Online petfood sales: Small but growing channel
Online sales are rising quickly in emerging markets like China—and consumers everywhere are researching products online before buying
The International Pet Industry Summit (IPIS), held in late August in Shanghai, China, as part of Pet Fair Asia, focused this year on pet product ecommerce. Like China's pet care industry overall, this sector seems to be small but growing quickly, especially when compared to the rest of the world.
China's pet care sales will contribute just over US$1 billion to the projected global total of US$96 billion this year, according to Clarissa Nicklaus, senior research analyst with Euromonitor and a speaker during Petfood Forum China, held two days after IPIS. Unlike with global pet care sales, of which petfood accounts for 77%, pet products dominate in China, with petfood comprising only 37% of all pet care sales.
Yet sales in China are growing rapidly, Nicklaus said. Dog food sales alone have exceeded 10% growth annually since 2008, while cat food sales have averaged over 8% growth a year. From 2013â€“2018, China will continue to rank among the eight fastest-growing pet care markets, adding about US$600 million in retail sales during that period.
Ecommerce is also growing quickly in China, said Benny Hao, principal with Chinese company Favor Business and moderator of a pet retailer panel during IPIS—perhaps even faster than in the rest of the world. Other IPIS speakers appeared to back his assertion. A representative from Taobao.com and Tmall.com, two Chinese online shopping portals, reported that the number of Chinese consumers engaged in ecommerce increased 16% in 2012 over the previous year, according to…