Sponsored by Nestlé Purina
Growth of online grocery, driven by curbside pickup and home delivery models, shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, online grocery grew by an astonishing 35% in 2018, with major retailers increasing locations offering same-day delivery by 500% in the past year alone.
While we experience a boom in online grocery, the pet category continues to grow at an exponential rate. The pet category (food, litter and supplies) is currently ranked number one in total sales out of 265 categories sold in US supermarkets. And with 61% of US households owning a pet, the overall category is projected to grow around 6% through 2021.
So how does the growth in online grocery impact your pet aisle sales? E-commerce now represents a great opportunity to grow your pet sales. Online pet shoppers spend almost twice as much as in-store only pet shoppers, and by the year 2021, e-commerce pet category sales will account for a 21% share. 
“The opportunity to capture the ever-valuable online pet shopper lies in store-based retailers developing an in-store strategy that drives awareness of your online pet solutions,” says Joe Toscano, VP of Trade and Industry Development at Nestle Purina.
Below are some simple ways to meet your pet shoppers’ needs, and promote customer loyalty through e-commerce.
Navigation is Key
Fifty-six percent of shoppers say that using a site once motivates them to go back and shop there again. Store-based retailers have the unique opportunity to drive shoppers from your aisles to your website through in-aisle signage that communicates your e-commerce solutions, i.e. home delivery or curbside pickup. Prioritize pet on your store homepage so that it appears above the fold, or create a special pet landing page. Think about investing in SEO to position your site as a top result when consumers search for pet products online.
Prioritize the Best-Selling Brands
Ensure at minimum that your online assortment mirrors your in-aisle selection. Position your best-selling brands prominently on your pet landing page, and feature engaging brand content, such as product photos, video and ratings & reviews.
Make Checkout Easy
Offering an autoship or auto replenishment service will not only allow
s your shoppers to save time and money, but will also increases repeat buyers. Simplify your online checkout process and be sure to communicate free shipping options. Partnerships with services like Instacart provide a turnkey way to provide these benefits to your customer.
Offer a Variety of Fulfillment Options
Home delivery through services like Instacart, Shipt and Peapod are growing in popularity, as is click & collect. The key is to clearly communicate these options both in-store and online. It’s also important to link your in-store and online inventory to ensure a seamless process.
No doubt the grocery business is changing rapidly due to the growth in e-commerce. As the pet category leader, Purina offers retail partners customized strategies to capture the valuable pet shoppers’ sale, both in-store and online. Prioritizing pet is important to building your overall e-commerce business, and potentially doubling your pet sales, over the next two critical years.