This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

How to Unleash Pet Lovers' Spending

"In the service industry, it's really about providing great service at the right price whenever, wherever people need it and being able to clearly articulate and promote their brand as much as possible to everyone," Mann says. "No matter where you are or when you need us, you've got a sitter available."

Pepperdine's Nolan adds that understanding what channels your product or service will be best sold through is "equally if not more important than knowing whether your product or service compares favorably to your competition. With this knowledge you can honestly asses how you will or will not succeed in the field."

PetFlow.com is filling a need by offering premium and specialized pet food through home delivery it says will save owners time, money and hassle.

Unlike other online pet suppliers that failed, including Pets.com, the 1-year-old supply company is seeing an opportunity to keep customers coming back by offering automatic refills.

"This industry is unlike many others and the reason for that is it lends itself well to an auto-replenishment model," co-founder Alex Zhardanovsky says. "The customer needs a regular, stable supply of similar or identical products on a regular interval."

"If we have competitive price, have the product and actually get it to their door, that would mean we would keep that customer on average for the life of the pet. The lifetime value for us is significant," Zhardanovsky adds. "There are not enough businesses in this space taking advantage or even promoting the concept of auto-ship. It's an afterthought."

Whereas Pets.com carried practically everything needed for your pet, Petflow.com narrowed its product to premium and specialized food. Even so, its product line has expanded to more than 100 brands of pet food, Zhardanovsky says.

The offering is a win-win. Consumers are paying more attention to what they feed their pets, and margins are higher for premium products. Add in a recurring revenue stream by making sure customers are satisfied the first time around and it could be business gold.

The idea is so promising that this month the company got a $10 million investment from private equity firm Lightspeed Venture Partners.

"Once that 30-pound bag of dog food shows up at your door the first time, you're never going back to the store -- unless they have a huge discount, which is usually not the case," Zhardanovsky says.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/#!/LKulikowski

To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

RELATED STORIES:







Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
3 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,131.97 +100.83 0.59%
S&P 500 1,998.98 +14.85 0.75%
NASDAQ 4,552.7590 +33.8570 0.75%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs