Online grocer Ocado is aiming to take a slice of the pet products sector with a dedicated microsite devoted to the category.
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Ocado launched Pet Corner on Wednesday and will group all its pet products on the site. These include food for dogs, cats and small pets and a small amount of non-food accessories.
The microsite, which links with the main site so that shoppers will only need one shopping basket, also offers pet advice. It has joined up with global pet health and nutrition adviser Waltham to provide answers to customer queries.
A spokesman for Ocado said the microsite was born as a result of customer feedback. He said: “Pet products are a fast-growing category and our customers were asking us for a dedicated area, where they could also get advice.”
Brands carried on the site will include mainstream names such as Whiskas, Iams and Pedigree. It will also stock more upmarket niche brands, such as Lily’s Kitchen, an organic pet food brand popular with the well-heeled.
Lily’s Kitchen opened a pop-up store over Christmas, incorporating a ‘dog diner’, with features including a belly-rub bar and snooze zone by the fireplace.
Pet Corner will also sell a selection of vet-approved products, including TV vet Joe Inglis’s ranges of pet foods and supplements.
The Ocado spokesman said further ranges and accessories would be added if there was sufficient customer demand.
Ocado, which floated last summer, will update on its full-year results next week. The etailer’s shares hit a record high this week amid speculation about a takeover or stake-building, after suffering a roller-coaster ride since the float.
Ocado recorded a strong Christmas, despite the snow, with gross sales up 26.7% to £50.9m in the four weeks to December 26.