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It’s a Doggy Dog Ecommerce World

It’s a Doggy Dog Ecommerce World

In 2017, the Pet Industry became a $70-billion-dollar market, with 4.5 billion of those dollars being online pet product sales. The pet industry according to Mashable.com has grown 45% in the last year, and attributes this growth to the current trends that couples are having babies later in life and instead are resorting to the quintessential fur baby. Fur Parents are seeing their new pet as a part of the family, and thus are spending on their babies as much as they would for their real child.

According to LiquidRetailer.com, 95% of pet owners believe their pets are members of the family. Pet Product News claims that baby boomers were the first group of people to humanize pets, and thus subsequent generations are also feeding into that type of rhetoric about dogs.  After all, dogs do have the needs of a small child when they are very young puppies.

Furthermore, Millennials are now making 54% of their pet purchases online and are the largest group of people to own pets.  Some great examples of successful of ecommerce pet stores are Amazon, Chewy.com, Petco, and Petsmart. The overall market, however, is still dominated by Amazon and Chewy.com in the pet department. However, there seems to be a large opening for small businesses to grow in the pet industry in ecommerce.

Global Increase

One interesting concept about pet ecommerce is that it is also expanding globally at a fast rate. In fact, it grew about 4% in 2015 globally. The online grocery industry has really driven the pet industry to become a large market as well.  In particular, according to Fungglobalretailtech.com Chinese pet owners have flocked to the Internet since 2015 and have measured that a total of 38% all pet sales are made online. Currently, the US pet market is estimated to be at 7% of all ecommerce sales.

In the UK, pet sales online are about 9.4%. In Australia, the pet industry online has grown from 2010- 2016 at 16.6% rate.  With this global increase, it makes it possible for business entrepreneurs to still break into the market and be successful online selling pet products. See our recent post on the needs you are going to have to start an online business.

Marketing Tool

The use of dogs as content marketing. If you notice that many logos and brands have used dogs as their mascot or logo. Even many universities have used dogs as their logo. It has been proven that if you use a dog in a social media post or in a marketing post you will receive more spreadability or viral attention than if you did not feature a dog. According Newswhip.com brands such as Jetblue, ModCloth, Coca Cola, Mercedes Benz, Subaru, and many more used pets in their marketing campaigns and it outrageously well with their content.

Furthermore, regardless of size, brands saw an increase in engagement in their posts according to Newswhip.com. Tech brands in particular seem to be very furry friendly in the use of pets in their content with customers. Newswhip.com also claimed that French Bulldogs where the “It Dog” of social networking sites, however personally I believe my dog Meatball is also a star. Follow him at @meatball_world

The image of a dog in a marketing or social post immediately insinuates some characteristics either about your company or content: Loyalty, playfulness, cuteness, strength, character, love, and a trusting family member. Evoking these types of emotions can be quite valuable to a company. If you want to read further in depth on branding, we had a guest poster write for us at SearchFit all about Logos.

Pet Personalized

On Amazon.com, the unique feature that has set pet shopping apart on this website is that Amazon allows the consumer to make a profile for your pet.  You can upload a picture of your pet and also make personalized choices such as breed info, food choices, and toy dislikes and likes. According to eMarketer, 21% of Prime Members on Amazon made a pet purchase on their Amazon account last year.

Creating this profile makes Amazon successfully suggest things and needs that your pet may need, or just want. Furthermore, buying the Amazon brand choices you are able to pay much lower rates for pet supplies such as wee wee pads, training snacks, and toys. This personalization of the pets needs also makes it easier for an ecommerce consumer to make buying decisions much more quickly. Personalization in any ecommerce experience is found to be a valuable to tool for customers to complete a purchase and make a conversion. Having a button on your ecommerce website that allows customer to purchases items again quickly can also help in completing a purchase much more quickly.

Bulk Orders

The convenience of buying dog or pet food online has the convenience factor of buying bulk items that really draws in customers according to Fungglobalretailtech.com. Making larger purchases for pet owners is better because they can buy pet products at a cheaper rate and less often.

Many pet owners also don’t have a car if they live in a major metropolitan area so buying items such as a 50-pound dog food bag is a hard purchase to physically complete. So buying their products online is much easier for these customers. Furthermore, the cost for buying in bulk online is much cheaper overall than if the customer would purchase the same size in a regular store. This mitigates some hardships for customers who have large breeds of animals and are constantly purchases high volumes of dog foods.

Subscription Service

The pet industry online is geared toward to the subscription service. Many companies like Chewy.com offer customers the opportunity to setup a reoccurring order that they receive because its reoccurring at a 20% lower rate. Pets, and dogs in particular, are going to need the same thing over and over again, especially if your dog or pet is a picky eater. Once you find a treat or a dog food brand that works well for your pet you tend to want to stick with it.

Quite often the online pet stores have a larger variety than your local pet shop, so many customers become reliant on finding that one particular brand that their pet needs. Furthermore, most pet owners are giving their dog a controlled amount of food so they know about approximately how many weeks or months the product lasts so they can setup a reoccurring schedule that works well for their pet. All of this is making buying pet food for the owner much more convenient and less of a cumbersome activity.

This is a contributing factor to why pet owners are spending more money on their animals as well, because the process of buying has just gotten so much easier.

Training Products

With the Cesar Millan Culture popping up across the globe the trend to train your dog to the fullest most humanistic approach is growing in popularity. Having tools like clickers, training treats, wee wee pads, and toys that intellectually stimulate has significantly grown. More aggressive training products are also available for purchase for dogs that need a more robust training tool.

The growth in the education of dog/pet owners to be more responsible for their dogs’ well-being not only physically but also psychologically has stepped into the forefront and become a major priority. Especially, with breeds that need a lot training and exercise to behave well and not act out physically to be successful and healthy animals. Furthermore, dog owners are also making purchases for their pets online that used to be only available by their veterinarian like flea and tick medication are available online.

 

Finally, if you aren’t convinced that using a dog or animal for your ecommerce venture is a good idea remember that the presence of an animal can lower blood pressure significantly. Also the amount of cuteness and over all ambiance of your business will go up when you have a pet. We know it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there especially with big dogs like Amazon lurking everywhere. But, we challenge you to go online and Google Dogs or Pets and not have a positive experience. Just try!

Wiebke Reile

Wiebke Reile

Wiebke Reile has been social media strategist for the last eight years in the Internet Industry. She has also professionally worked in the film and television industry as a documentary film editor in New York City. Currently, she is a researcher for the University of Hawaii and pursuing her doctorate degree; focusing her research towards online political social movements.

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