Interview Synopsis

Chewy & the online pet supplies market – coronavirus update

  • Multi Asset
  • Consumer
  • North America

In line with many other e-commerce categories, pet supplies have recorded spikes in demand owing to the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, “pet e-commerce is among the fastest growing large [e-commerce] categories”, according to a former senior manager from Amazon Pets at Inc who was interviewed by Third Bridge Forum.

Increasing consumer appetite for online pet supplies

Summing up the main trends for the pet supplies industry, the specialist highlighted the fact that the  penetration rate was higher for this segment than the e-commerce average. Another important aspect noted was that people “treat their pets like human beings, and so the humanisation premiumisation of pet brands continues.” 

The conversation moved on to the competitive environment. “I think that a lot of independent analysts have noted that the pet online market segment is a two-way race between Amazon and Chewy.” The performance of Target and Walmart, as well as smaller, independent shops, was also discussed.

When asked if COVID-19 could change consumer shopping behavior, the specialist said that it was general consensus that the move towards online shopping would be accelerated. Much of this market share is likely to be taken from mom and pop stores closing down, which take up a larger portion of the market than many people realise.

Customer stickiness is more aligned with the brand than with specific retailers when it comes to food. “There are switching challenges from digestive health and behavioural health when you make food switches, and so, I think pet owners tend to buy a lot of the same food for most of their lives.” This makes it important for retailers to carry as many brands as possible. Categories with less brand loyalty  include toys and electronics.

Supply chains and vendor relationships, pet pharmacies and the potential for industry consolidation were also covered. 

To access all the human insights from Third Bridge Forum’s Chewy & the Online Pet Supplies Market – Coronavirus Update Interview, click here to view the full transcript.

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The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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