Petworld succeeds with multi-channel strategy – strong growth in all channels

In 2017, Gorm Håland and Kaia Rugseth decided to invest in online shopping. Five years later, they are co-owners in a group that last year had a turnover of more than NOK 200 million.

petworld.no with product reviews from Lipscore ratings & reviews

Turnover for 200 million

Gorm Håland and Kaia Rugseth decided in 2017 to sell equipment and food to pets online.

Before they had time to launch their own online store, the entrepreneurs had the opportunity to buy Petworld.no, which at the time was a small, well-established online store with an annual turnover of NOK 12 million.

A lot has happened since then. The company has merged with the PetXL chain and acquired Karbon Invest as the majority owner. Last year, the group opened three new stores and put in place robot warehouses from Autostore.

«Last year was fantastic for us with strong growth both online and in our physical stores», says Kaia Rugseth, CEO of PetXL.

Last year, the company had a turnover of just over NOK 200 million. Most of the turnover came from PetXL’s seven stores, but the online store Petworld.no is also doing well.

«Petworld.no is our most important channel for meeting those who shop online. Petxl.no is first and foremost a showroom for the chain’s physical stores, but the goal is to speed up that online store as well», says Rugseth.

Great benefits with several concepts

Kaia Rugseth believes that the strategy of having Petworld.no as a pure online store and PetXL as an omnichannel concept gives them great competitive advantages.

«We estimate that the total market for food and equipment for pets in Norway is NOK 11-12 billion. Most people still shop in a physical store, but the proportion who shop online has changed dramatically in a few years. With our channel strategy, we are relevant to many pet owners.»

The competition is complex, says Rugseth.

«The grocery stores has historically been a major competitor, but they have a completely different quality. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of this. At the same time, we face competition from the international companies that sell online. Our competitive advantage is that we are close to the customers and the employees know a lot about our products.»

Rugseth sees big differences between PetXL and Petworld customers.

«Petworld customers come from all over the country. They go to the website, order and disappear quickly. PetXL customers, on the other hand, take better time. They are happy to visit our website before coming to one of our stores. They may need to buy new harnesses for their pet or want to test different types of animal feed.»

Trade in all channels

To strengthen the position, Rugseth and her colleagues spend a lot of time on content for both Petworld.no and PetXL.no.

«We spend a lot of time on product enrichment on our websites. It can be anything from informative product texts and guides to photos and video.»

In addition, the pet experts invest heavily in collecting product reviews with Lipscore. Rugseth says that most people are happy with what they buy, but sometimes there are customers who are dissatisfied. It is useful for the further development of the product range, Rugseth believes.

«Of course we greatly appreciate praise from customers, but it is the negative feedback that is often the most useful. When a product receives poor feedback, we check up on what has happened. The process further depends a bit on whether it is our own brands or products we have bought from our suppliers, but in all cases we take the customers’ experiences seriously.»

After working intensely for several years to build a solid organization and develop its concepts, the company is now ready to take over the neighboring country, Rugseth says.

«We have very serious plans to start in Sweden this autumn. We go in with an online store and probably a couple of physical stores. In the first instance, we go in with the PetXL concept, which we believe in a lot.»

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