Pet care commerce is more important than ever
With pets now becoming an integral part of the family, the pet care segment, especially the direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, is getting traction.
Let’s be honest, the pet industry was growing and booming even before the pandemic hit us. The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the growth of the pet care market but experts suggest that this was bound to happen sooner if not later.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major contributor to the growth of the pet industry but it’s not the only factor responsible for the expansion and growing popularity of this industry.
In 2020, the global pet care market size was estimated at $207.90 billion. Based on an analysis by Fortune Business Insights, the pet care market is projected to grow from $222.93 billion in 2021 to $325.74 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.6 percent.
These promising figures have attracted many investments in the pet industry. Pet care startups with a D2C (direct-to-consumer) model are received well by the newer generations as they provide pets with personalised services and care that are convenient in their fast and busy way of life.
Let’s take a look at what are the driving factors for the growth of pet commerce.
COVID-19 and its effects
The pandemic kept people indoors, induced a situation of isolation and affected mental health of people globally. Having a pet is scientifically proven to improve the mental well-being of humans; it's only natural that people have turned towards adopting and bringing home more furry companions into their homes.
In India alone, the number of pet dogs was 19.3 million in 2018 and is expected to grow to 31 million by the end of 2023 according to a report by Statista. This further boosts the sales and services of pet care companies.
COVID-19 has also made pet parents wary of their pet’s health. There was a rising curiosity amongst pet parents about their pets contracting the COVID-19 virus or spreading it.
This increased vet revenues and other pet healthcare products like pet sanitizers especially in 2020. When pet parents contracted the COVID-19 virus, pet boardings and kennels saw a sudden influx of residents and inquiries as pet parents were unable to care for their pets.
During these times, D2C pet care companies stepped up to board as many pets as they could, provide at-home services and deliver ready-to-eat food at the convenience of the pet parents’ homes. Services like online vet consultations, behavioral and training consultations also took birth to meet the need of the hour.
This undoubtedly created good revenues for the pet care businesses and also helped in establishing a good rapport with pet parents and giving rise to revolutionary products and services.
Rising awareness and consciousness
The newer generations treat their pets like their babies and members of the family. According to a report by YPulse, 76 percent of millennials are pet parents. Pet parents want to provide the best for the most important family member. This has given pet care companies the opportunity to grow rapidly in the past years.
Apart from this, there is a rising awareness among pet parents to provide high-quality nutritious food that caters to their pets’ dietary needs. D2C services like specialised diet plans have gained popularity since a majority of pets in India face issues with obesity, arthritis and other health-related problems. The rising demand for premium quality food is further likely to boost pet care commerce.
Grooming and training are also gaining popularity among pet parents as pet parents are now more aware of the benefits of these services.
Luxury services like spas, hotels for pets, birthday parties and photoshoots for pets have gained quite a bit of popularity as pet parents now want to spoil their pets just the way they spoil their children.
With festivities underway, noise pollution is bound to have severe and adverse effects on the pets’ hearing abilities, senses and mental health. One of these issues being anxiety from loud sounds.
During such times D2C companies provide specialized training courses for pets and pet parents to tackle problems related to anxiety and behavioral issues cropping up even due to environmental changes.
All these services have given pet care companies immense opportunities to grow and serve pets in every way they can.
Advanced pet care products support the market growth
Technologically enabled pet care products have seen a rising popularity too. Global Market Insights suggests that the pet tech market size accounted for over USD 5.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at 22% CAGR from 20221 to 2027.
As the demand for convenience and new-age solutions rises, the products to meet these demands rise too. Companies are now moving to more efficient, faster and easier solutions for pet care. Products like automatic food & water dispensers, smart laser cat toys, tracking devices are driving the market growth.
User-friendly mobile applications are also providing a seamless experience to pet parents, making pet care easier in their fast-paced lifestyle.
A higher disposable income, growing popularity of having pets as companions, rising awareness about taking care of street animals and being empathetic towards animals are some other reasons why there is a rise in the population of pets in India, ultimately making pet commerce more popular.
Do D2C companies have the upper hand?
Pets are also now treated as members of the family. Providing the best of healthcare, food, grooming, training, treats, toys, accessories or any other product/service that falls under the pet care umbrella has immense scope for growth.
The new generation of pet parents seek services that treat their pets with care and attention. This provides D2C companies an upper hand as they are in direct contact with their customers and can provide personalised services for their pets.
Add to that, a one-stop-shop for pets and consumers are most likely to choose those services as they get everything under one roof.
With the growing number of pets, the pet care market is only going to grow further too. The demands are going to rise and pet care companies will have even greater opportunities to fly higher, swoop in more investments and ultimately help the Indian pet care companies to grow internationally.
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)