over 10,000 products including major pet brands. The website was created by Quidsi Inc. which is a subsidiary of Amazon.com. Because of the resources of its sister sites Wag.com can offer warehouse space, innovative shopping efficiencies and customer service.
“A lot of our customers have pets in their family, and running out for pet food is an errand that certainly is not the most enjoyable one,” says David Zhang, site leader for Wag.com. “Our experience is in building relationships with customers, and a lot of our customers consider their pets members of the family, so this is a natural extension for where we are going.”
Shipping is free for orders over $49, which was the downfall of Pets.com in 2001. “Shipping is a main challenge of being in the pet business and is the big reason why others have failed in this space,” said Zhang, “Over the years we’ve optimized and optimized our fulfillment process to make sure our systems are able to support larger and lower-margin bulky products.”
“The product array Wag.com carries runs the gamut from mass market pet brands to items found in boutique-style pet shops,” says Liz Hochberg, Wag.com’s director of merchandising, “and includes products for dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles and small animals.”
Marketing plans for Wag.com’s launch include marketing the site to existing Quidsi customers and on social networks, including Facebook. “Social media is a big part of the strategy,” Zhang says. “Pet parents are very social media-savvy and like to talk about their pets, tweet about them and post pictures of them. We want to be there and foster that kind of engagement with them.”
Zhang also expects Wags.com to get some real estate on Amazon.com’s home page. Amazon closed April 1 on its acquisition of Quidsi in a deal valued at approximately $500 million. Zhang says Amazon is not managing day-to-day operations at Quidsi. “We’re still operating autonomously, but within the larger umbrella of Amazon,” he says.