Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Website Case Study : That Sells Online Pet Food is a successful small business website that has shown you can make money in pet food niche. The pet food website was founded by Alex Zhardanovsky in 2010. In its first month, July 2010, the online company shipped about 60 orders; by January 2012, that number had leapt to 27,000. In 2011, PetFlow exceeded $13 million in revenue — with 60 percent of its sales coming on a subscription basis — and it projects revenue will exceed $30 million this year.

Petflow has changed the economics of operating a small business online. Instead of selling single items he has gone for a subscription based model.

How Did Petflow Achieve this Rapid Success Online

In a New York Times interview, Alex shared business ideas on how to create a successful website.
Before he started the pet store website, he first did online market research to gauge whether the idea would fly.
Mr. Zhardanovsky and his co-founder, Joe Speiser, set up a Web page in 2009 with a form that asked customers if they would be interested in signing up for regular deliveries. They then placed a few ads online and waited to see what happened. “We had an overwhelmingly positive response from our customers who wanted to sign up for the service,” said Mr. Zhardanovsky, who lives in New York City and who proceeded to introduce PetFlow in 2010.
The success of petflow is a good example that thinking out of the box can pay dividends. If you had asked me whether you could sell pet food via subscription I would have said it will never work. When Alex came up with the idea he did not do the the number one mistake most people do, ask friends and relatives whether they think an idea will work. He went and asked the target consumers.

That is the key to this story. If you have an idea of starting an online business, first ask your target consumers if what they would be interested in your product or service. The target consumers are 99% likely to give you an honest opinion.

You can ask your target consumers for their opinion by doing what Alex did. Setting up a web page and asking visitors to answer a short survey. To attract visitors to the web page, Alex advertised on Google Ad words.

Go to where your target visitors congregates. Check out forums and popular websites. The best tool is social media. Social media is becoming an important research tool for small business. Join an established Facebook page of your target niche and ask members what they think. Be tactful when doing this, you don't want to appear spammy or worse a stalker.


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