Retailers to Promote Pet Products by Humanizing Pets

by | 3 minute read

"Pet is now more than a cat­e­go­ry, reports Drug Store News. It’s a top­ic that con­nects to con­sumers so vis­cer­al­ly that its pow­er has gone well beyond the pet aisle. It holds the key to cus­tomer engage­ment across the store."

"U.S. con­sumers spent $72.6 bil­lion on pets last year, an increase of more than 4%, accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Pet Prod­ucts Asso­ci­a­tion. The spend­ing includ­ed food (the largest seg­ment), supplies/OTC meds, vet­eri­nary care, live ani­mal pur­chas­es, and oth­er ser­vices."

"What’s dri­ving the surge in pet momen­tum? For the first time con­sumers want every­thing for their pets that they have them­selves, includ­ing spe­cial­ized diets and pre­mi­um foods."

Pet Own­ers set some pret­ty high stan­dards for them­selves. For exam­ple, accord­ing to Audi­enceS­CAN, 47% are will­ing to pay more for high­er qual­i­ty prod­ucts and 27.3% are will­ing to pay more for healthy and organ­ic prod­ucts. Addi­tion­al­ly, 50% would like to exer­cise more and 47.8% want to eat health­i­er. When research­ing how to achieve those goals for their fur­ry friends, 52.8% turned to search engines with­in the last month. About 88% of Pet Own­ers pre­fer search­ing via Google, but only 18.4% will go past the first page of search results.

"How­ev­er, pet is a top­ic that defies the rules because it’s real impact goes beyond prod­ucts and sales. For pets, you also need to exam­ine soft­er mea­sure­ments of suc­cess with cus­tomers. These include good will, com­mu­ni­ty build­ing, cus­tomer engage­ment, traf­fic boost­ing, viral social posts, and more."

"After all, today near­ly 70% of all U.S. house­holds own a pet, with dogs by far the most pop­u­lar, accord­ing to a Forbes piece cit­ing APPA data. Con­nect­ing with pet-loving con­sumers and house­holds is an enor­mous oppor­tu­ni­ty. Retail­ers need to under­stand the impor­tance of con­nect­ing with pet-owning fam­i­lies in new and deep­er ways."

"Pet own­ers espe­cial­ly relay their pas­sion dur­ing a hol­i­day like Hal­loween. Peo­ple dress their pets in cos­tumes, often ones that match their own. Last fall a Nation­al Retail Fed­er­a­tion sur­vey about Hal­loween found 'near­ly 20% of cel­e­brants plan­ning to dress their pets in cos­tumes,' up from 16% the year before. What kind of cos­tumes were being planned? The top dog and cat out­fits were pump­kins, hot dogs, and bum­ble bees."

"Retail­ers should take note of all this pet pas­sion to fig­ure out how they will engage. Even retail­ers that don’t plan to become major des­ti­na­tions for pet prod­ucts can attract pos­i­tive tail wags every so often from pet-loving cus­tomers."

Tra­di­tion­al ads are a great way to get Pet Own­ers' atten­tion. These shop­pers get most of their local news from the TV (48.2%), news­pa­pers (17.9%), radio (8.4%) and mag­a­zines (2.6%). Last year, these con­sumers took action after see­ing TV com­mer­cials (61.5%), read­ing both print and dig­i­tal news­pa­per ads (45.6%), hear­ing both dig­i­tal and over-the-air radio ads (42%) and see­ing ads in both print and dig­i­tal mag­a­zines (43.3%). Don't skimp on dig­i­tal ad com­po­nents, though. Pet Own­ers are 14% more like­ly than oth­er shop­pers to find adver­tis­ing on their mobile apps use­ful, 13% more like­ly to find social media ads use­ful and 3% more like­ly to click on text link ads on web­sites.

Audi­enceS­CAN data is avail­able for your appli­ca­tions and dash­boards through the Sales­Fu­el API. Media com­pa­nies and agen­cies can access Audi­enceS­CAN data through the Audi­enceS­CAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Ana­lyst, spe­cial­iz­ing in audi­ence intel­li­gence, at Sales­Fu­el. She also helps to main­tain the major accounts and co-op intel­li­gence data­bas­es. As the hold­er of a Bach­e­lors degree in Eng­lish from The Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty, Rachel helps the rest of the Sales­Fu­el team with their writ­ing needs.