I have been a BarkBox subscriber for 4 years and have previously found them to be mildly inefficient but the billing is accurate, the toys are cute and the packaging is tidy. However, I recently placed a gift order to BarkBox and things have gone badly. I got a delivery eta of a week out. Package not received 2 weeks later, multiple (5) follow-up emails entirely ignored by BarkBox. Response that finally came cited “mass email” to all subscribers (never received, although I continue to receive lots of sales emails from BarkBox) and “ongoing warehouse inventory”, and hopes that the box will ship in the next week or so. There is no mechanism for expediting support requests, and the front line folks appear to working from scripts intended to appease and retain customers, regardless of whether or not the problem can be addressed.
After launching in 2011, Barkbox saw more than $1 million in revenues per month after only 2 years in business. By February 2014, they reached $25 million in revenue per year. It’s no wonder so many other monthly dog box companies popped up after Barkbox’s initial (and continuing) success. Here are the features that make Barkbox a winner for you and your pooch:
"A BOX FOR RUFF AND TUFF MUTTS..and their owners! A box of durable chews and toys and high quality treats for Bully Breeds, Heavy Chewers, and your favorite Blockhead Dog. Also, packed with T-shirts, hats and other gear for dog-loving owners. A portion of all proceeds go to charities, rescues and humane law enforcement to combat animal cruelty and dog fighting. One, three, six and twelve month payment options to choose from."
PawPack is one of those subscription boxes that simply has it all. Each month, your pup will get a box filled with all kinds of goodies including the healthiest all-natural treats and chews made with real meat and wholesome ingredients (and from small businesses!) Not only are the edible treats nutritional for your four-legged friend, but the company strives to choose all items that are organic and eco-friendly to give back to not only your pet, but also the environment. Now that’s a mission we can get behind!
What comes each month seems to be tied into a holiday or time of year. For example, the BarkBox my dog received last week related to the Chinese New Year and contained treats like "Chompsticks" and a squeaker toy of a stuffed dragon. There are usually at least 2 themed toys, 2 themed smaller packages of treats, and at least 1 generic treat like a chew bone. The treats are marketed as "healthy snacks" like fruit chews and dried salmon. (If you get dried salmon, watch out. It smells! My dog loved it, however.) In addition to treats and toys, dog-related items may be included. We received a small treat jar and a water bottle to use when out walking.
But the data also shows a wide range. The lower bound is under $15, while the upper bound is over $35. This means there is scope for BarkBox to “complicate” their pricing. Consumer products try and keep pricing simple to reduce the friction in the sign-up. This often leads to them leaving money on the table. Here, BarkBox has options at both the premium level and the lower priced level:
Bark & Co is the New York-based startup that’s dedicated to making dogs and their humans happy. Since launching in 2012 with BarkBox, a monthly box of treats and toys, Bark & Co has shipped more than 30 million products and expanded into creating its own products, experiences and entertainment with BarkShop, BarkLive, and BarkPost. To learn more go to Bark.co.