Is PetSmart barking up the right/wrong tree with same-day delivery?
PetSmart, the largest pet products and services retailer in the U.S., is the latest retailer to get into the same-day delivery fray. The chain announced yesterday that it would offer same-day and customized scheduled deliveries to customers in 17 major metropolitan areas across the country.
The same-day delivery service comes with a $7.99 service fee and is currently available in Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orange County, CA, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. Later this month, it will be expanded to Boston, Dallas, Houston, New York, Northern New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Yonkers, NY. Delivery is being handled the third-party service Deliv. PetSmart currently operates approximately 1,477 stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
When shopping on PetSmart.com, customers can set deliveries to arrive within a few hours of ordering or up to two days later. The new delivery service was announced as part of the launch of the company’s newly “re-engineered” website that runs on the cloud. The site uses responsive design optimized for mobile to offer the same shopping experience across devices.
The new site includes an improved search function and an in-store inventory function that enables customers to see if a desired product is in stock before they head out for the local PetSmart. The retailer has also developed a store associate ordering system so, in the case of an out-of-stock, front line employees can order a product online and ship it directly to the customer’s home for free.
“Leading retailers are strategically differentiating themselves through customer-centric user experiences that both define the brand and meet the dynamic expectations of today’s digitally savvy consumers,” said Brendan Witcher, principal analyst with Forrester Research, in a PetSmart press release. “PetSmart’s move to better align the commerce experience with each individual’s unique shopping journey shows they are putting the customer at the center of their strategy.”
- PetSmart Launches Dramatically New and Improved, Built-for-the-Future PetSmart.com – PetSmart
- Another big retailer is investing in same-day delivery. This time it’s PetSmart. – Recode
- PetSmart takes on Amazon with launch of same-day delivery and subscriptions – TechCrunch
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is same-day delivery becoming a necessity for retailers looking to demonstrate an organizational ability to serve the needs of today’s demanding customers? Do you think same-day delivery will appeal to existing PetSmart customers while helping to attract new ones?