Pet Care 22 Apr 2019
Riff, Resolve, Repeat0
As of 2016 the global pet care industry was valued at a whopping $131 billion. Good grief talk about money spent on feeding, bedding, and generally caring for furry (and not so furry) creatures. We all love out pets, but $131 billion? Needless to say this is a massive industry that is growing by the day and grooming and boarding services especially are segments within the pet care industry that will be driving growth over the next 5 years.
Millennials for example are choosing cats and dogs over kids in some cases, and Americans alone spent $66 billion on pet services and products in 2016. That number was expected to expand roughly 10% annually so currently we’re knocking on the door of upwards of $90 billion just on products and services.
Of the major pets, the top four are dogs, cats, fish and birds. In terms of what said pets need, that would be pet food, veterinary care, grooming and boarding. As with most industries, the market for purchasing supplies and products has navigated online. Pets.com was a leader in this area, launching their site in 1998 where users browsed a relatively basic platform segmented via category. Picture Amazon in its initial stages but instead of books – pet products.
However, Pets.com made some mistakes and was one of the poster children of the dot-com bust in 2000. They had estimated rather lofty demand and it was no where near reality. Later on the bigger kids moved in, namely Amazon, Chewy.com, PetCo and Walmart. Direct delivery, absurdly low prices and exceptional customer service. Millennials especially have latched on and long gone are the days of hitting the market and lugging home dog food that weighs more than your 8-year-old. Of this group however, in the pet care world two providers stand out – PetSmart and PetCo. Together they dominate approximately 85% of market share. Amazon however is catching up, especially with smaller, less boutique related pet care products. In fact, their “AmazonBasics” private label goods are going gangbusters and just a couple years back registered sales of $250 million annually.
Piggybacking on this success Amazon launched “Wag,” a pet care line which should compete rather aggressively with PetSmart in particular. But the one area that is still fertile territory for all pet car retailers is social media. There are few industries with more “click-bait” than the pet industry. Pictures of dogs and cats doing crazy, cute things, birds talking up to horses galloping, visual marketing drives sales in pet care and the good ones do this great. In fact, 65 percent of pet owners post about their pets on average twice per week. Twice per week!
It is comforting to know that pet care is growing and flourishing. Pets add so much joy to our lives and perhaps the only downside is some millennials prefer pets to kids. They are less maintenance, that’s for sure!