As man’s best friend, you want your dog to enjoy the best toys around. That’s why SodaPup produces high-quality, durable and natural toys that are made in the United States. Read on to find out what differentiates SodaPup from the other manufactured dog toys in the industry, and how they’re using Bizzy to attract new customers.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you sell at SodaPup.
SodaPup produces durable natural rubber dog toys including treat dispensers, tug toys, squeaker toys, dental toys, ultra-durable chew toys, retrieving toys and floating training dummies (to name a few). All of our products are made in the USA. Our products are made from natural rubber which is harvested from rubber trees. The material is sustainable and non-toxic and incredibly durable. It is also FDA compliant. Our designs are fun and colorful, and are not only meant to entertain your dog but also to put a smile on your face.
When did you start selling online? Why?
We started selling online about a year and a half ago. We believe that selling our product on our own site (vs retailer sites) is important for several reasons. First, having our own ecommerce presence is a great marketing vehicle for the brand. Most of our retail and distributor partners come to our site first before deciding to adopt our product for their businesses. Secondly, it’s the only place online where a customer can get the complete brand experience; where they can learn in more detail about who we are and what we do. Third, selling direct to consumers gives us the opportunity to speak directly to dog lovers and learn more about them and what they’re looking for. It gives us the opportunity to communicate with them and market to them. Finally, direct selling through our e-ommerce site is a profitable business.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in building and running SodaPup?
Building the shop was not difficult. We use Shopify and it has been a great experience. The biggest challenge for us is driving traffic to the site. The pet industry is very competitive and large online retailers like chewy.com and amazon.com have a huge share of the online business. We have a lot of work to do with regard to day-to-day management of the site, optimizing SEO, planning adword campaigns, etc.
How do you attract new customers?
We are just getting started with Bizzy but the early indication is that this tool does an excellent job with following up with folks that come to our site. We’ve seen a pretty direct correlation between sales and activating Bizzy. It’s a simple tool to use which means it will actually get used!
Can you share a tip or something interesting you learned in the process of building and running SodaPup?
We are competing with a lot of other businesses for mindshare. People aren’t going to just find us on their own. We have begun to use more social media as a method to “fill the funnel” which takes some time, but if you keep after it every day you begin to see the results. Just in the last month, we’ve opened new distributors in United Arab Emirates, Australia, Guatemala and Portugal. All of these distributors had seen our Instagram posts, researched us by coming to our site, and then contacted us to start a business relationship.
The other big lesson is that consumers are hungry for well-made, American products. While we are not an “artisanal” brand, the fact that we are a high-quality, USA-made brand resonates with many consumers, especially millennials, who want quality over quantity.
If you’re looking for dog toys made of sustainable material and is non-toxic to your dog, check out SodaPup.