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40% of pet owners purchase pet products from online retailers

Staff Writer | May 23, 2017
Packaged Facts found that a large percentage of pet product sales growth is online.
Pet dog
Retail   2017 National Pet Owner Survey
In addition, merger and acquisition activity since 2016—including Mars’ purchase of VCA Inc. and other veterinary practice consolidation, PetSmart's acquisition of, and Walmart’s acquisition of—all point to a structural remix of the pet market.

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.

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.