From Petfood Industry:

A dog or cat food company’s online presence has progressed from an innovative sales and promotion platform to a necessity for success selling cat and dog food in the US. Recently, Petfood Industry reported that US online sales of dog food and cat food have doubled since 2010, according to Clavis Insight Index’s “US Pet Food Report.”

Pet food consumers don’t just buy online, they research pet foods as well. More than 40 percent of pet food sales are “digitally influenced,” according to 2015 Euromonitor data cited by the Clavis report. That means many pet food buyers who didn’t actually purchase online still were informed by information found online.

How to develop online brand advocates

A pet food company’s online presence may be a key to sales, noted the Clavis report, especially for smaller companies struggling to get noticed in a crowded market dominated by two pet food titans, Mars Petcare and Nestlé Purina PetCare.

In 2012, Petfood Industry covered the basics of how to develop an online presence by cultivating brand advocates. Brand advocates can serve the traditional role of product recommendation, and they can also defend a pet food company against negative online messages from comments, blogs and social media.

Four keys to facilitating brand advocacy

  • Information sharing is a favorite activity of brand advocates.
  • Honesty and open lines of communication are the most important demands of today's pet parents, and social media facilitates both.
  • Customer service can be economically managed through social media, and many people expect you to do so.
  • Express your appreciation for their loyalty, input and effort. 

Engage petfood brand advocates online