Online Pet Food Purchases Prove To Be a Boon to E-Commerce

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If you’re like me, my pet-related purchases tally almost as much as my own weekly food bill and without question weigh more (much more) than my own share of the groceries. So, is it any wonder that pet parents across the country are opting to buy on-line and have their weighty wares delivered rather than hauling 25-pound bags of pet food up the front steps?

According to Jordan Rost, Vice President of Consumer Insights at Nielsen (of famed Nielsen Ratings), your pet food aisle may be getting a little leaner in the coming years as online shopping takes over. Rost feels that pet foods are ideally suited to online shopping because they are shelf-stable. As well, these sites often offer subscription services that ensure Rover never runs out of kibble and you never need to run out in the middle of the night because you’ve just fed him the last of the kibble for dinner.What can be easier than selecting your preferred brand and product, picking frequency and ticking “yes please” when it comes to having it delivered to your door.

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In fact, according to Nielsen’s consumer research, online purchases of dog food experienced a 92.2 percent growth while cat food grew 63.2 percent over the past year. Makes sense to me – wouldn’t we all rather spend time with our pet of choice than stand in a check-out line?

While it’s only natch the granddaddy of online shopping Amazon.com, is leading the pack when it comes to Ecommerce sales of pet foods and products (with sales of over $2 billion), both PetSmart and Petco are about to start nipping at those Amazonian heels. Yes, in a survival-of-the-fittest type move, the typically bricks-and-mortar format that is PetSmart picked up chewy.com in April 2017 in a massive deal – showing they too consider online sales to be the future of pet food purchases.

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And it’s not just the big stores that are jumping on this delivery bandwagon… both large and small independent pet food manufactures have come up with unique approaches to delivering not only the requisite food but a value-added option for pet owners.

Purina’s “Just Right” allows you to create a profile for your pooch and determine the pet food blend that is ideal for their age, weight, activity level and health issues. For my Ruby James, the Salmon and Rice recipe with chicory was recommended with an auto-replenishment option that I could select for delivery based on assumed consumption… which also scores me a 10% discount.

New kid on the block, Barkchef.com pooh-pooh’s the notion of purchasing large bags of “corporate chow” with their monthly delivery of individually portioned bags of grain-free dog kibble that take the guesswork out of how much to feed the little guy. Better still, each delivery includes a bag of treats and a toy… making every delivery just like Christmas for a furry someone.

Even the raw-food advocates understand the importance of providing quality and convenience to pet parents. Darwin’s makes their 75% meat / 25% vegetable / no grain or filler foods fresh, then vacuum-seals and freezes each package for delivery in insulated containers that you can simply thaw and serve. Delivery is available anywhere in the continental U.S. and while fees do apply, a quick email reminder from Darwin’s allows you to reschedule or cancel your order at any time – how easy can it get to maintain a raw diet for your pet!

Then of course there’s Bark Box who deliver the fun stuff versus the food stuff. Their self-described series of mind-blowing toys, drool-worthy treats and all-natural chews are delivered each month, are customized to the recipient pooch and are sure to be the highlight of your pet’s day. Free delivery, discounts based on your subscription term and even the opportunity to upgrade so your little one gets a premium toy each month.