The pet supplies e-commerce market is rapidly growing, with new opportunities and challenges emerging for brands and retailers that are looking to capitalise on this trend. With the rise of online shopping, pet owners are more and more turning to the internet for their pet-related needs, with a large increase since the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020 the global pet care e-commerce market was valued at $38.36 billion with Europe being the major market. Euromonitor International, a market research company, reported that the e-commerce channel’s share of the global pet care market increased from more than 10% in 2017 to over 20% in 2020.
This article will explore the opportunities and challenges associated with the booming pet supplies and products e-commerce market, examining the current landscape and providing insights into how online businesses can take advantage of this rapidly-evolving sector.
The pet supplies and products e-commerce market is a rapidly growing sector within the overall e-commerce industry. According to market research, the global pet care e-commerce market is expected to reach a value of $87.43 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 12.49% from 2020 to 2027. And it is assumed that nearly one-third of global pet care sales will be made through e-commerce by 2026.
This growth can be attributed to several factors, including the increasing number of pet owners worldwide, the rising demand for pet food and pet care products, and the increasing availability of online pet supplies and products. Additionally, the development of innovative pet products, the increasing number of pet-friendly services, and the growing trend of online shopping are all contributing factors to the growth of the pet supplies e-commerce market. With the rise of pet owners, the demand for pet products such as pet food, toys, and accessories is also higher.
The global pet care e-commerce market can be broken down by pet type, including dogs, cats, and other types of pets. Among these categories, the market share for dog-related products is the highest. This is likely due to the widespread popularity of dogs as pets. They are often chosen for their loyal and affectionate behavior towards humans, and many people find that having a dog can help reduce feelings of depression and stress. As a result, the demand for dog-related pet care products is likely to remain strong in the e-commerce market.
If you look at the European market, the picture is slightly different, because in this region cats are still the most popular before dogs. In 2021, the population of pet cats in Europe exceeded 113 million, with the highest numbers in Germany and France. The number of dogs in Europe was lower than the number of cats, but they are still a common presence in many European households. In 2021, approximately 25% of European households owned at least one dog. While the number of dogs per household declined slightly compared to previous years, the overall number of dogs in Europe increased.
Online shopping has a number of advantages that make it an attractive option for those looking to buy pet supplies and products. The most obvious advantage is convenience. Shopping online for pet supplies and products allows customers to browse a wide selection of items without having to leave the comfort of their own home. Online stores and marketplaces are open 24/7, meaning customers can shop any time of day or night.
Another advantage of shopping pet supplies and products online is the ability to compare prices quickly and easily. Shopping around for the best deals on pet supplies and products can be time-consuming, but with the help of online stores and price comparison engines, customers can easily compare prices from different suppliers and make the best choice for their needs.
The pet supplies e-commerce market also offers customers access to a wider range of products than they could find in physical stores. Customers are able to browse a variety of pet supplies and products from all over the world, and can even purchase items that are not available in their local area. This is especially true for pure online retailers (such as Zooplus or Chewy), marketplaces specialised in pet care, or generalist marketplaces with a strong pet supplies and products category (such as Amazon or eBay). Zooplus is the leading pure online retailer of pet products in Europe. It has a significant market share online, estimated at around 50% in 2020.
The pet supplies e-commerce market is not without its challenges. The major challenge faced by brands and retailers is competition. With the increased demand for pet supplies and products, there is a large number of competitors entering the market (especially since the Covid-19 pandemic). This makes it difficult for existing players to maintain their market share and attract new customers.
Another challenge is the need to continuously innovate and stay ahead of this competition. Pet owners are increasingly seeking new and innovative products to meet their needs, and companies must be able to keep up with the latest trends in order to remain relevant.
The pet supplies and products e-commerce market is also subject to a high degree of volatility due to changes in consumer preferences. A company’s products may become less popular or even obsolete if its competitors are able to provide better quality or more attractive products.
Also, think about your target group and how it can change. Especially younger generations are important for pet supplies and should also be addressed via the right marketing channels (TikTok, Instagram etc.). According to a 2022 poll, 70% of Gen Z young adults prefer to adopt a pet rather than have children. In terms of pet care, millennials tend to be the most financially supportive, with an average monthly budget of $216 and total spending of around $198 to ensure the health and well-being of their furry companions. This group spends more on pet care than any other demographic.
Finally, the pet supplies e-commerce market is also subject to the risks associated with online sales. Companies must ensure that their websites are secure and that their payment processing systems are reliable and efficient in order to protect their customers from fraud and other risks.
These challenges presented above can be difficult to overcome, but with the right strategies, it is possible. One of the most important strategies is to focus on customer satisfaction. This means providing the highest quality products and services, as well as making sure that customer support is available when needed. Additionally, it is important to optimise the user experience on the website. This means creating a user-friendly interface, providing easy navigation, and using compelling visuals and content to draw in customers. Another strategy is to focus heavily on marketing. This includes using product ads (social media, Google Shopping), search engine advertising (SEA), affiliate marketing, and retargeting to reach out to potential customers.
If you sell on marketplaces it is crucial to use a feed management solution in order to display and optimise your product catalog in the best way possible. You must create high-quality product listings that meet the specific requirements of each marketplace. This includes using accurate and detailed titles, descriptions, and images. In addition, it is essential to have a competitive product assortment at the right price and to manage inventory levels on each marketplace. To stay on top of market trends, it is also important to monitor products, competitor prices, and reviews using a price intelligence tool like Netrivals, a company under the Lengow umbrella.
Finally, it is important to keep up with industry trends and emerging technologies to ensure that the e-commerce business remains competitive and successful.
In conclusion, the pet supplies and products e-commerce market is growing rapidly, offering many opportunities for brands and retailers to reach new customers and expand their reach. However, there are also many challenges to consider, such as the need for quality assurance, for adequate customer service, to manage inventory, and to compete with larger companies. Companies looking to capitalize on this growing market must be prepared to address these challenges while taking advantage of the opportunities it presents.
Image: Kampus Production (Pexels)
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