With the launch of soap.com, the founders of diapers.com are hoping to take their low-margin, bulky-item online success formula to "everyday essentials."
Just as diapers.com has succeeded in selling diapers, baby wipes and formula to time-starved mothers, soap.com, to be launched in early July, is aimed at bringing budget prices and overnight, straight-to-your-door delivery to everything from paper towels and laundry detergent to toothpaste, vitamins, makeup, and shampoo.
"These are products you bought 1,000 times before and you don't need to see or touch them," said Vinit Bharara, chief operating officer of Quidsi, the parent of diapers.com and now soap.com. "You're buying them again and again. Shopping for them is a chore. At the end our goal is simple: Make your life a little bit easier."
Jodi Allen, vice president, North America Baby Care, P&G, sees soap.com as a natural extension of diapers.com's aim of "delighting mom." Having a baby is "when her consumable needs grow" and begins her adventures in bulk buying. The mother regularly winds up stressfully hunting down such staples while having little time in the shopping trip for true necessities, such as food for the family.
"We talk to moms all the time and they talk about shopping with their baby as a time bomb ready to take off and this really relieves all that," said Ms. Allen at the event.
Like diapers.com, soap.com is expected to benefit from
similar competitive advantages:
The execs recounted the success of diapers.com as the world's fastest growing internet retailer, going from $89 million in 2008 to $182 million in 2009 and projected to reach $300 million by 2010. While execs said the overall baby care market is $2 billion online and $40 billion overall, the market size for "everyday essentials" is estimated at $8 billion online and $125 billion overall.
"Now, we want to take that same model and apply it to a much bigger arena," said Quidsi CEO Marc Lore.
Discussion Questions: What do you think of the online opportunity for everyday household products? What do you think of applying the diapers.com formula to soap.com?
What do you think of the online opportunity for everyday household products?