Petshop.ru — Business is responsibility for those, who believe in us

Interviewed by: Tatiana Katasonova

Nationwide quarantine in Russia is approaching. What can a business do in this situation? What works out and what does not? What is the degree of business’s social responsibility? How should it take care of its employees and clients? Alexey Piankov, the CEO of petshop.ru online store, shares a few ideas about how his company is coping with the situation.

We have been able to handle it…

Times are hard for any business now. The beginning of the week (17th and 18th of March) were the hardest days: the demand spiked. We had to satisfy it while keeping the level of quality and service that our customers expect from us. Of course, sales have increased, when everyone, afraid to be locked up for a long time, rushed in panic to buy pet food and litter. Now turnover is at a regular level. But this week it will take us a while to deliver all of the hoarding purchases.

It should be mentioned that our IT team managed the spike in demand very well. Our website did not fail, everything worked just the way they were supposed to. Though we had to increase delivery times on orders. We have no problems with stock. Special thanks for that to our logistics director, who set the things up just right. It is not that he was able to see into the future. We simply have a back-up stock that helps us to go through times like this.

We handled one peak, we are anticipating the next one, and we are ready.

I believe that things can go in two possible directions now. First is that the situation with the pandemic normalizes and things gradually return to the way they were. The second one is that things get worse and the government has to impose a nationwide quarantine. I truly hope that in the latter case the government will give business some sort of heads-up so that people will buy everything in advance. The first peak of demand was caused by those who believed that things would get worse. The second one will come from those who expected things to go back to normal and failed to buy everything that they needed for the time of the quarantine.

The main thing is to keep calm and sign up!

During the peak demand the number of customers doubled while the average check size increased by 80%. Now things have returned to normal. It looks like everyone realized that the prices are not going up and products are available in stock. On our part we are trying to keep our customers updated about our current situation and stock. That’s why our clients keep trusting us.

By the way, many of them are signed up to automatic reorder. For example, a client can receive some particular item every Wednesday without ever needing to return to the website and do the order manually.

Subscribers are our priority customers. First of all, the stock for their orders is booked in advance and it ships first. Secondly, we understand that if a customer has signed up for a certain product to be delivered every Wednesday, then the product is really needed on Wednesday. So it is our duty to deliver it on time.

We protect ourselves and our clients

We spent about 2 million rubles (over 23,000 Euro) to buy protective and sanitizing products for our employees.

First, we disinfected all our stores, warehouses, and inside of our delivery vehicles.

Next, we introduced the one meter rule. Which is now the minimal distance allowed between employees. more

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