Sponsored by Nestlé Purina
E-commerce – it’s not so much a trend as it is a new way of life for an increasing number of pet owners. The growth of e-commerce has been steadily gaining momentum, in particular over the last two years, and as a result, there has been a shift toward behaviors that reduce the number of trips to a brick and mortar store. The pet care industry is moving faster than ever to meet pet owners’ needs in this evolving landscape.
Pet owners who shop both online and in brick and mortar stores spend 50% more than pet owners who only shop in brick and mortar stores. The growth of this channel paired with the growth of the pet category presents a big opportunity for brick and mortar retailers with an online presence. However, many shoppers are not choosing their store-based retailer for their e-commerce needs.
“Driving awareness of your online pet solutions is important in navigating this competitive space,” said Joe Toscano, VP of Sales at Nestlé Purina. “Fortunately, there are some simple, yet effective ways to meet your pet shoppers’ needs and promote customer loyalty.”
Consider the following tips when planning your e-commerce strategy:
- Meet pet owners when and where they choose to shop. Offering a variety of fulfillment options is key. An effective e-commerce strategy should have an omni-channel fulfillment model that includes ship to home, BOPIS (buy online, pick up instore) and curbside pickup.
- Promote your platform. Store-based retailers have the unique opportunity to meet shoppers when and where they choose to shop. Share with them – both in-store and in aisle – that you have an online platform. Because shoppers are moving online, it’s important to let them know you can meet their needs allowing them to stay with your franchise and increasing their loyalty to you as an omni channel retailer.
- Prioritize top selling products and brands. Think about your online platform as a mirror of in-aisle selection. Position your best-selling brands prominently on your pet landing pages, and feature engaging brand content, such as product photos, video and ratings and reviews. Add large sizes or bulky items online for shoppers to fulfill when there isn’t enough shelf space in store.
- Make it easy. Fifty-six percent of shoppers say that using a site once motivates them to go back and shop there again. Offering autoship or auto replenishment will not only allow shoppers to save time and money, but it will also increase repeat buyers. Simplify the online checkout process and offer free shipping. Partnerships with services like Instacart provide a turnkey way to provide these benefits to your customers.
E-commerce has changed the way shoppers buy their pet food and supplies. As the pet care category leader, Purina offers retail partners customized strategies to capture the valuable pet shoppers’ sale. If you have questions or need assistance, reach out to your Purina sales rep.