Amazon.com subsidiary Quidsi announced today the launch of Wag.com, an e-commerce site just for pets. Quidsi is also the company behind Diapers.com, Soap.com and BeautyBar.com.
This new site will launch with an inventory of about 10,000 products (the same as a standard brick and mortar pet store), and the company reportedly plans to eventually offer about 25,000 products. Any purchase over $49 will receive free shipping, with 1- to 2-day delivery guaranteed.
If all of this feels eerily familiar, that’s because it is. A little more than a decade ago, Pets.com — which offered a nearly-identical service to Wag.com — is still considered a poster child of the dot-com bubble. The company became famous for its sock puppet mascot, which was used in television commercials. But despite the catchy advertising, the company blew through its coffers of cash in only two years time, at least partially because it shipped giant bags of dog food and cat litter for free — an expensive offering no matter how you cut it.
Some say that the launch of Wag.com is only the latest sign that we’re experiencing another bubble in the technology market. Not surprisingly, however, Quidsi disagrees.
“We’ve been doing this for a while,” Quidsi Marketing Director Earl Gordon tells CNet. “We can efficiently deliver a a 40-pound bag of dog food.”
The company, which Amazon purchased for $550 million last year, is known for its fine-tuned logistics, and its use of advanced warehouse technology, like the Kiva robots, to keep its operational costs to a minimum.
Aside from its notorious cost-cutting measures, Quidsi co-founder Marc Lore tells The New York Times that, while shipping large, bulky items at zero cost to the customer “has always been expensive and it still is,” it also helps create customers that will keep spending money with the company. “[Free shipping] pays out much more in the long run than the transient connection you may acquire when you make a ton of money by delivering one product to one customer once,” he said.
Watch a video about Quidsi’s Diapers.com factory to see how their high-tech factory works: