Now that economic recovery is taking hold, pet businesses in North America are entering into a boom period. In fact, industry trends predict that pet businesses will continue to prosper in years to come. . If you’re the owner/operator of a pet business, here are some things you need to know about trends in the pet industry.
Clarice Brough’s article, Pet Businesses Will Prosper: Industry Trends for 2014 and Beyond describes where the pet industry is headed:
- National chains PetSmart and PetCo make up 50% of pet industry revenues. Smaller franchises and businesses account for the other 50%. And small businesses will continue to compete against these big names in the future.
- The pet industry will grow 4% annually through 2018. This is due to the fact that the number of households with pets continues to increase as discretionary income per household rises.
- Pet owners demonstrate a parenting attitude towards their pets. In fact, the “humanization of pets” is becoming a global trend. Because more pet owners feel that their animals are part of their human family, they provide for their animals as they would other members of their household. The trend has influenced animal owners’ pet food buying preferences, for instance, accounting for the popularity of premium brands in recent years.
- Pet boarding will make up 45% of the pet industry revenue. Traditionally, pet boarding includes overnight care and accommodations for animals, food, exercise and even play time. In the future, boarding services will diversify even more as consumer demands and disposable income per household increase.
- Specialty services within the pet industry in general will continue to grow. Airplane flights exclusively for pets, pet therapy sessions, dog walking, doggy hotels with full-service boarding, as well as the more general veterinary, grooming and boarding services will increase in demand.
How can small businesses prepare for these trends?
- Buy your products from your supplier in bulk. That way you’ll be in a position to offer discounts to your customers.
- Personalize your business’s care towards pets. Small businesses that compete against PetSmart and PetCo can benefit by responding to pet owners who seek the same level of personalized care for their pets as they do for their children.
- Diversify your products and services. Small pet businesses can offer dog walking, playtime, training classes, and more specialized boarding services.
Provide the same level of safety for your customer’s animals as you do for humans. Small pet businesses that demonstrate best practices when it comes to using environmentally safe cleaning products and pet-friendly, non-toxic supplies for animals will be more likely to meet the expectations of the emerging “pet parent” generation.