September 1, 2005, 12:00 AM

PetMed’s web site barks more loudly than its catalog

How do you move more catalog orders to the web? Roll out the kind of shopping experience and customer service that only a web site can offer, says Bruce Rosenbloom, CFO of PetMed Express Inc., where the web accounted for 54% of first quarter 2005 revenue of $23.5 million.

How do you move more catalog orders to the web? Roll out the kind of shopping experience and customer service that only a web site can offer, says Bruce Rosenbloom, CFO of PetMed Express Inc., where the web accounted for 54% of first quarter 2005 revenue of $23.5 million.

PetMed is a direct marketer of pet supplies and medicines through two channels, catalog and PetMed.com. With more than 5.6 million visitors annually to its web site, it’s taking several steps to capitalize on online traffic.

A redesigned web site that PetMed launched last November features improved search tools, more educational content and a more prominent catalog quick order application. Another new web feature-“Ask the Vet”-lets shoppers and pet owners send health and medical questions to a PetMed veterinarian or pharmacist by e-mail and receive a response, usually within 48 hours.

An expanded call center with 92 full-time employees is integrated with PetMed’s customer relationship management, e-mail management and live chat programs, which in turn gives service representatives instant access to customer records and expedites order processing.

The company says repeat sales totaled $25.8 million for the first quarter of 2005, up 29% from $19.9 million a year earlier.

“We will continue to focus on reorder sales in fiscal 2006 by initiating more personalized communication with specific relevance to our customers,” says CEO Menderes Akdag. m

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