My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Amazon's Wag.com Social Network for Pets - Quidsi in the Flight of the Navigator

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Amazon's Wag.com Social Network for Pets - Quidsi in the Flight of the Navigator


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. That is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar

This blog post on this bright Sunday July 10th 2011AD will go down as the shortest blog post I have ever made. Amazon, in partnership with subsidiary Quidsi, has resurrected a clone of the Pets.com website as a Social Network called Wag.com as stated in the article “Amazon’s Quidsi launches online pet store, Wag.com”, published JULY 6, 2011 by Andrew Couts, Digital Trends.

That’s right folks: Pets, like the one in the picture below:


More specifically the Wag.com caters to six (6) different categories of animals in as many online shops:

  1. Cats
  2. Dogs
  3. Birds
  4. Fish
  5. Reptiles
  6. Small animals
For those who came late, Quidsi is the company behind Diaper.com, Soap.com and BeautyBar.com, websites at which one can purchase online the aforementioned items in their website title but have it shipped free within one (1) to two (2) days.

Amazon acquired Diaper.com and Soap.com, and in effect, acquired Quidsi for approximately US$550 million pieces of silver in September 2010AD as stated in the article “Amazon buys diapers.com and Soap.com for $550 million”, published NOVEMBER 8, 2010 by GEOFF DUNCAN, Digital Trends and the article “Amazon to Acquire Diapers.com for $540 Million [REPORT]”, published November 6, 2010 by Ben Parr, Mashable.

This new site packs a wallop with nearly ten thousand animal related (10,000) products which they expect to ramp up to twenty five thousand (25,000) products by the Fourth Quarter of 2011AD. And as the graphic says, free shipping of the product within the US of A once your online purchase is US$49 or above, lower if you shop at all three (3) online stores.

But that is not the reason for this post.

What got me interested in even reading the above or doing this article is the fact that this reminded me of the old Pets.com website, which curiously shuttered due to the fact that it offered free shipping, which, rightly so, many Americans, who are fanatical about their pet, took advantage.

So how is Quidsi, doing free shipping more efficiently and managing to ship within the US in less than two (2) days, especially as pet-related items are assumedly very large packages? Yes, you guessed it: Robots [robotic voice]

Robots have long been in use in Japan, particular in car manufacturing plants, albeit the same nation was heavily criticized for its lack of use of Robots post-Tsunami disaster of Friday March 11th 2011AD as noted in my Geezam Blog article entitled ‘Japan Nuclear Disaster – Implications for Jamaica and the Consumer Electronics World” and my blog article entitled “Japan, Jamaica's OUR and Net Metering - When Disaster Strikes Don't Hold It Against Me”.

That “disaster” was the Fukushima Dai-ichi (“Number 1” in Japanese) Nuclear Power Plant explosion, which was 270km (170miles) North East of Tokyo City in Okuma, an event precipitated by the failure of the Cooling System as described in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Japan Nuclear Reactor Meltdown is the Asian Tiger Chernobyl”. 

The Japanese, much to their Government’s embarrassment and chagrin, had to resort borrow American robotics manufacturer iRobot’s industrial robots to do Inspections of the damaged Nuclear Reactor as stated in the article Where are the Robots' in Japan’s Nuclear crisis”, published March 19, 2011 4:28 PM PDT by Tim Hornyak, Crave - CNET News.

Thus the logic behind free shipping is revealed: repeat customers. By absorbing the cost of shipping in their business model, Quidsi effectively is doing as many other companies that offer free shipping do, which is to encourage more frequent and higher dollar value purchases by giving something for free - shipping.

But it is the Robots that really help to considerably cut the cost of warehousing and overnight shipping, the lynchpin that killed Pets.com and in the process guarantee efficient packaging and maximum two (2) day shipping.

Below is a demo of how efficient they are in the Soap.com and Diaper.com warehouses thanks to robotics:



Quidsi co-founder Marc Lore explains it best, quote: “[Free shipping] pays out much more in the long run than the transient connection you may acquire when you make a ton of money by delivering one product to one customer once”!

So it’s great to see an old idea revived a la The Lazarus Effect thanks to the efficiency of robots, who I’ve long speculated, are planning to take over the world as prognosticated in my blog article entitled “Google and AI - The Matrix and Terminator Rise of the Machines”.

Wag.com also give a clues as to what kind of businesses and FDI’s (Foreign Direct Investors) Jamaica may be able to attract when we are able to achieve lower electricity rates via Net Metering or even Nuclear Power as stated in my blog article entitled “Nuclear Power and Net Metering - Paulwell's Energy Sector Liberalization Chess Game”.

This as their business model is also feasible in Jamaica as well and it may be no surprise that they may be coming to Jamaica by 2012AD, Flight of the Navigator (1986) Style! 
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