Updated: Dec 20, 2019
The pet industry is massive and very competitive. We all know that. It’s certainly not going away any time soon. In fact, it’s expected to grow even more over the next few years.
What does that mean for you?
Well, as far as marketing is concerned, you still need to stay up to date on what’s new and trending. As the industry grows, more and more people will be starting pet businesses, growing pet businesses, and staying on top of trends. This means you need to also. While you’re planning out your business plans for the next year, try keeping the latest pet industry trends in mind.
Then ask yourself, how can they help you grow your business? Think about what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to. Compare it with the current pet industry trends, and use that information to plan out a solid marketing plan.
Want to know what’s happening in the pet industry? Here are the top pet industry trends for 2018! I’ve also included some actionable items for each step that you can use to up your game in the pet industry.
1. Smaller dog breeds are gaining popularity.
Research from 2016 shows that dogs weighing less than 25 lbs are becoming more popular amongst American households. This statistic makes a lot of sense because more and more millennials are adopting pets. Typically, they live in apartments instead of single-family homes. You could also consider the Baby Boomers who may find it easier to care for smaller dogs.
How to use this information: You can showcase smaller dog breeds in your digital marketing. For example, if you’re selling dog sweaters, show photos of the smaller breeds wearing the products. But, still be sure to use a variety of small breeds here!
2. People are spending more on their pets.
It’s estimated that more than $72 billion will be spent on pets in the U.S. 60 million households have a dog, while 47 million have a cat. Pet owners are spending an average of $235 per year on pet food. Obviously, the market is massive for pet businesses! You can read more about the market size here.
How to use this information: If you know the spending statistics within the industry, you can use it to consider upping your prices, changing your pricing structure, and marketing plan. Product-based businesses can add or remove products from their stores based on marketing trends. Service-based businesses can include some of these statistics in their marketing efforts. A higher price doesn’t necessarily mean people won’t pay for it, especially when pet owners only want the best for their pets.
3. We’re living in an era of information overload.
Consumers are researching and learning about what stuff is best for pets! The thing that really appeals to them is visually appealing photos. After all, the pet industry is very visual. Video content can also be a main reason why consumers buy a particular product.
How to use this information: Check Google Trends to find out what topics consumers are searching for. With that information, you can start creating content to share with your own audience. Think high-quality imagery.
4. Who is taking over the market?? Millennials!
You keep hearing about millennials because it’s a very unique generation. Millennials have grown up with technology, are typically highly-educated, are much more conscious about sustainability, and have high standards when it comes to thoroughly researching and purchasing products.
How to use this information: Research millennial trends and start thinking like them. Millennials are consuming media via smart phones and social media, so think about how you can reach them. What matters to them? What process do they go through before making a purchase? What attracts them? What are they passionate about? Consider this thought-process when marketing your products or services. Perhaps do some market research or talk to a millennial or two about their purchases and the process they take before making a decision.
5. Pet owners are heading to Google to answer their pet care questions.
When pet owners have questions about caring for their pet, they turn to the internet. Answering their questions with content can be less annoying than advertisements! It comes across as more genuine and legitimate.
How to use this information: You can be the most authentic through blogging, email newsletter, and video content. Consider adding these activities to your digital marketing strategy! Video content in particular is more engaging and has higher ROI. Each one can make it easier for you to thoroughly connect with your target market.
6. Use the power of emotions in your storytelling efforts.
Consumers - millennials in particular - resonate with emotions. They appreciate companies that include an emotional impact in their messaging. They want to know that a particular company “understands” the love that millennials have for their pets!
How to use this information: Don’t be afraid to have a voice and tone that evokes emotion. Include that in your web copy, advertising, and social media captions.
7. Health and “green” products/services are bigger priorities for pet owners.
Have you noticed that whenever you go out to eat these days that most of the menus include a gluten-free, vegetarian, and/or vegan label? There is a reason for that! Restaurant owners are aware of the growing concern regarding processed foods. People are looking at nutrition labels and ingredients in their foods as well as other products they purchase. Nowadays, consumers are looking for more natural, green, and healthy products and services for themselves as well as their pets.
How to use this information: Millennials are the driving force behind healthier eating and greener products/services, and they want to make sure that their pets are taken care of too. They’re much more likely to buy high-quality pet food. They are also more likely to buy a pet product from a business that donates proceeds to charity, or maybe only uses sustainable materials in their products. It makes sense considering millennials believe that pet ownership is a good stepping stone to prepare for a future family. Show your audience that you understand the importance of a healthy and sustainable living - for humans and pets alike!
8. Home delivery is rapidly growing and integrating into more markets.
Have you ever used home delivery? If you’ve ever ordered something from Amazon, then you certainly have! Well, Amazon has been around for a few years but it set the foundation for a new market to grow. Now we have home delivery companies like Blue Apron, Sun Basket, and Hello Fresh delivering fresh groceries directly at home. The pet industry is following along and also providing home delivered meals for your pets.
How to use this information: Understand why this trend is growing. As more and more people move to urban cities, they work longer hours and some cities have outrageous commute times. Consumers simply don’t have time to go grocery shopping, so they choose home delivery for certain items. You can offer a delivery service yourself, or you can market your business as another way for your target audience to save time. Or, if you’re a pet sitter/walker, consider offering product or service pick-up for their pets as well (getting their dog food, taking their pets to the groomer or vet appointments, etc.). Check out this awesome pet food delivery service that was featured on Shark Tank!
All of these trends can be overwhelming to read through. I get it! It’s a completely changing industry and with the focus on technology and research, it can be hard to keep up. And that’s why I’m here to help. It’s really important to stay ahead of the marketing game.
If you’re afraid of switching up your marketing, that’s okay. I’ve created an online community on Facebook called Unleashed Petpreneurs. It’s completely free and I’d love for you to join. It’s a space where you can ask questions, get support, and receive feedback on your business. Join here.