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Online News -- December, 2010
Posted: November 24, 2010, 3 p.m., EDT

Petspace Agrees to Pay Fine Over Frontline Sale

Petspace LLC, an online pet supply retailer based in Olathe, Kan., has agreed to pay a $3,400 fine to settle allegations it improperly sold a canine flea and tick pesticide. Petspace, which operates the e-commerce site www.petsgohere.com, sold Frontline Plus for Dogs online on Sept. 1, 2009, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA claimed the retailer violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act because the product had been repackaged with incomplete and improper labeling and Petspace is not registered with EPA as a pesticide producer.

The sale of unregistered, misbranded pesticides without child-resistant packaging and complete and proper labeling can pose serious risks to human health, according to the agency.

Petspace manager Chris Miller said the company was unaware that it could not sell single dosages of the flea and tick control product—a common practice among veterinarians. Miller said the EPA has informed the company that it has to build more of rapport with its customers before it can do so.

By agreeing to the settlement Petspace LLC has certified that it is compliance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.


UPG Taps Bazaarvoice to Engage Shoppers

United Pet Group Inc. (UPG), the Cincinnati-based maker of Tetra and Nature’s Miracle brand pet products, among others, has launched a social commerce suite by Bazaarvoice. The social shopping tools in the suite allow UPG to receive customer feedback and to share that content with a network of retail partners.

“Bazaarvoice transforms the research and purchase process by giving every pet owner the chance to share and read real opinions and experiences with UPG’s family of brands,” said Mike Halloran at UPG. “Even better, we are able to share these opinions with a wide network of retail sites that carry our products to ensure that the voices of our most influential customers carry to the sites where the majority of our customers shop. It is a win-win-win for UPG, our customers, and our retail partners.”

With the Bazaarvoice product suite, UPG customers can share their opinions, questions, answers and experiences directly at brand sites operated by UPG, such as www.ProPetCybervet.com, and share this content on Facebook and Twitter.

In addition, relevant reviews are shared across a network of retail sites, including www.petco.com and www.petsmart.com, where they are available to other shoppers. Syndicated reviews may be included in retailer top-rated categories or directly on product pages. Bazaarvoice’s BrandAnswers program offers UPG the opportunity to respond to customer questions posed on retail sites.


Halo Named Freekibble Sponsor

Halo, Purely for Pets, a Tampa, Fla.-based manufacturer of dog and cat food, treats, supplements and grooming products, reported in early September that it has been named the official sponsor of Freekibble.com and Freekibblekat.com.

Freekibble.com and Freekibblekat.com were founded in 2008 by a 12-year-old girl named Mimi Ausland. For every trivia question attempted on the websites, Freekibble.com and Freekibblekat.com pledge to raise 10 pieces of kibble for animal shelters. As the official sponsor, Halo’s Spot’s Stew will be the exclusive dog and cat food donated by Freekibble.com and Freekibblekat.com.

“We are thrilled to partner with such an amazing young woman and her organization,” said Halo CEO Steve Marton. “Her desire to keep shelter pets fed, not with just any food, but with natural, healthy food, is commendable. We at Halo are honored to be able to help Freekibble fulfill their mission of feeding shelter pets in the best possible way.”


Delivery.com Expands Shopping Categories

Delivery.com, a home delivery website, has added several new market categories, including pet, grocery, pharmacy and liquor.

“We are excited to announce that our site now offers same-day delivery of many local items that consumers really depend on,” said Joe Ariel, CEO of Delivery.com. “We’re constantly adding new and diverse merchants so our users can easily purchase items that they may need in a pinch—toilet paper, diapers, over-the-counter medicine and pet food—or items that they would prefer not to pick up in person, like condoms, beer or cigarettes.”

The move to expand the availability of non-food items on Delivery.com was driven by increased consumer demand for a more diverse vendor list. The company also noted that an increased number of non-restaurant businesses have expressed interest in becoming a Delivery.com vendor partner.

The shopping category expansion comes on the heels of a newly revamped website. The new site features an overall improved look and user experience, as well as tools and options unique to the online ordering space. It includes enhanced search capabilities (users can now find neighborhood merchants by product, cuisine, delivery area, payment methods accepted, user reviews and more), real-time news feed of items being ordered, and a frequent shopper rewards program.

Additionally, Delivery.com now offers an affiliate partner program that allows users to earn cash for referring new merchants and users. These affiliate partners can earn up to 50 percent of the commission Delivery.com collects per order.


Orvis Launches m-Commerce Site

Orvis Co. Inc., a Sunderland, Vt.-based multichannel retailer of sporting goods and dog products, launched in October a mobile commerce site for shoppers on the go. The new m-commerce site allows smartphone and iPod Touch users to search for and purchase goods directly from their mobile devices.
“For more than 150 years, our name has stood for outdoor traditions, quality and customer satisfaction,” says Phil Young, vice president of e-commerce for Orvis. “Now we are enhancing that tradition by offering convenience to our customers who want to stay connected with us when mobile. This is a strategic path for us to deliver a world-class mobile offering to our customers.”

When mobile device users visit www.orvis.com, they will be automatically directed to the m-commerce site. The site, which uses Digby’s m-commerce software platform, features several shopping categories, including dogs, men’s, women’s, hunting, travel and in-season savings. It also offers ratings and reviews, a store finder and a site search.


Briefs:

FACE TIME: Mars Fishcare, North America Inc., a Chalfont, Pa.-based manufacturer of aquarium and pond products, has launched a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/apifishcare) for its API brand of aquarium supplies. The company said it views Facebook as an exciting way to communicate with hobbyists. Mars Fishcare plans to post articles, promotions, news and new product announcements on the page.

BIRD BRAINS: Kaytee, a Chilton, Wis.-based manufacturer of food for birds and small animals, is sponsoring a free, educational program on www.birdchannel.com, the website for Bird Talk magazine, a sister publication of Pet Product News International. Bird eUniversity, which runs until Dec. 15, invites bird lovers to complete courses in a variety of bird-related subjects, including avian nutrition, literature and psychology. All graduates will be able to download coupons for Kaytee products, with the valedictorian receiving a year’s supply of Kaytee bird food.

FOOD APP: Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has created an iPhone and iPad app that shows pet owners the proper amount to feed a dog or cat based on age, weight and other factors. CU-PetHealth is available for $3.99 from the iTunes store (www.itunes.com/downloads).

CLIPPER CLIPS: Andis Co., a manufacturer of hair styling and pet grooming products based in Sturtevant, Wis., has launched a YouTube channel on dog grooming. The website, www.youtube.com/user/andisgrooming, features informational videos, such has how to change a drive on Andis AG series grooming clippers, as well as clips from grooming shows.

PETSINTOUCH UP: Petsintouch.com, a free social networking website for pet owners, has launched a new landing page. The new landing page is designed to be more user-friendly and features five easy-to-navigate tabs: Broadcast Your Pet, Shopping Made Easy, Send Free Greeting Cards, Become a Winner and Free Downloads. The landing page also includes links to news for eight pet categories as well as Petsintouch.com’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pettube pages.

WEB REVAMP: Joseph M. Brady Co., a Needham, Mass.-based supplier of pet products, has redesigned its website, www.jmbrady.com. The newly revamped site now offers online ordering as well as descriptions and photos for all products. The company, founded in 1952, specializes in hard goods for dogs and cats.

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Online News -- December, 2010

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