Why Do Pet Owners Change Their Shopping Habits?



In order to increase customer retention, it’s important for pet retailers to understand why pet owners change their buying behaviors. And, according to a recent survey, convenience is a leading factor.

The report from Acosta, a sales and marketing agency for the consumer-packaged goods industry, examines the thriving pet care industry and pet parents’ shopping habits.

“Pet care is a rapidly growing $75 billion industry, with pet food sales up more than 6% versus last year,” said Colin Stewart, executive vice president of business intelligence at Acosta based in Jacksonville, Florida. “With this growth, we’re seeing spending behaviors shift to reflect more hassle-free buying options and more interest in healthy options for their pets that include real, natural ingredients.”

Broken down by generation, millennials and Gen Xers accounted for the greatest rates of pet ownership with 59% of households owning at least one dog. Between all the age groups, Gen Xers are the biggest cat lovers, with 53% owning multiple felines while millennials were most likely to own multiple pups (53% of households).

Among millennials, the top reasons for switching up where they shop for their pets were convenience (49%), price (31%) and variety of products (17%). Unsurprisingly, millennials do a large portion of their shopping online, with 54% buying dog food and supplies from e-commerce sites, and 45% doing the same for their cats.

Other key findings from the report include:

• It’s more common for pet owners to switch up the brands they buy than where they shop.

• Dog owners, especially millennials, prefer real and natural ingredients in food and treats.

• Most pet owners buy over-the-counter flea and tick products, but they’re concerned about how effective the treatments are.

• 32% of dog owners shop at four or more retailers to find everything they want for their pup.


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