40% of Pet Owners Purchase Pet Products From Online Retailers

Press Release
May 22, 2017
The age of ecommerce is drastically changing the U.S. market for products and services for dogs, cats, and other household pets

Rockville (MD), May 22, 2017 — The Internet is the new “pet parent,” as a dramatic force reshaping the market landscape, according to research firm Packaged Facts in the brand new report U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2017-2018.

Packaged Facts found that a large percentage of pet product sales growth is online. In addition, merger and acquisition(M&A) activity since 2016—including Mars’ purchase of VCA Inc. and other veterinary practice consolidation, PetSmart's acquisition of Chewy.com, and Walmart’s acquisition of Jet.com—all point to a structural remix of the pet market.

“Ecommerce has accelerated its shift from being a Wild West boomtown toward becoming the market’s retail California,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts. “As a result brick-and-mortar retailers and manufacturers are scrambling to regroup to avoid losing ground. Retailers are adapting to compete with the internet’s—specifically Amazon’s—ballooning strength in pet product sales. Brand manufacturers are adapting because their entrenched lock on shelf space is increasingly irrelevant for shelf-stable online purchasable products such as dry and canned pet food or cat litter.”

According to Packaged Facts’ 2017 National Pet Owner Survey, 40% of pet owners buy pet products online, up from 37% the previous year, and notably higher than survey results from 2014. Not only are higher numbers of consumers buying pet products online, but consumers are spending more of their pet product dollars online with an ever increasing number of consumers agreeing that they purchase pet products online more than they used to.

So how are traditional retailers competing aside from beefing up their own online presence? For specialty pet superstores such as PetSmart and Petco, one way is capitalizing on their established relationships with customers who know what to expect from the in-store experience and from the services offered there. Packaged Facts emphasizes that a critical differentiator for pet specialty stores are non-medical pet services such as grooming, boarding, and training. Indeed, as premium products have become increasingly available online, services are what make pet specialty stores stand out.

“Looking at trends more broadly, brick-and-mortar retailers have decided that this is the best way to compete with the low costs and convenience of e-commerce – by offering services and experiences you really only can get in-person,” says Sprinkle.

Supermarkets too are fighting to retain their share of the pet market against pet superstores, discount-driven Walmart, and of course online retailers. Supermarkets are increasing the size and scope of their pet care departments, sponsoring pet contests, running promotions with animal rescue groups and even filling pet prescriptions at stores with pharmacies in an effort to lure pet owners into the store.

About “U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2017-2018”

With this latest edition of our Pet Market Outlook, Packaged Facts delivers all you need to know about the pet industry in one source. This year’s edition includes the latest in market sizing and projections, hot new product trends, as well as data from Packaged Facts proprietary Pet Owners Survey. U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2017-2018 has everything you need to know about mergers and acquisitions, retail channel trends, and pet owner demographics and spending habits.

View additional information about U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2017-2018, including purchase options, the abstract, table of contents, and related reports at Packaged Facts’ website: https://www.packagedfacts.com/Pet-Outlook-10840437/.

More Packaged Facts reports on pet products and services are available for purchase at: https://www.packagedfacts.com/pet-products-services-c124/.

About Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, consumer packaged goods, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased at our company website and are also available through MarketResearch.com.

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