Bark & Co., the company behind a series of doggie-themed services, including subscription-based goodie boxes (BarkBox), vets-on-demand (BarkCare, on hold), a content site (BarkPost), and mobile apps (BarkBuddy, BarkCam) has now rolled out its next doggie destination with the launch of e-commerce site BarkShop. The online shop features a variety of dog products, including toys, treats, leashes, dog beds and more, organized into around half a dozen themed collections.
In addition, the new shop is also home to the debut of Bark & Co.’s first in-house brand of products, called BarkMade. The company explains that BarkMade is still in the very early stages, but it will expand this collection going forward to feature more of its own product line.
The themed collections on the site make it easy for pet owners to find items that fit their dog – for example, there’s a collection of “essentials,” another aimed at owners of big dogs who need heavy-duty toys and treats, and there’s even a collection of toys and treats for “fatties.”
What’s different about this e-commerce site is how the products are selected. Bark & Co. has shipped over 2 million BarkBoxes since that service’s launch in December 2011, containing over 5,000 products. Those toys and treats were all tested before inclusion in the boxes (via BarkLab, aka Bark & Co.’s dog pals), and for every item that gets into a BarkBox around 10 others were rejected. That data now helps to inform the products BarkShop features, along with other information and feedback like Net Promoter scores, social chatter and customer support ticket data.
BarkShop will be adding to its six collections with the launch of a new themed collection every two weeks, some of which will be timely (like doggie Halloween costumes) while others will focus on dogs of a specific size or personality type. The collections are also designed to be shared as content through BarkPost’s site which is now seeing 10 million uniques per month, Bark & Co.’s social community of over 1 million, and through its affiliate network (BarkPack), which includes the famous dogs of Instagram with a combined 10 million+ following.
Many of the products on the site are things you can’t get in a BarkBox because they’re too large – like doggie beds or the K9 Kannon, for instance – but you can also shop from past BarkBoxes in order to re-order toys and treats your doggie enjoyed. At launch, the site includes over 100 products, we’re told.
Products ship within 3-5 days for a flat $5 fee. Plus, free shipping is available for orders over $35. (U.S.-only)
The site is mobile-optimized but will be available as a native app in 2015.
Bark & Co. has taken a smart approach to capitalize on people’s love of dogs in building this doggie-themed empire of e-commerce services, subscription offerings, content sites and apps. The company reported it was cash-flow positive since Q4 2013, and turned down the opportunity to raise a large growth round or exit to a big-name pet retailer earlier this summer in order to raise a smaller $15 million Series B instead, mainly from previous investors as a way to add a cushion to its operations.