Pet Retail Marketing: Understand Pet Owner Purchasing Behavior to Acquire New Customers

The pet supplies industry continues to feel the impact of rising prices and product shortages. Now is the time to adapt your pet retail marketing strategy to engage pet owners as they adjust their shopping habits to find their preferred brands, while seeking the best value for their money.

In March of this year, pet care inflation for the past 12 months was up 10.3%, driven by pet food at 14.4% (well above grocery inflation of 8.5% and overall inflation of 5.0%). Pet supplies also increased 4.4% during this period1.

In the rural markets Mspark serves, consumers are now doing more comparison shopping and seeking deals and value than they were a year ago.

As a result of price increases, are you doing any of the following? (Check all that apply) (Mar-2023)

Source: Prosper Insights & Analytics

Engage the No-Preference Consumer

As consumers look for ways to save money in response to rising prices, they become more open to shopping different stores and trying different brands. Over the past 5 years, consumers expressing no preferred retailer for pet purchases has increased by more than 16%.

In rural markets, consumers have a stronger preference for Walmart; 11% more rural consumers prefer it for pet purchases than consumers nationwide.

Where do you shop most often for pet supplies?

Conversely, when it comes to pet food brands, rural consumers have a stronger brand preference or are more loyal to their preferred brand compared to consumers nationwide.

Cat Food Purchased Most Often (March 2023)

Dog Food Purchased Most Often (March 2023)

Understanding changing consumer preference presents a tremendous opportunity to slow churn and drive new customer growth, but you must effectively leverage the best media to engage your target audience. A marketing strategy anchored by direct mail with coordinated digital strategies to extend reach and response is proven to drive positive results.

Direct Mail Drives Attention and Action

  • Direct Mail is More Shareable: Retail Wire reports 88% of key purchase decisions for retail are discussed at home5, and direct mail pieces give recipients a reason to talk over the offer.
  • Direct Mail has a Longer Lifespan: Most media messaging has a lifespan of just a few seconds, RetailWire reports, while direct mail’s average lifespan is 17 days5.
  • Direct Mail Increases Coupon Usage Across All Ages: When coupons are distributed in the mail, usage increases 78% among millennials, 86% among parents, 88% among millennial parents, and 79% among affluent parents5.

Coordinated Exposure with Digital Strategies Increases Results

 Increase awareness of your brand to acquire new customers and continue to build long-term loyalty by pairing direct mail with digital components.


Ready to harness the power of direct mail and digital campaigns to acquire pet owners seeking value? Reach out today to plan your strategy.

Sources: BLS March CPI Report, April 20231; RetailWire 20225; USPS Mail Moments Survey, Spring 20216