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These 6 Tech Trends Will Be Huge As the Pet Industry Nears $100B

They’ll help pet businesses set themselves apart.

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ROCKVILLE, MD — The U.S. pet industry continues to expand, with sales rising almost 5 percent to top $90 billion in 2018 and growth projected over the next five years, according to U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2019-2020, a new report by market research firm Packaged Facts.

And technology will be a major driver.

Two overlapping trends — both in force for going on two decades and both primarily marketing-driven — continue to heavily influence industry growth through the infusion of new products and services into the U.S. pet market: humanization and premiumization. Potent as these market drivers may be, however, they are now par for the course, such that pet industry participants need to think increasingly outside the box, according to Packaged Facts.

“With so many pet-specialty-type products available online or in mass channels, and more showing up each day, the winning marketers, retailers, and service providers of tomorrow will be those whose operations are technology-based, with e-commerce capabilities and product/packaging designs and service paradigms serving as make-or-break differentiators,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.

Key trends, according to research published in U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2019-2020, will be:

  • Products and services with demonstrable pet health and safety benefits, increasingly via tie-ins with veterinarians in terms of R&D and end-user support.
  • Omnichannel operations interweaving online operations and capabilities with brick-and-mortar innovation and familiarity.
  • Products delivered via subscriptions (aka auto-replenishment) and services supported by monthly or annual subscriptions or membership plans (e.g., pet health monitoring systems, veterinary clinic wellness or membership plans).
  • Products that link pet owners to vendors and petcare service providers via smartphone apps.
  • Linked soft and hard products such as pet food and smart feeders, and cat litter and smart litter boxes, with supplies being reordered automatically or via smartphone app.
  • Products designed to make life easier for pet owners by facilitating — if not outright performing — petcare tasks.

Overall, as e-commerce advances and pet owners increasingly cross-shop or consolidate their business with a single source, most important of all will be products and services engineered to capture customer loyalty, according to Packaged Facts.

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