If cats knew how credit cards work, you can be sure they’d max out yours buying pet products online while you’re at work. (Dogs, ever loyal, would probably beg first.) But since our furry friends can’t figure out ecommerce on their own, it’s up to their owners to buy them everything they need to be happy.
Like beauty and skincare products, pet products are quickly becoming the domain of ecommerce. Just look at the Statista report that shows ecommerce’s growth of $3.4 billion in the pet industry for 2017, compared against brick-and-mortar stores’ growth of only $317 million.
The U.S. Pet Market Outlook 2018-2019 from Packaged Facts backs up this idea with some data of their own:
- 37% of people who buy pet products online agree that “I am buying pet products online more than I used to.”
- 14% of them had made a pet product purchase within seven days of the survey.
- The sales of pet products overall increased 5% last year.
- Amazon accounts for more than half of all online pet product sales.
With this trend likely to continue, many ecommerce retailers are asking themselves “what are the best pet products to sell online?” Below, we give nine of our top recommendations for top pet products you should be selling.
1. Pet Food
By and large, the best-selling pet product in ecommerce is pet food. Nielsen reports that dog food saw an extraordinary 92.2% increase in online sales last year, while cat food saw a 63.2% increase as well. The study also found that ecommerce makes up 18% of all dog food sales, and 13% of people buy their cat food regularly online.
More good news: pet food comes in almost as many varieties as human food. That means you’re able to cater your offerings to your target customers. Are you a naturalistic or environmental brand? You can offer organic pet food. Are you a fitness or health-centric brand? Offer special diet pet food.
And because pet food is consumable and needs to be bought periodically, it makes a perfect addition to subscription boxes or services.
2. Slow Feeder Bowls
Within the Flow confirms that dog bowls are a trending product in the US, Canada, and the UK for 2018. Like the pet food they contain, dog bowls also come in enough variety that you can choose the one that best suits your brand and customers. However, if you really want to capitalize on the trend, consider slow feeder bowls.
Slow feeder bowls are designed with maze-like shapes that essentially slow dogs down while eating, decreasing hazards such as choking. Given that trends in pet industry lean towards healthier and more progressive products, the novelty of the slow feeder is more attractive than standard bowls — and you may be the first to introduce them to your customers.
3. Pet Selfie Tools
Chances are you follow some people on social media who fill their feeds with selfies of them and their pets. What may not be evident is the behind-the-scenes drama of getting a wild animal to actually look at the camera, let alone pose.
One of the newer entries to the pet product market are pet selfie tools. These phone accessories hold pet treats or toys to ensure your pet always shows its best side for pics. The product hasn’t been around long enough to be a regular item in every pet store, but by combining two hot trends, it’s sure to become even more popular moving forward.
4. Pet Grooming Glove
A frequent bestseller on Amazon, pet grooming gloves make brushing your pet cleaner, faster, more enjoyable, and generally more convenient. It’s the kind of pet product that cat and dog owners fall in love with the second they see it, but since they’re not available everywhere, a lot of the likeliest buyers still don’t know they exist.
5. Car Seat Protectors
Another Amazon bestseller, dog car seat covers are becoming a must-have item for owners who take their dogs for frequent car rides. Dog car seat protectors are nothing more than protective fabrics with attachment harnesses in all the right places, but for people sick of having dog hair all over their back seat, no price is too high.
To see a review of the top brands, read this review from Dogs Recommend.
6. Electronic Cat Toys
In the great debate between cats and dogs, feline lovers are quick to cite cats’ superior intelligence (supposedly). This opens up the cat toy market to a host of high-tech features that dogs neither want nor need.
One of the most recent cat toy innovations, Mousr by Petronics, allows owners to pilot a phone-controlled cat toy around their home to their cat’s content. The toy was so successful — winner of the APPA Best New Cat Product 2018 and the Fear Free 2018 Global Pet Expo Top Product — that it’s opening up the market to newer and even more advanced toys. With this trend expected to continue, soon laser-pointers won’t be enough anymore.
7. Dog Collars
Another trending pet product verified by Within the Flow, dog collars saw a rise in sales in the US, Canada, and the UK last year. Again, the diversity is there so you can offer only custom dog collars that fit your brand. Like the fashion industry, you can choose from styles ranging from traditional, cutesy, luxurious, edgy — whatever reflects your brand image and your customers’ preferences.
8. Pet Beds
Pet beds are like the high-ticket version of dog collars — both are must-have items with a wide array of styles to choose from, but the price tag is usually bigger for pet beds, on average.
More than any other item on this list, pet beds cater best to niche markets. There’s more room for experimentation and originality with pet beds, so there’s plenty of degrees between traditional versions and the kitsch end of the spectrum.
Most brick-and-mortar stores offer cheap candy at the cash register — why should selling to pets be any different? For pet owners, cat and dog treats are a regular purchase, with the study Pet Treats and Chews in the U.S., 2nd Edition reporting that 92% of dog owners and 80% of cat owners having bought them at least once during the past year.
Pet treats are the “impulse buy” of the pet industry, so market them as such: keep their prices low, feature them prominently, and include them as extras in promotions. Just like more general pet food, you should also pick treat types that mirror your brand.
Are you looking for private label pet products? Some of the items in this list are not available for resale, but luckily there’s plenty of private-label alternatives. Check out these pet product manufacturers if you’d like to add something new under your own brand name:
Thinking of dropshipping? Check out these top tips for dropshipping pet products.