The U.S. pet industry has been growing year after year, with overall sales of pet products and services rising 5% in 2017. Pet technology is a category that is growing at a rapid pace, with no signs of slowing down. It is expected to generate $233 million in 2018, marking an 18% increase from 2017, according to a study by the Consumer Technology Association. We took a look at emerging trends in the pet care industry and dug into why pet technology is on the rise.
DOG VS CAT
Dog owners and cat owners have more in common than they would admit. Both cat and dog owners are willing to use technology to address pet issues, with dog owners’ biggest priority being training (35%), versus cat owners’ monitoring of their cat’s nutrition (32%). Of those who own pet technology, 45% of cat owners use their pet technology at least once a day, compared to 35% of dog owners.
Pet owners love their animals and consider them to be an integral part of their family. Safety is the biggest driver of pet tech purchases, as evidenced by the popularity of automated feeders, vet apps, pet GPS and more. In fact, 46% of pet owners use an app that delivers pet health data directly to their vet, and 40% say they use pet tech for philanthropic reasons, such as finding shelters for rescued strays after natural disasters.
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In a win for brick-and-mortar stores, the Consumer Technology Association report found that most pet owners discover and plan to shop to pet technology in brick-and-mortar stores. 72% of pet owners are most likely to purchase pet tech from a physical pet store, followed by 48% who shop at an online-only retailer, and 40% who shop at a physical mass merchant store.
WALK THIS WAY
App-based services offering pet sitting, dog walking and boarding are taking the industry by storm. Rover, which matches pet sitters with pet owners who need help taking care of their beloved pets, is growing rapidly, tripling net revenue in 2016 and 2017, and processing roughly one million bookings per month.
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