Pet store owners today are noticing a startling change in the buying habits of pet parents. It may be as subtle as someone looking at a product on your shelf and then back at their phone as they check your prices against prices they find on the internet. Or maybe you’ve watched your bottom line fall as familiar faces stop walking through your front door.

The bottom line: Ecommerce is changing the pet business for good— and it’s time your retail business does something about it in order to compete.

 

Millennials Have Surpassed Baby Boomers As The Largest Pet Owning Population in the US

The baby boomer generation is considered the first generation to ‘humanize’ their pets. In other words, this generation saw their pets as part to the family. Today, 95% of all pet owners consider their pets to be part of the family.

Buying pet products online is already a growing trend and it is poised to grow stronger. It is important to note that a large portion of the projected 1.86 billion spent on online pet product sales is driven by the baby boomer generation.

As millennials begin to carry the mantle of pet ownership, we will continue to see growing trends in online spending for pet products. According to USA Today, millennials are now making 54% of their purchases online.

Retailers- If the next generation of pet parents is shopping largely online, take note!

 

Convenience of Direct Delivery

Visit any of the major big box retailers in the pet, grocery or hardware industry and you’ll notice a remarkably similar service being offered. Online ordering for local delivery!

Big box retailers like Lowes, Home Depot, Harris Teeter, Petco and Petsmart are all offering local delivery of products. If they can’t physically deliver items themselves, they are mimicking the convenience of local delivery through speedy shipping.

E-Retailers like Chewy.com have had tremendous growth in the last few years specifically because consumers crave convenience. I t is easy to order a bag of dog food on your phone and have it show up on your doorstep two days later than to plan a trip to the store and carry a heavy bag of dog food yourself.

 

Improved Ecommerce Technology

How else is ecommerce changing the pet business?… by becoming more accessible. Ten years ago, building an online component for your business was almost an impossibility given the budgets, resources and time restraints of the typical independent pet retailer. Today, the outlook is very different.

Platforms like Shopify, Magento, Woocommerce, WordPress and Lightspeed make it manageable to build an ecommerce component for your pet store. Pet store owners are noticing that it’s not just the big box retailer with ecommerce sites anymore. The other independent pet store down the street is running a successful ecommerce website as well. Taking advantage of new technology is a must for the modern pet product retailer.