Online Pet Care: Where Are We Headed ?

October 2015

Internet retailing is one of the fastest growing channels in pet care but it still accounts for only a small proportion of total pet care. This report examines the performance of pet care internet retailing and the multi-channel strategies of key players, as well as future prospects for the channel’s development.

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Pet care remains a minor product category in internet retailing…

Pet care internet retailing remains relatively underdeveloped globally compared to many other product categories for which online sales have made strong inroads, due to easier logistics.

…but is seeing strong growth

However, it has seen strong growth and presents good opportunities. With retailers exploring innovative delivery and automated pick-up solutions, it may reach greater scale.

I want it now!

Led by, internet retailers are working hard to shorten delivery times for online orders from days to hours, putting pressure on bricks-and-mortar retailers.

The future is omni

Many bricks-and-mortar retailers are seeking to develop omni-channel strategies that embrace both the online and offline channels, either internally or via mergers and acquisitions.

Chasing the tail

Internet retailing has significant potential to drive growth in sales of premium pet food by making it more accessible to the “long tail” of consumers in markets who are relatively underserved by bricks-and-mortar retailers.


With rising smartphone and wearable electronics penetration, strategies need to integrate all channels and target pet owners across a multitude of platforms with customised offers and promotions.


O bjectives
Key findings

Online channel

Internet retailing: The global picture
Rising internet penetration drives strong growth in e-commerce
Fast growing but still small
Internet retailing dominated by developed markets

Key Markets

Online particularly important in South Korea
With significant expression in pet care
Full of potential: US internet retailing
UK click and collect offers good avenues for growth
France: Drive-through offers good prospects
Germany: Seamless online integration
Spain: Intense competition in the cyberworld


Omni-channel strategies
Alibaba chases the “long tail” in China
Scheduled delivery service sees a chink in’s armour
Same day delivery: PetCo makes a move
Online ordering facilitates pet food personalisation
Social media key to driving web traffic for internet retailers

future opportunities

M-commerce is the future of e-commerce
Technological innovation will continue to impact internet retailing
Millennials are a driving force for the future
Sub-Saharan Africa offers long-term growth prospects
Seasonal opportunities proliferate
Online retailer spots a gap in the bricks-and-mortar market


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