As Chewy pet parents I guess we were ahead of the curve in falling in love with the online pet store called Chewy. That is, we’ve been Chewy customers aka pet parents since 2018, when we first started using the autoship service to buy our dogs’ food.
To be honest I’d heard of Chewy.com before 2016, but it wasn’t until we visited friends–and saw their ginormous Chewy blue and brown box on the front step–that I because curious about what Chewy had to offer pet parents like us.
Our friends, pet parents to two dogs like we are, raved about how it was so easy to use the autoship service. This way they never ran out of dog food. This also meant they never had to make a late night, last minute frantic trip to the store to buy food. Best of all, by signing up for autoship, they got a discount on their dogs food. What’s not to love.
Also, I was so impressed with Chewy and its customer service, that I wrote an article for Parade magazine about the company. In fact, portions of this blog post may have appeared original in that article.
Pet parents fall in love with Chewy during pandemic
The group called Chewy pet parents grew significantly in the past few months. Why? With our current state of affairs keeping us all home and out of the stores, we still needed to feed our pets.
Yes, there are options to order our groceries online or do a Walmart Grocery Pickup–both things I’ve done. But with Chewy, you can place your order online, and then your dog’s food shows up on your doorstep. Again, if you sign up for autoship, you’ll get a discount.
What is Chewy autoship
So, what is Chewy autoship? It’s a program that allows you to place an ongoing order for your pet’s food or whatever else you want delivered on a regular basis.
Signing up for Chewy autoship
Signing up for Chewy autoship is easy. Here’s what Chewy pet parents need to do.
Second, on the homepage you should see a banner or a tab for Autoship. You may even see an offer to save money on your first Autoship order. I remember saving 30% on mine.
Third, click on or tap the Autoship banner to sign up.
Or, you can start shopping by adding products to your cart. Make sure you’re selecting items that show an “autoship” price option. Then you’ll know these will qualify for the Autoship discount.
Be sure to make an account before your checkout or you won’t qualify for autoship.
Finally, once you do enable autoship, you can determine ahead of time the following:
- quantity of each product you want autoshipped
- how often you want the products autoshipped
If you’ve chosen a product that’s eligible for an autoship discount, you’ll save 5% each time your autoship goes through.
Managing your Chewy autoship
Here’s what I love about Chewy autoship: Chewy emails you shortly before your next autoship order is ready to process. You have three options.
First, do nothing and the autoship will come as expected
Second, order now, which means autoship will process immediately and ship ASAP.
Third, reschedule autoship
Recently, my dog Oscar was have gastro issues and the vet put him on a special dog food diet. That meant that we weren’t going through our Purina One like we normally do.
So, when I got the email from Chewy autoship about my next order, I was able to log in and reschedule it for a few weeks later. There is no penalty for changing when you get your autoship.
Chewy’s amazing customer service
Not surprisingly, it wasn’t until I became a Chewy customer aka Chewy pet parent that I discovered how good Chewy customer service was. For example, after placing that first order, I received a handwritten postcard in the mail. It was from Chewy, to welcome my dogs Oscar and Sadie to the Chewy family.
I also had other positive interactions with Chewy’s customer service. For instance, when I had a question about my auto-ship orders, a real-life person answered my call on the second ring. There was no automated system to deal with, just one of Chewy’s nearly 4,000 employees at its Florida offices.
“Since day one, personalized customer service has always been a core value of Chewy. The company’s goal was to combine the convenience of shopping online with a highly personalized customer experience, similar to what you would receive in your neighborhood pet store,” explains Kelli Durkin, Chewy vice president of customer service. “That’s one of the reasons why we have no automation in our customer service center. Chewy pet parents have access to us at all times, 365 days a year, 24/7. If they need to reach us at midnight on New Year’s Day, we’re here to answer their call.”
In fact, the whole reason co-founder and CEO Ryan Cohen founded Chewy in 2011 was to replicate the local shopping experience but with the convenience of shopping online. It all grew out of the fact that his five-pound teacup poodle Tylee needed a special diet. Since her premium pet food was not available online, it was a hassle whenever the dog ran out of food. He knew there had to be a more convenient way to shop and still provide a feel-good, intimate experience while stocking up for your pet.
