ROCKVILLE, Md. — Market research firm Packaged Facts is forecasting continued gains in pet product e-commerce sales with no signs of slowing any time soon. This could come as a challenge for smaller pet product retailers, and an advantage for those who are already selling online.
Online pet product revenue hit $11.4 billion in 2019, accounting for 21% of the market, Packaged Facts reports. This represents a 40% increase in sales from 2018 and a 256% increase from 2015. The market research firm predicts e-commerce sales for the pet product category to account for 26% of the market in 2023.
"E-commerce success with pet products, primarily from Chewy and Amazon, has permanently made the pet products market omnichannel. This transformation has been sealed by current online strategies of brick-and-mortar based retailers such as PetSmart and Walmart and of specialty brands and products," says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.
Broken down by household, Packaged Facts estimates the national average of household e-commerce spending will be $744 in 2019. The overall estimated average household pet product spending is approximately $771, proving that e-commerce is a force to be reckoned with in today’s marketplace.
This could be driven by a number of factors, Packaged Facts explains. For example, as much as 49% of online shoppers agree that they are “looking out for” discounts, sales, special offers and lower prices in general, compared to 44% of in-store pet product shoppers.
On the other hand, these e-commerce consumers admit the convenience has enticed them to spend more on pet products overall, with 36% saying they are spending more, compared to 30% of pet owners who shop in-store.
The gap between e-commerce shoppers sticking to specialty websites or purchasing on Food, Drug and Mass (FDM) platforms is thin, Packaged Facts reports. An estimated 43% of online pet product buyers are shopping on pet specialty websites, such as Chewy.com, while 41% are going through more general websites, like Walmart.com.
This trend is expected to continue, as 36% of online shoppers agree that they are spending more on pet products overall than they have in the past.
Supporting this trend, Animal Supply Company (ASC), a national pet product distributor, has partnered with a few major e-commerce platforms to help pet specialty stores get a leg up on the competition.
Through its Connect services and mobile app for retailers, ASC will provide templates and other digital tools to help smaller, specialty pet retailers create low-maintenance websites. The distributor will handle all inventory and warehousing logistics for retailers who choose to participate.
This is one example of how pet specialty retailers can stay afloat as e-commerce offerings flood the market. However, this trend will be one to watch as the retail environment for pet food, treats and products continues to depart from tradition.
Keep up with the latest pet food trends on our Trends page.