BarkShop Live: Tech-Smart Retail for Dogs
US pet e-commerce platform Bark & Co. has launched a dog-focused retail space in SoHo, New York, where consumers can use technology to track which products their dogs prefer. The move taps into the booming pet market – sales are expected to hit $92bn in the US alone by 2019 (MarketResearch.com, 2015).
The weeklong pop-up (June 6-12 2016) is by appointment only, costing $30 per session – redeemable against purchases. Each dog is given an RFID-enabled vest and left to play with RFID-enabled toys in a central communal space. The technology enables owners to see definitively what products their dogs spend most time playing with – info communicated directly to the brand's mobile app, where a list of preferred toys is presented. Favourites can be purchased in-app.
The space also features two sample stations where dogs can snaffle the brand's snacks.
"To create really great experiences for dogs, we've realised that we need to create really good experiences for their humans, too," said Henrik Werdelin, co-founder of Bark & Co. "There aren't too many cool things you can do with your dog right now, except maybe going for a walk or to the park."
The company also runs a monthly subscription service for dogs (look out for our report Membership & Tiered Retailing, publishing June 23) and a dog-themed publication, BarkPost.