Chewy walks the walk with pet parents like me
Turns out I’m not alone in loving Chewy’s customer service or feeling good about the company. Other Chewy parents feel the same way, too.
One Facebook friend recently posted this about her experience with Chewy:
“Ok, fellow pet people! Chewy.com totally blew me away today. I had an issue with an order, and in the correspondence they asked to see pics of my cats. A couple weeks later, they sent me these beautiful commissioned paintings of our Henry, Daisy and Jack. It’s safe to say they’ve won my business forever.”
Turns out Alison isn’t the only customer to receive a custom oil painting of her pets, and those paintings aren’t the only way that Chewy.com goes over and above in the customer service department.
“The pet portraits came about because we started receiving so many pet photos from our customers and, at first, we weren’t sure what to do with them,” says Durkin. “We wanted to use them in a way that was personal, memorable and fun for our customers and that’s how the idea came about. The pet portraits have really been a hit!”
Durkin says pets are selected for portraits at random, so customers are never expecting them. “I think that element of surprise is one reason why customers love them so much,” she adds.
More great Chewy customer service
Another Facebook friend recounted two excellent Chewy customer service interactions. Here’s one she just posted.
“Monster shout-out to the great people at Chewy! I’ve been trying to replace a torn flap in my doggie door. The first replacement flap that I ordered said it would fit the model number, but it was too big. So, I ordered one size smaller, but it was too small. Finally, I called the company that makes the flaps and ordered directly through them. (Long story.) Went back to Chewy and asked if I could return the other two flaps for a refund. Not only did Chewy immediately refund my money with zero argument, but the company also said I could donate the two leftover flaps to a shelter that needs them. Such a great company!”
And here’s one she posted two years ago.
“I had seen a local police department asking for help with a stray dog who was emaciated and needed special vet-requested food. I ordered a case of the food through Chewy and had it delivered to the shelter where the PD had placed the dog. A couple weeks later, I reordered my own dogs’ food but failed to realize that I still had the shelter’s address in the app. The Chewy rep figured out that my personal dog-food order also went to the shelter. Chewy then re-sent my order to me for free and just let the shelter keep the extra food.”
The iconic Chewy box
As I mentioned in the beginning, my first first-hand experience with Chewy was seeing the iconic Chewy box at a fellow pet parents home. I know that when we moved into our new home two years ago, our Chewy autoship arrived before the moving trucks did. So, when we arrived, the first thing we saw on the porch was a Chewy box. At least we knew the dogs had something to eat that night.
It seems tons of Chewy customers have dogs and cats that love the boxes that their deliveries come in–almost as much as what is inside the box. In fact, on the Chewy website, there is a gallery of various pets, both big and small, sitting in a variety of Chewy boxes, both big and small.
Sending greetings to Chewy pet parents
Over the holiday season, Durkin estimates that Chewy sends about 5 million holiday cards to Chewy pet parents. But, like with portraits of customer’s cats, the customer service team is always trying to come up with new ways to “wow” customers as well as make the Chewy experience personal.
“We’ve sent housewarming baskets to customers who have recently moved, condolence flowers to pet parents that have lost their pets and fun gifts to customers who are celebrating a new milestone in their life,” says Durkin.
“One time, a customer called to confirm an address on their account,” Durkin continued. “During the call, they explained that their house had recently burned down and they were currently staying at a hotel. They said they were fine and were not hurt during the fire, but their daughters were upset because they just got new Disney Frozen-themed sheets. We sent the customer their order on us, and also included two sets of Frozen-themed sheets for their daughters.”
PetSmart acquires Chewy
Clearly, Chewy is doing something right for Chewy pet parents. I mean, with the glowing testimonials from my own friends as well as their own customers. It’s no wonder then that PetSmart acquired the company in Spring 2017.
Everything I’ve read says that PetSmart will continue to let Chewy operate as its own entity. And from what I’ve seen, nothing has changed as far as the level of service, prices or reliability.
“PetSmart and Chewy have a shared mission of a love of pets and serving pet lovers, which is the foundation of the business,” says Durkin. “We are still providing the same level of exceptional service to our customers. That’s something that will never change.”
Chewy Pet Parents like me really appreciate that consistent approach. You can click here to shop on Chewy.com.