Petbarn makes online shopping easy for pet owners, even during a pandemic

By Adobe Communications Team

Posted on 09-10-2020

Petbarn believes pets are family. With 250 stores across Australia, the pet-supply retailer offers everything pet owners need to provide for their beloved animals, from food and toys to veterinary care and pharmaceuticals.

A great in-store experience is one of the reasons Petbarn leads the pet-supply retail industry in Australia. And for the past year, the company has been working to deliver the same compelling experience through its website, determined to make online shopping easy and personalized. To do so, Petbarn has undergone a rapid digital transformation, with an e-commerce platform powered by Magento Commerce and Adobe Target serving as the foundation for a new, test-driven approach to digital experiences.

“When we first looked at adding Adobe Target, we knew it was going to be a gamechanger for us,” says George Wahby, chief executive officer and managing director at Greencross Ltd., Petbarn’s parent company. “I just didn’t expect to achieve so much so quickly. We set up Adobe Target in two days, and it paid for itself within three weeks.”

Early payoff

The Petbarn team was eager to get started with Adobe Target, which facilitates AI-powered testing, personalization, and automation at scale. They ran several personalized email campaigns, Wahby said, “to get some numbers on the board.” But the big payoff came when Petbarn launched an online offer personalized to customers’ purchase behaviors that previously ran only in stores.

Inserting image...

Adobe Target

Test and optimize every experience, every time.

Learn more

“For us, personalizing offers based on previous purchase behaviors is a way to encourage people to spend a bit more than they normally do,” says Linden Martin, head of CRM and customer experience at Petbarn. “Using Adobe Target, we were able to segment customers based on their average order value and expose them to the right discount level. Through that one promotion alone we fully paid for our investment.”

That was week three into using Adobe Target. Since then, the team has optimized almost everything through A/B testing — product pages, add-to-cart button, search, the mobile experience, and more. And the numbers are impressive. Online revenue from new visitors is up 43 percent, thanks to a refined approach to discounts for first-time visitors. Subscriptions to the company’s Repeat Delivery service are up 20 percent, with well-placed messaging.

The team has also started testing the ability to personalize recommendations for each pet based on specific profile information about the animal. The initiative will use Adobe Target to replicate the expertise of in-store associates assisting customers with finding the right food and other products.

Providing during a pandemic

Thanks to its digital transformation, Petbarn was able to adapt quickly when COVID-19 hit Australia earlier this year. Customers still needed pet food and other essentials, of course, but fewer were visiting stores, and the retailer faced the very real possibility of government-mandated closures. It needed to ramp up delivery quickly.

“As online sales tripled, we decided to use our 250 stores as fulfillment centers and start offering same-day delivery to customers,” Wahby says. “But we needed to make sure we were 100 percent capable of meeting demand before we rolled it out to everyone.”

That meant extensive testing and a staged, controlled rollout on the website. Petbarn used Adobe Target to expose the same-day delivery service to narrow audience segments, such as residents of Melbourne. If volume started to exceed capacity, they could easily “throttle back” and limit exposure to just a segment of the audience. Or if they encountered a problem, the team could immediately remove the messaging and functionality.

Petbarn used the same approach to release its new live chat feature. By carefully controlling audience exposure, the team made sure chat volumes were manageable as the company ramped up staffing. The live chat service has transformed Petbarn’s customer service model and has earned a 92 percent positive rating from customers.

A culture of testing

The COVID-19 crisis shows how far Petbarn has come in its digital journey. Same-day deliveries are now a significant part of its online business. Conversion rates have increased more than 40 percent from a year ago with the use of Adobe Target.

In addition, the company’s mindset has changed to one of testing, setting up the retailer for continued success in the pandemic and beyond.

“Before Target, we always had theories and assumptions, but we never had proof,” says Wahby. “Now the numbers speak for themselves. We’re constantly trying new ideas and tracking the results — and we see every test as an opportunity to learn.”

Learn more about Petbarn’s use of Adobe Target here.

Topics: Customer Stories, Personalization, Insights & Inspiration, Digital Transformation, Retail, Marketing, Experience Cloud, COVID-19,

Products: Target, Magento Commerce, Experience Cloud