Takeaway: People now consider pets to be part of their families, and are vetting the products they buy for their pets more thoroughly. That means pet care companies have provide richer product content to cater to the new demands of pet parents.
People care a lot about their pets. Youprobably knew that already based on all the cat and dog GIFs you see all over the internet. But did you know that 95 percent of pet owners consider their pets to be part of their families, according to a recent Harris Poll?
That's right. And that's up from 88 percent who felt that way in 2007. Today's pet owners preferred to called "pet parents", a more loving version of pet owner.
That's great news for the pet care industry. After all, the more people care about their pets, the more they're willing to spend. The pet supplies market grew more than $2 billion in the last year alone, and online sales of pet products have shot up 76 percent since 2010, according to the American Pet Products Association and Forrester Research, respectively. And a huge portion of that spending is going toward meeting their pets' dietary and health needs.
"Online sales of pet products shot up 76% since 2010."
But while this upward trajectory presents huge opportunities for pet care brands, it's also created a much more competitive space. Pet care brands need to embrace strategies that can help them stand out and earn consumers' trust.
That makes product content a top-level priority for any pet care brand eager to thrive in the eCommerce arena. Pet parents want to make sure their pets - their family members - eat only the best food. Rich product content is key for any pet care brand hoping to communicate its value and trustworthiness to these shoppers. It's a great way to educate pet parents about new products and pet health needs that they may not be aware of (they'll thank you later for it).
Product content and pet food
When today's pet parents need to buy food for their cats, dogs and other furry friends, they don't just stroll down to the nearest store and pick a few random cans off the shelf. No, instead they are turning to the Internet to conduct extensive research on the available brands. They want to find a brand that offers the nutrition and other benefits that their furry family members deserve.
And they're willing to spend more for brands that deliver higher quality products that they're convinced will keep their pets healthy.
To that end, pet food brands need publicize their ingredients and recipes, and any other information that can convince pet parents that this is the best option for Rex or Mr. Bigglesworth.
Pedigree's website is a great example of this concept in action. The company not only provides detailed ingredients and feeding instructions for all of their dog foods, but also offers a step-by-step guide to help pet owners transition their dog's diets to Pedigree products smoothly.
Beyond the nitty-gritty details, pet care brands also need to make sure their product content responds to industry trends. Here are just a few of the terms and buzzwords that pet parents are now eagerly on the lookout for when evaluating pet care brands:
- Wild Game
- High-protein Content
Pet care brands need to have tools and processes in place to ensure that they can update their product content to advertise these and other trending features as they emerge.
But it's not just about words - great product content needs to also include visuals. Accurate pictures of the packages will further help pet parents get an understanding of and feel connected to a particular brand. On Whiskas' website, for example, you'll find high-quality images of every one of their cat food products - as well as an extensive gallery of cat photos, uploaded by Whiskas' customers. That gallery shows that Whiskas understands both product content's importance and how strongly pet parents feel about their pets.
Beyond pet food
All of these points extend beyond pet food. They apply to the whole pet care space.
Pet supplements are an obvious example. After a slowdown between 2010 and 2014, this market is on pace for rapid growth. According to a report from Packaged Facts, this industry will be worth nearly $700 million in 2019, up from $541 million in 2014. It all goes back to the fact that consumers consider their pets to be family members. To convince these shoppers to choose their offerings, brands need to provide as much product content as possible about all of the health benefits of their supplements.
For pet apparel, the emphasis is more on visual product content. Brands need to feature pictures and videos of pets wearing their gear - the more the better. And, of course, the descriptions of the product sizes and materials need to be accurate, as well.
As the pet care space becomes even more competitive, product content will only become more important. Brands need to act fast to keep pace, and to win customers, both furry and human, for life.