Yotpo Grows Sir Dogwood’s Business
Sir Dogwood is a small pet supply business on a mission to make the pet trade more inclusive. Company founder Chaz Olajide explains that when she brought home her first dog in 2013, there were no websites featuring people of color.
“When we brought him home, I was really excited to delve into the world of pet supplies,” Olajide says. “I also wanted to shop small, shop local, and stay away from big-box stores. When I went to do some research, I quickly noticed two things: I wasn’t seeing any fun clothing and accessories for dogs. Everything was old-hat. And I noticed that the pet industry wasn’t very diverse at all. I wasn’t seeing any people who looked like me in the pet space, not even pet bloggers. I remember trying to find stock images of black people with dogs, and I literally couldn’t find any. So I identified this as a market for me and got my wheels turning thinking about how we can change this.”
With people of color not represented in the $760.7 million pet supply industry, there was a huge opportunity, Olajide adds. But she could only take her business so far as a one-person operation.
“I knew that I needed a more robust, layered marketing strategy,” Olajide recalls. “And I needed guidance on the best practices to move to a more omnichannel marketing strategy.”
In 2020 Olajide started looking for a solution to help with her company’s marketing challenges.
As the Black Lives Matter movement grew in 2020, Sir Dogwood started to get a lot more attention as a black-owned business.
“All of a sudden, I was getting a lot more traffic on the site. I knew that I had to do something to capitalize on the momentum that I was seeing over and above sending out an e-blast once a month,” Olajide says.
As she searched for solutions, her business was selected for the first class of Yotpo Grow, Yotpo’s incubator program, designed to support small, black-owned businesses with free access to its products, a customer success team, and dedicated training.
“The idea for Yotpo Grow came from conversations we were having within Yotpo about new ways we can engage with the world around us while capitalizing on our strengths as a company,” Yotpo executives explained at the time. “With plenty of empty statements circulating from big brands, we wanted to create something actionable and personal.”
Olajide started with Yotpo in May 2021. A tiered launch started in the midsummer, first with reviews and SMS messaging, followed by loyalty.
“SMS has been really great in helping give me a second way to keep in touch with customers,” Olajide says. “Every time I have a new drop, a new announcement, or something else I really want to get in front of my audience, I not only send out an email blast, but I also do an SMS campaign. It’s been phenomenal for me as a business owner. I just love the instantaneous nature of it.”
Olajide also likes the 4,700 percent ROI that adding SMS to the company’s marketing channels produced.
“The loyalty and rewards [feature] has been great for me,” Olajide adds. “It’s really engaged what I like to call my highly engaged pet parent or group. These are the people who might have a separate social media page for their dogs or celebrate milestones for their dogs. They consider the dog to be part of the family.”
Sir Dogwood’s loyalty program includes points for various activities, with the business goal of convincing customers to visit the site more often and purchase additional products.
Better engagement also increased the email open rate from less than 50 percent to 61 percent, while the conversion rate nearly doubled, from about 5 percent to 9.6 percent.
Olajide hopes to further boost those figures by expanding SMS messaging and becoming more deeply involved with other aspects of the Yotpo Grow solution.
Through Yotpo Grow, Sir Dogwood has seen the following results:
- an increase in the email open rate from less than 50 percent to 61 percent;
- a near doubling of the conversion rate, from about 5 percent to 9.6 percent; and
- a 4,700 percent ROI from adding SMS messaging to the marketing program.