Recently, Angela Spears, SVP of Digital Strategy & Marketing at Animal Supply, reflected on our digital transformation in a LinkedIn Pulse article. Read her thoughts below.
Just two short years ago, Animal Supply Company began a digital journey with a simple idea to change customer experience through digital innovation. And do it fast.
Our transformation vision: Invest in technology, partnerships, people and logistics to provide a platform of services that enables our company, brand partners and retail customers to compete in a digital world.
We’re nowhere near the end of our road. In fact, we are just getting warmed up, but here are a few lessons we’ve learned along the way.
1) Anchor digital to a clear customer value
We were using four legacy eCommerce websites with varying degrees of capabilities. The customer experience was limited, and far from future-ready. In an effort to provide our customers with the modern technology we’re all used to interacting with as consumers today, we got to work building one new National eCommerce platform.
Our objective: Create an effortless and rewarding B2B shopping experience for our pet retail customers. Then, we designed a native mobile app that puts more power and features directly in their hands. The way they serve pet owners will never be the same.
2) Link the Transformation to the DNA of the Company
Local pet store owners face the same threats as many other local businesses in competing with the forces of Amazon, and in the case of the pet industry, also Chewy.com. So, we leveraged our core strength in logistics to create an entirely new business model by adding our special ingredient – smart logistics technology.
The result: A new delivery solution leveraging our nationwide footprint to enable pet retailers to deliver premium pet brands direct to consumers. With our smart logistics technology and proven logistics capabilities, pet retailers traditionally selling only in brick and mortar can now compete with the big guys. Have we mentioned yet we love supporting local independent retail stores?
3) Build talent and partnerships
To create best-in-class solutions, invest in the best in-house talent and the right partners. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the partners we selected for our journey. Bottle Rocket was chosen to lead our digital design and mobile development, OROCommerce engineered an integrated eCommerce platform that enables us to execute our strategy, and Allata architected our Direct to Consumer offering. Our partners share our vision and passion to innovate and pioneer. I like to refer to them as our vision allies. It’s a beautiful thing.
4) Chase your mission and never stop thinking big
At Animal Supply, we’ve spent the last two years integrating digital into every function within the organization. Recently, at the Groothandel E-commerce Event in Rotterdam, Netherlands, a member of the audience asked, “how are you really driving the transformation?” There is no script, but have conviction in your vision, and chase it as if the company’s (and your) future depends on it.
At the end of the day, it’s all about pets for us. We have a team that shares a common purpose and passion for pets. Together, with our retailer and brand partners we will keep innovating and pioneering to help pets live happier, healthier lives.