Customer Feedback Accelerated the Launch of Chewy's Virtual Vet Service
Online pet supplies retailer Chewy.com revealed customer feedback was a primary reason the company accelerated its plans to launch a virtual vet service, CNBC reported. CEO Sumit Singh explained during an keynote presentation at the NRF Big Show this week that even though the business was years away from rolling out the program, calls to Chewy's customer service line encouraged the retailer to speed up the process.
The virtual vet service launched in October 2020, and is one example of how Chewy is capitalizing on the momentum it has seen during the COVID-19 crisis. During the session, Singh explained that customers have formed new purchasing habits during this time, and he doesn't think pet owners will return to buying their pet products in-store after the pandemic is over.
“We’ve been in lockdown for 10 [months], 11 months now, the larger part of the year,” Singh said. “Customers have had the opportunity to try online models not just with pet, but across a plethora of services, whether it’s home delivery, food delivery, grocery shopping, or pet. That, in my opinion, really provides a bit of a mental shift for customers.”
Total Retail's Take: Chewy has continued to grow exponentially the past few years. In fact, it was ranked the fastest-growing retailer in Total Retail's Top 100 Fastest-Growing Retailers report in 2020. And the pandemic has only increased the momentum for Chewy, and the pet category as a whole, with more Americans adopting pets and relying on e-commerce delivery. However, it's unclear how long Chewy will continue to see this growth when society returns to "normal." Listening to customers' needs and wants and reacting swiftly, like Chewy did with its virtual vet service, is a great strategy to gain customer loyalty and position the business for long-term success.
Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.