Celebrating 10 Years Online
4 CommentsSunday, 16 February 2014 | D for Dog
We are very proud to be celebrating 10 years online this year.
When I started D for Dog it was just a hobby, worked on in my spare time after getting in from my full time job. It soon got to the point where D for Dog had the potential to really grow, if only I had more time to spend on it.
I took the risk, gave up my paid job and started full time on D for Dog and the site flourished. To still be around 10 years later is quite something considering this climate and the growing online competition. Sites come and go and we are still here. Yay.
In 2005 I was lucky enough to be featured in Dogs Today magazine, in an article about people with dog related businesses who were hoping to give up their day jobs. I look back with fondness at that article and the hits, which were 95,000 then and now exceed 4 million per month. Of course I know now that ‘visits’ is the statistic to quote and we have over 95,000 visits per month.
Quite something for a small site playing with the big boys.
What has changed in 10 years?
So much has changed, especially with regards the internet. The competition for dog accessories is now fierce. New sites are springing up all the time, some small like us and others with massive backing and funding, some run by marketing execs who have never even owed a dog. Competition is also growing from the high street, with many shop chains and supermarkets adding dog accessories to their list of wares in recent years.
So how have we survived?
Well it sounds obvious really but we actually own, love and know dogs. We care and we are knowledgeable. A supermarket or a large site thrown together by marketing gurus won't necessarily care about their products like we do and they probably won’t be able to help you like we can when it comes to your dog's needs. We care about dogs and we care about what we sell.
Our customer care is second to none. Don't take my word for it - you can see any number of happy customers posting product reviews and feedback on our site plus postings to third party review sites. Customer care really matters to us. We don’t have huge budgets for SEO and advertising. We rely on providing the best products and service possible so that we grow our reputation by word of mouth. And if you have a query, you will hear back from me personally. We also have many repeat customers, which speaks for itself. Our customers are happy and the products we sell are great.
Why are our products special?
The clothing we sell is practical and useful, the toys are only from brands we know and trust, the dog treats and goodies are natural and healthy from small independent UK bakeries using only the best ingredients, the gifts are handmade, unique and well made, the dog accessories are practical whilst also being comfortable and attractive. Every product we sell has a reason for being in our shop. If I don’t love it, I don't sell it.
Welcome to European dog lovers
A big thing that happened recently is that we finally expanded to Europe shipping (EU countries). So if you are a customer who has asked if we dispatch to Europe, the answer is now "Yes". If you are from or living abroad, you can now buy fabulous dog accessories online from us without having to rely on UK family or friends posting your purchases to you.
We are not just a shop
D for Dog didn't start life as a shop at all. I started the site to share info, news and of course fun with dog lovers. That aspect is still dear to my heart so, as well as great online shopping, you will find a whole host of useful and fun things on D for Dog.
Some of the things we used to offer on the site have sadly gone over the years, but it is more a case of moving with the times. The gallery, shrine and forum were largely superceded by social media websites like Facebook. So we have become more active on social media over recent years and our Facebook page is a great way to interact with us, read useful posts and play our various competitions, which are all free and great fun. ‘Like’ us so you don’t miss a thing.
We are also extremely proud of our monthly newsletter, which goes out to approaching 10,000 subscribers and growing every month. Wow!!! It is a great way to keep up to date with dog news and D for Dog news in a quick once a month email. If you haven’t already subscribed, see the bottom right of any page of our website (in the footer) and simply enter your email address.
Join us in celebrating
So that’s enough trumpet blowing. Let’s have some fun. As we are 10 years old this year we thought we would do a special competition to celebrate.
We are not giving away our usual £10 voucher. As this is a very special celebration, for this competition we are going to times the prize by 10 and give away a whopping £100 gift voucher to spend at D for Dog.
It is free to enter, so have a go 10th Birthday Competition - Win £100 Voucher
(closes Thursday 20th March 2014)
Have fun and good luck