Pet Industry's E-Commerce Growth Will Outlast Pandemic

During the pandemic, pet owners—like all Americans—have been flocking online in droves due to store closures and stay-at-home and social distancing measures. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. pet owners (64%) have been ordering/buying online more, almost half (49%) have been ordering/buying more via smartphone, and over two-fifths (43%) have been buying groceries online more, based on a 2020 Survey of Pet Owners by Packaged Facts. In the same survey, 31% of pet owners reported using curbside pickup more for grocery shopping, with 25% using curbside pickup for the first time.

In Packaged Facts most recent survey from February 2021, 40% of pet product shoppers claimed they shopped online more for pet products due to the impact of COVID-19. But as David Sprinkle, research director at Packaged Facts and a featured presenter at Global Pet Expo Digital Access points out, the uptick in e-commerce shopping in the U.S. pet industry won’t be reversed even as restrictions are increasingly lifted and the vaccine becomes more widely available, because consumers have become acclimated to the ease and convenience of online ordering.

“The pre-coronavirus surge in internet sales of pet products had already spurred a massive pet market investment in e-commerce logistics over the past several years, which has helped shored up the products side of the industry and will continue to do so,” says Sprinkle.

Even before the pandemic, e-commerce sales were a primary pet market driver, with over $5 billion worth of non-food pet supplies sold online in 2019, with e-commerce accounting for an estimated 21% of product sales. As a result of the pandemic-driven accelerated consumer migration online, Packaged Facts expects e-commerce to surge to 35% of the non-food pet supplies market by 2024. Even durable items that had been resistant to shifting online in the past—whether due to the “touch factor” (as in the bed category) or because they have traditionally been impulse purchases (as in the toy category)—are seeing a growing share of internet sales. Accordingly, now is the time for retailers to up their game by exploring incentives for online ordering for home delivery, “click-and-collect” (buy online, pick up in store/BOPIS—or, in the age of coronavirus, curbside), and subscription-based sales.

Register For Global Pet Expo Digital Access

Register today for Global Pet Expo Digital Access. This year’s expo will be a fully-digital experience held March 24-26, 2021. The expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers, and other qualified professionals. This show is not open to the general public.

Global Pet Expo, presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), is the pet industry's largest annual trade show featuring the newest, most innovative pet products on the market today.

About Packaged Facts’ Presentation at Global Pet Expo Digital Access

Packaged Facts will present at the expo March 24, 2021 at 3 p.m. David Sprinkle, research director, will present on U.S. Pet Market Outlook and Trends 2021, including examining market drivers and key industry issues in the wake of COVID-19. Pet market growth, pet acquisition and pet population across animal types, pet care psychographics and the “new breed” of pet owners, e-commerce/channel share shifts, and digital pet health care trends will be covered during Packaged Facts’ presentation.