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BarkBox, the BirchBox for dogs, adds two new innovations to keep its subscribers delighted

Man­hat­tan-based start­up Bark­Box – the Birch­Box for pooches – has announced two new ini­tia­tives which seem guar­an­teed to keep its bur­geon­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty amongst dog own­ers head­ing safe­ly sky­ward. While most e‑commerce ana­lysts can tes­ti­fy that many online ven­dors have aug­ment­ed their inter­net sales with pop-up shops (Bono­bos and War­by Park­er among them), Bark­Box is imag­i­na­tive­ly inno­vat­ing its online pres­ence to keep its sub­scribers firm­ly hooked.

Dog­gie sub­scrip­tions

Over the last cou­ple of weeks, it’s launched “Pup­pyFeed” (a pho­to-shar­ing forum that lets sub­scribers post adorable pho­tos of their adorable pup­pies) and a new iPhone app which, unlike the main online site, lets users buy indi­vid­ual items rather than just the pre-pack­aged box­es of dog-good­ies. It also lets them rate or revise items already in their box­es, as well as giv­ing them access to Bark­Box news to read and let­ting them buy Bark­Box gift sub­scrip­tions. Even the most world­ly-wise ecom­merce ana­lyst would con­cede that these are pret­ty clever entice­ments.

CEO and founder Matt Meek­er (who co-found­ed Meetup.com and Wee Web) set Bark­Box up in 2011 and open­ly declares that, as some­one who shares a lit­tle bit of dog­gie obses­sion with mil­lions of Amer­i­cans, he believed a sub­scrip­tion-based mod­el for dog gifts would fly. And boy, was he right. His start­up now has 105,000 sub­scribers and has seen its rev­enue expand ten-fold in 2013 alone to around $2 mil­lion a month.

Inno­va­tions

Sub­scribers receive a month­ly box of five to sev­en dog­gie-friend­ly delights and it’s clear that Meek­er is now seek­ing to build an inde­pen­dent com­mu­ni­ty of dog lovers on Bark­Box. Speak­ing about Pup­pyFeed, he told Ven­ture­Beat:

“Every month we get flood­ed with pho­tos and videos from own­ers. We want to har­ness that excite­ment. Pup­pyFeed is giv­ing peo­ple a tool to share their dogs with us and each oth­er, and gives them a way to com­mu­ni­cate. It is stitch­ing our com­mu­ni­ty togeth­er, and tight­en­ing those rela­tion­ships will lead to more cus­tomers all around.”

The app which was also launched is the first step toward a full m‑commerce Bark­Box store­front, and more fea­tures will soon be added, includ­ing push noti­fi­ca­tions inform­ing sub­scribers when their box was shipped and when it arrives at the front door.

No mat­ter how sea­soned an ecom­merce ana­lyst you might be, you’ve got admit it, this guy knows how to make ecom­merce work.

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