While many sectors were clobbered during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. pet industry had an outstanding year, with sales growth of 9% driving total pet industry sales to $107 billion, according to the new report Pet Market Outlook, 2021-2022 by Packaged Facts, a leading market research firm and division of MarketResearch.com.
Stuck at home with limited entertainment and few social outlets, many American consumers coped by acquiring new pets during the pandemic. In 2020, the number of pet dogs rose to 96 million (up over 10 million from 2019) and the number of pet cats increased to 32 million (up over 2 million).
The surge in pet purchases and adoptions was good news for the pet industry, but another major growth story was e-commerce. Packaged Facts’ February 2021 survey shows that 40% of pet product shoppers report shopping online more for pet products because of COVID-19 impacts.
Going forward, pet companies will need to adjust their sales and marketing strategies, because the shift to online shopping is not expected to be a temporary blip.
“COVID-19 is best understood as having fast-forwarded the industry into the future,” Pet Market Outlook, 2021-2022 states. “This reset of the U.S. pet industry is likely to represent a permanent remix of physical and digital shopping behaviors.”
According to Packaged Facts’ research:
- The Internet now accounts for 30% of all pet product sales, up from 8% in 2015.
- Half of pet product spending will take place outside of stores by mid-decade.
- In terms of market share, Amazon leads with nearly half (46%) of pet product e-commerce dollar sales, followed by Chewy with a 35% share.
The growing role of e-commerce will not only impact sales revenue and market share, but it will also influence “consumer mindshare” and where people get their information about pet products and pet care.
Pet E-Commerce Market Research
For more in-depth data, download a newly released white paper by Packaged Facts titled Pet Product E-Commerce and Channel Trends in the Wake of COVID-19. This free white paper covers the remix of channel shopping choices, e-commerce sales leaders, and top pet product types purchased online.