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2024 Trends for Retailers Who Sell Pets

Retailers who sell pets –– and products, food, accessories, and even pet training services –– are uniquely positioned to secure their customer base and grow their business. A glance around social media proves that pet parents love their animals as they would a family member and treat them as such, too. By meeting current consumer needs and providing the variety consumers want, retailers who sell pets can see significant growth now and in the future.

As we explore trends for retailers who sell pets, we highlight consumer behaviors that will help inform your business strategy so you can unite more pets with more owners, sell more products, and reap the benefits of a growing market. 

Trends for Retailers Who Sell Pets

The Boom of the E-Commerce Pet Market

The rise of e-commerce has allowed retailers who sell pets –– and pet products –– to reach more customers than ever. Hopeful pet parents have access to pet retailers nationwide with just a click.

Many pet retailers find the e-commerce model a lucrative addition or alternative to a brick-and-mortar store. E-commerce provides marketing and sales opportunities without the overhead of maintaining a physical location. Small businesses recovering from the impact of the pandemic –– as well as inflation costs that affect consumer spending habits –– can significantly benefit from the unique opportunities an e-commerce sales platform offers.

But retailers with a thriving brick-and-mortar location will also benefit from prioritizing their online presence. In 2020, one-fifth of global pet care retail sales came from online shopping. That number is expected to reach thirty percent by 2025.

People who want to bring a pet into their home are going online to find the perfect companion –– and the supplies and products their new pet requires. The boom of the e-commerce pet market will continue to grow, and retailers who sell pets and pet products would be wise to invest heavily in their e-commerce presence and strategies.

Note: Pets sold by e-commerce may be prohibited in some U.S. states.

Retailers Must Become a One-Stop-Shop

Consumers want convenience without sacrificing quality. This is true of pet owners as well. Retailers who sell pets – or offer pets for adoption – must become a one-stop shop, meeting customer demand for pets, products, and more.

Big box pet retailers like Petco and PetSmart do this well. They provide a selection of pets: everything from puppies and kittens to fish, tarantulas, lizards, and even birds. But they don’t stop at pet sales.

Successful pet retailers provide everything a pet owner needs to care for their pets: housing, food, toys, healthcare product, clothing, and more. But they offer in-house services pets need, including grooming, training, and even veterinary services.

It’s not always feasible for retailers who sell pets to offer all the services listed above. Resources often limit the products and services your store can provide. But providing various products and services keeps customers returning long after they’ve bought their pet and brought it home. When you establish yourself as a one-stop shop for pet owners, you widen your customer base and brand your store as one that can meet all their pet’s needs.

Increased Desire for Premium Pet Products

Inflation rates affect every corner of the retail space, including the pet and pet care industries. Research shows that discretionary pet spending tapered off in the last half of 2024, primarily due to inflation.

However, pet owners spend top dollar for food, treats, and premium products. Sales of dog food and treats grew more than 12 percent despite the financial burden many pet parents faced and continue to face. Fresh and frozen pet food has seen the highest percentage growth year over year across all pet products.

Pet owners want the best for their animals. And with an increasing emphasis on food quality, shoppers will spend more on premium foods and treats when given the option.

The prioritization of premium food, supplements, and wellness products continues to drive sales for retailers who sell pets and pet products.

Pet Owners Want Long-Term Relationships with Their Retailers

Pet parents are serious about the health and well-being of their four-legged family. They want to ensure consistency and quality in the products they buy for their pets. They want products –– and people –– they can trust. And when the time comes to add another pet to their family, they want a pet retailer they can also trust.

Establishing a trustworthy, long-term relationship with your customers allows you not only to match more pets with loving homes but you will sell more products, increase your average order values, and boost customer lifetime values. The most challenging sale is always the first. Once a customer makes their first purchase from your store, you’ve increased the likelihood they’ll be back for future needs.

Pet owners want long-term relationships with their retailers. Give them every reason to shop with you again, and you’ll find that you’ve earned a customer for life.

Consumer Demand for Alternative Payment Options

As mentioned above, inflation continues to affect pet owners’ shopping behaviors. Many individuals and families have less discretionary spending than in pre-pandemic times. That means fewer resources allocated for pets and all the required items and accessories.

Consumers want and need alternative payment options when visiting pet retailers. By offering pet financing, retailers who sell pets make pet ownership possible for nearly all pet owners. When you provide puppy financing – or low monthly payments for a set period, hopeful pet parents don’t have to wait to bring home the newest addition to their family.

Pet financing is a customer-focused service that allows retailers to appeal to a broader customer base, helping you deliver a low-stress, affordable shopping experience. Partnering with a professional, experienced pet financing firm empowers retailers to sell more, preserve resources, and focus efforts on their business growth.

Taking Advantage of Trends in the Pet Industry

By understanding current trends in the pet industry, you can make strategic decisions that enable you to increase engagement, sales, and revenue. At the same time, you match loving pets with their new forever homes.

Now that we’ve explored the current trends for retailers who sell pets, you can begin capitalizing on those trends to help your business grow. And when you’re ready to expand your puppy financing services, contact the United Consumer Financial Services team. We will be happy to discuss how consumer financing can benefit your business starting now.