There is no doubt: humans love their pets. But within all the love and attachment, pet parents are consumers. They buy all the essential things their pets need – food, toys, medicines, and vet treatments. And they have thoughts about their experiences with their pets which they share online.
The pet care industry is booming with the Compound Annual Growth Rate, the highest anticipated so far, at 32%. Pets create a healthier and more active life for their owners and improve relationships between family members. No wonder we are witnessing such astronomical growth.
Over the last decade, interest in pet care has peaked, with millennials and Gen Z’ers adopting fur balls at an increasing rate. As people get older, they look for ways to spend more time with their pets — and brands are actively monitoring these conversations and trends, thanks to social listening. Ergo, the pet care industry is bound to experience significant growth in the coming years.
Due to the massive growth in the number of people becoming pet lovers and considering their pets as part of their family, it is evident that the pet care industry will continue to boom. The trends are already noticeable in 2022. The pet care companies have made significant returns by exploiting these trends with social listening.
Trend #1: Brand-loyal Behavior
Pet stores that have recently seen more traffic are paying attention to the growing demands of pet parents and listening to their needs and preferences, thereby offering them plenty of options in their pet-related purchases.
For example, a report found that pet parents are more likely to look out for particular brands and be brand loyal. As a result, top eCommerce retailers like Amazon optimized their feed to offer featured brands at a single glance.
Trend #2: Growing Demand for Pet Services
Due to advances in technology and health, more people may live alone, which means that pet care services — like dog walking, cat feeding, and pet sitting — will become essential for many households.
And brands like Rover are paying attention. Through social listening, they are actively monitoring their social channels, customer testimonials, and influencer reviews to understand the general sentiment of the market and develop marketing-level insights. They are consistently developing better programs and offers for their customers.
Also, by using social listening tools to monitor comments about their products, Rover has been able to add relevant content and recommendations. It has led to more customer interactions, and subsequently, a demand for more services.
Overall, the need for pet care services will continue to be data-driven by the large pet population and the increasing demand for pet ownership in emerging markets.
Trend #3: The Need to Redeem
71% of pet parents believe they could not have survived the pandemic without their pets. And they show their appreciation by pampering their companions with new toys, snacks, and other premium products.
Pet stylist businesses and veterinary clinics are also featured in this industry as they provide grooming services to pets of all sizes and breeds.
Trend #4: Rise in Awareness for Pet Health
Pandemic has taught people to give more importance to self-care. The reduction in full-time employees due to the pandemic meant that a lot more people had time to focus on their wellness and invest more energy into caring for their pets. Inevitably, pet health, along with home meal prep kits for dogs and cats, is likely to spike in sales.
Over here, brands like Capt. Zack is truly making waves. This brand launched with a range of grooming products and has recently moved to meal prep kits, owing to the growing demand from pet parents. It led to the introduction of Cake Premixes and Chicken Pulao, which created a lot of excitement.
Trend #5: Focus on Pet Nutrition
One of the most significant trends was a shift in consumer spending habits. People were increasingly spending more on pet nutrition, sustainable products, and alternative ingredients in dog food. By developing new pet food products with gluten-free and grain-free ingredients, pet care companies like Purina and Kennel Kitchen capitalized on this growing trend and made significant returns.
However, as new-age pet brands continue to rise, so does distrust. Negative reviews are flooding the Internet, and most of the time, it only takes a couple of them to create doubt — especially among pet parents. So, it is crucial for newer pet brands looking to break into the market to actively listen in and monitor what pet parents have to say.
So, what do pet parents have to say?
Before we dig in, let us start with a simple reminder.
It is one of the reasons pet care companies are not selling to pet parents but their pets.
1️⃣ They will happily spend on quality products
For most pet parents, their dog, cat, hamster, or even snake is not just an animal, but a buddy, a friend, and, most importantly, a child — 90% consider their pets as their children or family.
They certainly do their part in looking after them. 40% spend as much on pets as they would on a child. In India, the average lifetime cost of raising a dog is Rs. 10 lakh, and that of a cat is Rs. 9 lakh. With millennials and Gen Z, this number is seemingly a lot higher.
2️⃣ Pet care services could be better
At the moment, they are not all happy with the services available in the market. While there is a general sense of satisfaction with the industry, some pet parents still believe there is scope for improvement. Ask anyone who has a pet, and they will tell you that they have fallen prey to their fair share of poor-quality products and services.
Listening to what they have to say is the first step a pet care company can take. After all, it is not the positive reviews that grow your business – it is the negative reviews. Why? Because they tell you what is wrong and what needs improvement.
What is interesting is the way Zesty Paws used this to wipe out their competition. Using social listening and channel monitoring, they tracked that their audience was unhappy with Apoquel. It is a vet-prescribed medicine that was expensive, controversial, and overwhelmingly seen negatively. So, naturally, they developed an alternative to it — one that was cheaper, effective, and loved by dogs! And what was the result? They were floored with five-star reviews and orders from happy pet parents.
3️⃣ They care about the businesses they associate with
The growing trend in 2022, especially in pet care, is that people care about the brands they are connecting with. They want to learn more about them and be sure that they would like to continue the association – it is an opportunity for brands to exploit.
Let us consider the example of Lana Paws, an Indian lifestyle pet accessories brand. Lana Paws conducted a wide-scale survey in 2019 with Pets Unleashed. Through this survey (where they connected with thousands of pet parents), they created awareness about their brand, understood the pet parents’ general satisfaction with pet care in India, and made recommendations for their business model. Additionally, this survey was picked up by several media publications and online journals since it was among the largest ever covered in India.
How social listening helped scale pet care businesses
Social listening allows businesses to track trends, gain customer insights, and optimize social marketing. With an effective social listening strategy in place, many brands in the pet care industry were able to grow exponentially.
By launching several social listening campaigns, pet care companies are following important trends and experiencing significant returns. Social listening has helped the pet care companies to improve their conversion rates — and even their relationships with their customers.
Want to know how to do this for your brand? Konnect with us today! It is an omnichannel customer experience platform integrated with Social Listening, Social CRM, Publishing, Online Reputation Management, Social Analytics, Surveys, BI Tools, and Crisis Management. Konnect Insights offers a holistic view into what your competitors are saying and what’s buzzing in your industry, as well as key insights that will help you stay ahead of the game. Better customer relationships start here!
Tags: Social Listening, Social listening by brands, Social listening by pet care 2022, Social Listening Tool