The pet care industry has experienced significant growth in recent years. According to research by Fortune Business Insights, the global pet care market was valued at $235 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach nearly $370 billion by 2030. With the industry expanding rapidly, pet brands must engage with pet owners effectively, using omnichannel solutions and data.
How Omnichannel Drives Pet Care Sales Growth
Pet care sales, especially online, have grown substantially over the past few years. Total pet care sales in the U.S. grew from $32 billion in 2018 to over $40 billion in 2021, a remarkable increase of over $8 billion, according to NielsenIQ. This rapid increase highlights the huge opportunities that exist in the pet care industry.
A significant part of this growth has come from the increase in e-commerce pet product sales, which skyrocketed from $2.6 billion in 2018 to $7.1 billion in 2021. This signals a profound shift towards online shopping. Digital-first retailers like Chewy and Petco now account for over 25% of all pet food sales, highlighting their dominance.
As consumers increasingly explore and purchase pet care products online, leveraging omnichannel data becomes essential for brands. Tracking sales across channels such as Chewy, Petco.com, PetSmart.com, social commerce on Facebook and Instagram, and in-store provides invaluable insights into shopper behavior. Brands can optimize everything from product selection to marketing strategies based on data-driven insights into today’s digital-focused pet owners.
To gain a comprehensive view, brands also need to integrate data from call center salesforce interactions with pet owners. This call center salesforce integration gives a more holistic perspective.
More Pets Adopted During Pandemic
Another notable trend is the surge in pet adoptions over the past couple of years. According to Chewy’s 2021 pet trend report, nearly 1 million pets were adopted from shelters in 2021 alone, the highest number in six years. The pandemic led many families to adopt pets, especially dogs, resulting in millions of new pet parents.
With more households welcoming furry companions, demand for pet products and services has naturally increased. First-time pet owners, in particular, need guidance on essentials like food, medications, toys and more. This presents a significant opportunity for pet brands to engage with these new consumers, provided they use data to understand their concerns and motivations.
In particular, omnichannel data can provide useful demographic and purchasing details on new pet parents. These insights enable brands to tailor communication and product suggestions to meet the needs of first-time owners, encouraging more involvement and loyalty.
Key Motivations Behind Pet Adoption
According to research by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), as shown in the table, the primary motivations for people adopting pets are companionship, playfulness, and love. The vast majority of pet owners surveyed cited companionship as the primary motivation. This data highlights some of the key emotional benefits and joys of pet ownership that have driven adoption numbers higher in recent years. Understanding these motivations allows brands to craft relevant messaging and products that align with why people seek out animal companions.
The Rise of Pet Wellness
With the growth in pet adoptions, there is a growing focus on pet wellness and health. Today’s pet parents are more informed than ever before on nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and overall well-being for their furry companions. Brands are evolving to meet this demand, offering options such as fresh and raw pet food, pet spas, and fitness centers.
Omnichannel data provides insights into the types of pet wellness products and services gaining traction. By understanding consumer search behavior, retailers can identify “white space” opportunities to introduce new offerings, as the definition of responsible pet care continues expanding beyond just food and medicine. Data enables brands to tap into emerging niches and partner with pet owners on their wellness journeys.
How Brands Can Leverage Omnichannel Data
Omnichannel data provides pet brands with a 360-degree view of performance across major channels. According to NielsenIQ, about a third of the $65 billion in pet care sales in 2021 occurred online. By compiling data from Chewy, Petco.com, PetSmart.com, Amazon, and more, brands can accurately measure e-commerce growth.
Additionally, omnichannel data offers valuable consumer insights based on online search trends. This allows brands to identify information gaps and educate pet owners on pet food varieties, life stages, health conditions, and more. Analyzing best-selling items can optimize product assortments and pricing. Examining shopper demographics and purchases also enables targeted marketing.
Adapting to Evolving Pet Retail Landscape
The retail landscape continues to adapt to changing consumer expectations. Pet specialty retailer Petco is testing mini-shops inside Lowe’s stores, introducing a potential new brick-and-mortar channel. Target has introduced its premium yet affordable private-label Kindfull pet food and treats. And Chewy’s acquisition of PetSmart reflects the digital shift in pet retail.
As retail transforms, data empowers brands to remain nimble and capitalize on emerging opportunities early. Omnichannel data helps identify what’s resonating where allowing brands to position themselves effectively to meet pet owner needs across all channels.
The pet care industry is expected to continue thriving, projected by some estimates to reach nearly $370 billion globally by 2030. With consumers spreading their spending across online, offline, and hybrid channels, data is essential. Leveraging omnichannel data allows pet brands to gain a deep understanding of this flourishing market and prepare innovative strategies for success both in the present and in the future.
Engaging the Digital Pet Parent
Today’s pet parent is more digitally savvy than ever. From researching products online before purchase to participating in pet forums and social media groups, the internet is a prime source of information and community.
Leveraging omnichannel data allows brands to engage pet owners through relevant content across digital touchpoints. By harnessing data on key questions and discussion topics within pet owner communities, brands can create tailored articles, videos, social posts, and live streams that address these interests. Developing authentic connections through digital content is crucial for brands to build awareness and loyalty with pet parents.
The pet care industry is expected to continue thriving, projected by some estimates to reach nearly $370 billion globally by 2030. As pet ownership increases and the market evolves, data becomes more critical than ever for brands to comprehend consumer needs and preferences.
Harnessing omnichannel data empowers pet care companies to optimize their product portfolios, refine marketing strategies, and enhance customer engagement, aligning with this thriving industry. Brands that leverage data-driven insights will be in the best position to connect with today’s pet parents and drive success. Although the pet care landscape is evolving rapidly, a steadfast commitment to understanding the customer through omnichannel analytics will serve as an invaluable guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
How has the pandemic influenced the pet care industry’s growth?
The pandemic led to a surge in pet adoptions, with nearly 1 million pets adopted in 2021 according to Chewy. This rise in pet ownership played a major role in the increased consumer demand for pet products and services.
How can brands effectively use omnichannel data to enhance pet care communication?
Omnichannel data allows brands to measure performance across channels, identify consumer insights and trends, optimize product portfolios, understand shopper demographics, and tailor communication strategies. This 360-degree view is key for brands to connect with pet owners.
What innovations are retailers introducing in the pet care sector?
Retailers like Petco and Target are testing concept stores, launching private label brands, and accelerating their e-commerce channels. These innovations help retailers cater to modern pet owner needs and keep pace with an evolving market.