Influencer Marketing, Ecommerce And The Impact On The Pet Industry | Wealth of Geeks
The pet industry has grown in recent years, and according to Global Market Insights forecasts, the market for pet care will grow from $245 billion in 2021 to $261 billion in 2022. Based on a 6.1 percent annual growth rate, the value is expected to reach $350 billion by 2027. The convenience and accessibility of internet shopping are factors contributing to the current success of the pet market.
Data from Statista shows that the online pet market has quadrupled since 2013. Similarly, Jobi Capital research indicates that Amazon and ChewyPet are the most popular venues for dog owners to buy dog items, aside from physical retailers and pet stores. A branch of e-commerce that pet brands have explored is social commerce.
Pet Brands Successfully Wield Social Media
Pet businesses utilize social commerce tools like hashtags, influencer marketing, and user-generated content to get the word out about their products. A prime example is the “talking dog button,” a Fluent Pet product that enables dogs to communicate with owners. The hashtag “FluentPet” just amassed a staggering 500 million views on TikTok.
Similarly, Litter-Robot, a self-cleaning device for cats that replaces the litter box, has roughly 76.4 million TikTok views with the hashtag “litterrobot”. Litter Robot used a focused influencer marketing campaign on social media to launch its initial brand recognition.
Over time, organic user-generated content from happy users surpassed the influencer marketing campaign. So much so that the variant hashtag “litterrobots,” which users created from the original hashtag “litterrobot,” has gained 335.3k views.
Leo Troitter, CEO of Fluent Pet, admitted that without the brand’s “human user guides,” who post on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, the company would not have grown 80% in two years. Leo suggests that the pandemic made the environment favorable. He noted that during the pandemic, there was a huge influx of people stuck inside.
Consequently, folks looked for ways to connect, better the lives of their immediate family members, and understand the world around them. “Viral TikTok moments from FluentPet guides like Alexis Devine and Bunny the Sheepadoodle took our more novel science-based concept for animal communication and showcased the whole learning process in a way that connected with animal lovers across the globe,” Leo said.
But outside the buzz from these virtual platforms, the company saw considerable changes in how people warmed up to its products in the real world. According to the company’s CEO, the brand has more than 100,000 households using a Fluent Pet system globally, with a target to grow exponentially over the next five years.
Interestingly, Leo disclosed that the business hadn’t invested any money in traditional advertising since its founding. Instead, he mentioned that most of the brand’s exposure has come through its users’ community.
Influencer Marketing May Be Changing Consumer Behavior
Fluent Pet may lend validity to the concept that influencer marketing is the go-to method for seizing the lead in this thriving and competitive sector. Lanie Shale, director of growth and marketing specialist at Jobi Capital, believes 100% that influencer marketing has worked so well in the pet industry because of “emotional buying.”
She states that pet purchases tend to be emotional. And influencers who own dogs can easily communicate with their followers—often other pet owners looking for advice and suggestions on the best products to buy for their pets.
Again, she acknowledged that COVID played a significant role, noting that many different pet accounts blew up over COVID and trends on Tik Tok. During this time, Lanie said, influencers like Doug the Pug, JiffPom, and Dean the Basset leveraged their platform to launch merchandise and products.
There’s also the attitude of pet owners toward their fur babies to consider. Pet owners have evolved into pet parents, which means caring for their furry friends is serious business.
The result is pet owners are eager to go above and beyond for their animals. They think of special occasions, vacations, and snazzy dog accessories to keep their pets safe, happy, healthy, and comfortable. According to the study by Jobi Capital, nearly all pet owners consider their animals family members or best friends.
The study also found that pet owners follow multiple pet-related profiles and “paw-purrati” (pet influencers) on social media, which may affect what pet-related products they buy.
Lanie argued that influencer marketing has significantly altered consumer behavior throughout the entire consumer journey, from discovering to purchasing pet products. “Influencer marketing helps across the funnel, from brand awareness to traditional sponsored partnerships to promote purchases,” she says.
In addition, the marketing specialist points out that consumers no longer rely on their friends and relatives for product recommendations or advice. “With influencer marketing, those we follow feel like friends, and customers trust their recommendations more,” she explained.
Influencer Marketing Benefits on Consumers
According to Leo, one remarkable thing about influencer marketing is how it provides consumers with a deep knowledge of the product without making a purchase. “Watching someone give a thorough presentation of a product and provide honest comments about their experience in real-time,” he said, “can provide potential customers a far deeper understanding of the product before purchase.”
Lanie highlighted another reason influencer marketing is affecting consumer behavior. She attributed it to the influx of new, trustworthy pet influencers—such as veterinarians, dog whisperers, and trainers—which has increased the appeal and potency of influencer marketing. Due to this, pet owners reliably turn to these sources for tips, recommendations, and training treats to stay well informed. In this way, influencer marketing protects consumers from deceptive marketing and misinformation.
More Emerging Pet Technologies and Trends
Without a doubt, technological advancements have transformed the world of pets. Even in times of personal or economic hardship, Americans’ penchant for pet ownership ensures that this industry will stay thriving for a long time.
Lanie noted that consumables and supplies are still the biggest part of the industry, making up 60% of the market share. She talked about the current market players noting that there are both older, more established brands and newer D2C brands.
Since pet humanization is a trend, Lanie said this translates to more human-grade meals, supplements, doggy day cares, and higher spending on required and trendy accessories. She identified another growing trend in this industry as “Pet Premiumization.” “We’ve seen newer manufacturers enter the market with higher design, more functional products, and personalization,” Lanie said.
Dr. Amanda Takiguchi, a veterinarian and the owner of Trending Breeds, collaborated on the pet premiumization trend. She projects that owners will spend more money on tech-based solutions like dog-activated video, virtual medical visits, smart collars, and safety and health care monitoring devices. She also predicts that pet owners would prefer eco-friendly and sustainable pet products.
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Amaka Chukwuma is a freelance content writer with a BA in linguistics. As a result of her insatiable curiosity, she writes in various B2C and B2B niches. Her favorite subject matter, however, is in the financial, health, and technological niches. She has contributed to publications like ButtonwoodTree and FinanceBuzz in the past. In addition to ghostwriting for brands like Welovenocode, Noah and Zoey, and Ohcleo, amongst others. You can connect with her on Linkedin and Twitter.
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