Chewy is barking up the right tree when it comes to customer loyalty
Chewy’s customers have been singing its praises since the online pet products retailer launched in 2011. The company has built a loyal following with the fundamental understanding that pet parents regard their fur babies as significant members of their families.
The retailer has connected with Millennials and others by offering a wide selection of products, including prescription meds. Early on, the retailer jumped on the free two-day delivery bandwagon with a $49 minimum purchase requirement.
Of all the items that set Chewy apart, however, none may be more important than its direct 24/7/365 customer service operation that empowers employees to go above and beyond for their customers. Examples include sending a customer flowers to congratulate them on a wedding that was mentioned on a call. Another representative sent an unused keyboard from the company’s supply closet when a customer mentioned having a broken device.
In a 2019 interview, Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen told Business Insider, “I thought if I could deliver the same kind of personalized experience as the neighborhood pet store, but do it online and deliver a really convenient value proposition, that we could build a really big business.”
Chewy has succeeded in building its sales, which has benefited from conditions created by the novel coronavirus pandemic, as more consumers have gone online to purchase food, toys and other items for their pets. The retailer posted a 45 percent gain in net sales for the third quarter even as it continues to search for a path to profitability.
CEO Sumit Singh has banked the company’s hopes on attracting a growing number of new customers while gaining a larger share of sales among all shoppers. Mr. Singh has said in the past that Chewy was capturing less than half of the pet-related purchases made by its customers.
The key to Chewy’s success continues to be its “neighborhood pet store” mentality. The Associated Press recently reported on the retailer’s practice of sending oil painting portraits of pets done from their profile pictures on the site. Chewy sends more than 1,000 free paintings every week.
“I just want to buy everything from them,” said Danielle Schwartz, who received a portrait of Stinky, her cat. “They’re a big company. I was shocked that they did something so personal.”
- The cofounder of Chewy explains how he created a $10.2 billion empire selling pet food to millennials who treat their animals like their firstborn children – Business Insider
- Retailers get real with high-touch service – RetailWire
- Chewy Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results – Chewy, Inc./Business Wire
- Are Chewy and PetSmart better off apart? – RetailWire
- Chewy sends pet paintings to keep customers from straying – AP News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see the customer service ethos at Chewy as being key to reaching the retailer’s market penetration goals? What do you see as the biggest impediments to continued growth and eventual profitability for Chewy?