How to tap into the $100 billion pet industry market 

February 20th is the day designated to recognize our closest companions that offer unconditional love and loyalty. It’s National Love Your Pet Day.

That means February is a great time to use pet-themed eCommerce marketing. This year it’s even more important, as the number of pet adopters has soared over the past year, and they are increasingly ordering what they need online.

The explosive growth of the pet market

With more people working from home and being cut off from their usual social outlets, the demand for pets during the pandemic reached new highs. As Chewy reported, in 2020 891,482 pets were adopted and an additional 54,522 were fostered.

That’s on top of the 85 million pet households already established. According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) 67% of American households kept pets.

Even before the lockdown-fueled surge in pet ownership, pet spending had been on a steady trajectory upwards, increasing 560% over the 25 years leading up to 2019, according to Statista. For 2020, the APPA had forecast that spending would amount to about 99 billion dollars.  

In light of the pet adoption trend we’ve seen, spending probably went even higher and broke the 100 billion dollar mark last year. Likely we’ll see even higher total spending for 2021 with all the new pets settling into their homes. 

About 11% of that is spent online, according to the latest figures reported in IBISWorld Online. It found the market size for sale of pet food and pet supplies in the US to amount to $11 billion!  

No doubt, most of that market is formed by millennials. As Julie Springer, market research analyst for APPA observed, “When it comes to actually purchase pet products online, Millennials lead the generations for all items; 70% purchase food and treats online, 66% purchase other supplies, and 53% purchase pet medications online.”

It adds up to a huge market for eCommerce to tap into on National Love Your Pet Day 2021. Here’s how you can capitalize on the marketing opportunity of that vertical with Remarkety. 

Think outside the box to connect your products to the pet celebration 

What if you don’t sell pet supplies? That doesn’t automatically mean you have to skip marketing for this occasion. A number of items can be promoted in connection to love for pets including:

  • Caps, T-shirts,aprons, tote bags, scarves, and masks that declare the owner’s love for dogs, cats, rabbits, or all animals
  • Some of those items can also be personalized with a picture or name of one’s pets
  • Novelty socks, ties, or towels,  printed with paw prints or animal shape
  • Picture frames to hold photos of pets
  • Walking shoes and sneakers to wear while taking your dog out for a walk or jog
  • Vacuum cleaners, household cleaners, and deodorizers to manage the mess and smells our furry friends sometimes leave behind inside
  • Jewelry, cufflinks, or key chains featuring animal shapes or pet names engraved on  
  • Coffee-centered gifts for those who have to get up early when the dog wants a sunrise walk, options include coffee-makers, travel mugs, coffee beans, and more.

Make the most of the data you already have with Remarkety’s capability for intelligent segmentation. Remarkety can also put together segments based on spending patterns to help you identify the ones who have set a pattern of buying this time of year, so you can target them effectively by applying the best practices that follow. 

Segment your customers and your messaging

Obviously, anyone in the pet business will target people who have an interest in the holiday due to owning a pet or having bought things for a pet in the past, though there is segmentation within this category depending on the types of pets they own and have bought for in the past. 

Bear in mind that segments by generation may also lead to segments for pets. Springer remarked on an APPA survey that the Gen Z pet owners tend to favor “small animals and reptiles — the more starter or gateway pets.”  

In contrast, the survey found that both Gen X and Baby Boomers have similar ownership levels for most major pet categories, including dogs, cats, and birds. The smallest pets, as well as fish and reptiles, are of less interest to Baby Boomers.

But the largest group of pet owners was made up of Millenials who make up 31% of the total in the APPA survey. Dogs rank the highest, as 82% of Millenials opt for a canine companion. Cats are popular as well, owned by 50%.

 You can get the information on which kinds of pets your customers have by having them fill it out in a registration form or by deriving it from their purchase history. Even if they haven’t purchased yet, seeing what they tend to open when you send out marketing messages through Remarkety can clue you in.

Adapt your messaging accordingly to send an email that matches the products of interest to them. Your guinea pig owners can be shown new cages and igloos, while your cat owners can be shown a variety of activity centers to climb on, for example. 

Try it for free or book a demo.

Give your campaign the omnichannel advantage  

Don’t just send out a single email or SMS. Put the message out to your subscribers on both those channels and reach out to them on social channels with Remarkety’s Facebook integration. 

Instead of committing to SMS or email alone, plan to use them in complementary ways in conjunction with your social media ads. That gives your campaigns the advantage of an omnichannel approach.

Use Remarkety’s listing of customers to build lists to serve ads on Facebook or Instagram. That keeps you in touch with your target market even if they unsubscribed from your emails or texts.

Even your email subscribers can use the extra reminders of text messages and social media ads that this day is approaching and that your store is offering a special promotion for the occasion. You can do the same with a social media ad to heighten the excitement and increase engagement.

An SMS or MMS is also a good heads up about an upcoming newsletter or a coupon offer that they should look out for within the next few days. The feeling of anticipation raised will likely make them curious enough to at least open the email when it comes.

Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your messaging 

The CTA is the call to action that defines what you want from your customer. When your customer opens your email or SMS, you want to direct them to a specific form of action. So be clear about it with the direction and a link that lets them convert with a click.

For example, if you’re running a special promotion for National Love Your Pet Day, the CTA of your message would be clicking on the link for the designated landing page or copying the promotion code to be used at checkout. 

Not all CTAs have to be about an immediate sale, though. You can have one that calls for an action that increases engagement like asking them to participate in the contest you’ve set up or to vote on the entries in the contest, as suggested below. 

Win attention with pictures 

You don’t have to be a pet lover to find cute animal pictures irresistible, so make sure to include that in your marketing arsenal. If you’ve started using SMS for your marketing but haven’t yet ventured into MMS, consider doing it now to be able to use photos in your text messages. 

Try it for free or book a demo.

You can even make photos central to your campaign by introducing a contest with prizes for your products and services. You could have separate categories for different animals and different types of goals. 

Virtual or even real trophies and prizes can be awarded for categories like the cutest, funniest, best-dressed, best-behaved at work, most talented, most helpful, etc. The contest could drive engagement by asking for photos and videos of pets that are then shared on your site or social media pages for participants to vote on. 

Follow up 

Sending out cart and browse abandonment emails and/or SMS reminders is always important to maximize sales and customer value. When it comes to the increasing traffic you can anticipate for holiday shopping, it’s even more important.

Even if you normally wait a day to send out a cart or browse abandonment email, for those holiday specials, send them out within a couple of hours and be sure to follow up sooner than 24 hours later.  

Learn how one major pet eCommerce built its success with Remarkety and increased its ROI 35-fold with automation and abandoned cart emails here. 

No matter what the occasion,  a strategy of communication that is built on making the most of the hype surrounding the key selling days with a data-driven communication strategy powered by Remarkety will bring you more conversions and greater returns. 

Try it for free or book a demo.