Pet Retailers: Does Your Marketing Plan Target Pet Parents Effectively?

“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet,” a famous French author once wrote. During uncertain times, the companionship of a furry family member can make dark days seem brighter, and that has been evident across the U.S. as people have looked for fur-coated companionship during the pandemic. As of April 2020, the addition of “four-footed companions” to households increased 4% across the U.S., with pet supply spending up 10-15%.
Keep reading for insights on the latest pet ownership trends and shifting consumer buying habits.

Our Coverage Area is Home to Pet Parents

When you look at the profile of our coverage area, our consumers tend to be pet owners and to own more pets than their urban counterparts:

  • 70% of residents in our coverage area own a pet.
  • Residents in our coverage area are 36% more likely to have 2-3 dogs and 43% more likely to have 2-3 cats
  • Consumers in our markets are 30% more likely to buy dry cat food and 17% more likely to buy dry dog food compared to their urban counterparts, and they tend to choose name brand options.

Shifts in Pet Owner Shopping Habits Create Opportunities for Retailers

Even before COVID-19, purchasing habits of pet parents was shifting, and that shift has been accelerated due to COVID-19. Experts expect that at least some of that shift will be permanent, specifically for purchases from online retailers like Chewy and Amazon.

Before the pandemic, pet parents reported 15-20% of their pet purchases were made online, compared to 40-50% during the pandemic. Analysts expect that after the COVID-19 crisis has passed, that online share will remain at 20-25%.

While many consumers are looking online to meet their furry friends’ needs, 41% of consumers in our markets make all their pet purchases in store.

In fact, 56% of our consumers most often purchase their pet supplies from mass merchandise or large national pet retailers compared to 14% who prefer to shop online.

Pet Parents Trust the Mailbox in Making their Purchase Decisions

Pet parents in our coverage area rely on the mailbox to help make purchase decisions for their four-legged family members. Making sure your message is in front of these consumers is a key component of your marketing plan.

  • 58% of pet parents saw an ad or coupon in their mailbox in the last year that led them to take action.
  • 38% of pet grooming customers responded to an ad or coupon in the mailbox in the past 30 days; 65% in the past 12 months.

Aspiring pet owners also trust the mailbox:

  • Of consumers who want to get a new pet in the next 12 months – 36% responded to an ad or coupon in their mailbox in the past 30 days and 60% responded in the past 12 months.

Direct Mail Helps Drive Traffic and Sales—to Your Store and Website
Shared direct mail is a cost-effective, strategic way to target your best customers and put your message in their hands, at home, in their mailbox. Adding direct mail to your media mix increases ad awareness and purchase intent.

Advertisers just like you have achieved 33% lift in unaided ad awareness when print is integrated with digital campaigns vs. digital only campaigns. Print drives 11% purchase intent compared to only 4% with digital alone – that’s 175% increase when anchoring your digital campaign with print!

 If you have any ideas or want to discuss your options for integrating direct mail into your marketing strategy, reach out to us by clicking Get Started below. We are always happy to share our knowledge with you to help make your next campaign a huge success.

Sources: AdMall Audience Scan; Prosper Insights & Analytics; “Shifting Pet Channel Dynamics due to COVID-19 and Actions to Take Now,” LinkedIn by Jon Weber, Retail & Consumer Products Strategic Advisor & Managing Director, L.E.K. Consulting; Prosper June 2020 – Quarterly Household Pet Survey; 2020 Valassis Consumer Intel Report