For any brand, albeit a pet-care one, having a larger reach is of paramount importance. E-commerce does just that. Geographical barriers are now a thing of the past. A small homegrown brand in Bengaluru can be known to a consumer in Jalandhar. A home baker, making organic dog treats in Indore can send their products to someone in Bhubaneswar. This broadening of horizons is nothing but wonderful for the brand as well as the consumer.
From the perspective of a pet parent, an e-commerce platform, especially one that is dedicated to pets, provides them with a plethora of options along with unbiased reviews and recommendations. For those in the metros that may have access to high-end pet stores, it may not seem like much; however imagine someone in a smaller town who wants to give their pet the best, but is only restricted to a basic pet shop with dated products. An e-commerce platform allows them to world-class products for their pets, products that their local pet shop would probably never have. All this while sitting in the comfort of your home.
Apart from the benefit of the availability of products, many e-commerce platforms provide the option to speak to an assistant to make a guided purchase. This enables consumers to interface with an actual expert in the industry as opposed to just a regular shopkeeper. This ensures that the purchases that are being made for the pet are appropriate. The added bonus of being able to read and rely on reviews of fellow consumers also provides assurance in the mind of the consumer prior to their purchase of any product.
E-commerce platforms have begun to attempt to educate the consumer. They indulge in interactions on social media and online campaigns that not only promote a product, but that provide solutions to problems. Ticks and fleas, for instance, are a common nuisance. Pet parents are aware of the existence of traditional medical solutions that are laced with toxins. That’s where the education of the consumer steps in. Today they know that there are natural alternatives available where their pet shall not be exposed to insecticides and that will also protect their pet from pests. An e-commerce platform is the best place to find such products and learn more about them.
Another instance that may not be as seasonal as ticks and fleas, is something as sudden as a lockdown. Pet parents were faced with the dilemma of entertaining their pets while being compelled to stay at home. Park visits and doggy play dates were all suddenly canceled. That’s when the topic of mental enrichment went viral. It made sense to mentally stimulate your pup when physical activities were just not possible. Interactive toys finally found their moments of fame and gained popularity.
Until recently, the concept of a Companion Animal Nutritionist was unheard of. People have now realized the benefits of feeding fresh food to their pets as opposed to packaged dog food. However, the quantities, the sort of protein, the manner of preparation of the food remains a mystery to many. Online nutrition consults are rapidly being booked by pet parents. It may be a lot to do with how we perceive pets currently. There is a trend of the humanization of pets where they have become family members. If a pet parent is conscious about their own lifestyle choices, it translates into wanting to make better choices for their pet too.
As the world economy goes through a recession, the pet industry is largely recession-proof. Think about it, your pet will need what it needs irrespective of the world economy! When you couple that with the ease that e-commerce provides you, it seems like a win-win situation! Smaller brands find their footing and consumers find their products.
We expect to see the e-commerce space for pets to grow with the passage of time. This space is unexplored to a great extent. Besides being able to purchase products for pets, there will soon come a time when you can book services too, such as pet sitters, lodging and boarding, and booking appointments for vets. The possibilities are endless. It is an exciting time to be in this industry. As cliché as it may be, it truly feels that the world is our oyster!