PetSmart takes on Amazon with launch of same-day delivery and subscriptions

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With more online shoppers turning to sites like Amazon, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have had to step up their competition on the e-commerce front – including by offering faster deliveries – or risk losing customers. The latest to join the fight is PetSmart, which today is rolling out a redesigned, mobile-friendly website offering same-day, scheduled deliveries and subscriptions, among other new features.

The changes are designed to make it easier to order the sort of regular pet staples that shoppers need, like food, over-the-counter medicines, grooming supplies, litter and bedding, toys, treats, and more.

Like Amazon, PetSmart shoppers can opt to subscribe to frequent orders through a new “auto-ship” option that lets you choose to have items delivered on a schedule you prefer – anywhere from between 2 to 8 weeks – in exchange for a 5 percent discount, along with free shipping.

The new shipping options are powered last-mile logistics provider, Deliv. With Deliv’s service integrated into PetSmart’s checkout flow, customers can choose same-day delivery in the 17 markets (2,500 zip codes) where Deliv operates.

At launch, same-day,available for a $7.99 fee, is available in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, San Jose, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle and Chicago. By mid-November, it will arrive Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Yonkers, Northern New Jersey and Washington D.C.

In addition, Deliv’s integration means customers can choose to customize their delivery schedules. Delivery can be set within a few hours of purchase, up to two days later, through the new feature, says PetSmart. And all this takes place on a new, one-page checkout screen, meant to boost conversations and cut down on cart abandonment rates.

Along with the changes, the PetSmart.com website, powered by SalesForce Commerce Cloud, has been completely overhauled. The design has been optimized for mobile devices, like phones and tablets, and the shopping cart will be mirrored between desktop and mobile.

A native mobile application is also expected to launch in a matter of weeks.

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The ship-to-store option has been improved, too, as PetSmart’s site will show in-store product availability. Plus, when items aren’t available in-store, the company is offering the option to ship to customers’ homes for free.

Pet grooming and boarding services can also now be booked online, via the new site. And customers can opt to receive text message about deals, through an opt-in SMS service.

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Overall, the upgraded site is a major move from PetSmart, which today operates 1,477 pet stores across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, along with its digital brands, PetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com, Pet360.com and petMD.com.

Acquired in 2015 by a consortium led by BC Partners for $8.7 billion, PetSmart has since increased profits and sales, and expanded its brick-and-mortar footprint. But ignoring the online threat is not an option for the retailer.

“Our omnichannel strategy is aimed at giving pet parents options tailored to their needs and desires,” said Eran Cohen, PetSmart’s “chief customer experience officer,” in a statement about the launch. “We look forward to seeing their response to the new site with its new user experience and commerce-meets-content approach, as well as to our expanded and convenient home delivery options, which capitalize on our extensive store network for same-day and scheduled delivery,” he added.

This isn’t the first time PetSmart has experimented with more modern delivery options. Before today, PetSmart has been participating in Google’s same-day delivery service, Google Express, which recently expanded across the U.S.

For Deliv, meanwhile, PetSmart is another big win for the delivery provider, who has previously done deals with Best Buy, Walgreens, Macy’s, and even Walmart, in select test markets, among others.