Social media may seem irrelevant to brick-and-mortar pet food specialty retailers, since social media exists purely in the digital ether. However, pet food specialty retailers can leverage social media, said Justin Emig, director of search marketing for digital marketing agency Web Talent Marketing, and take advantage of the intersection between retail and digital. Emig shared his insights in this video from Petfood Forum 2017 (below).
“Social media is the elephant in the room,” said Emig.
That elephant has a profitable cousin, who isn’t so popular: social commerce. Social commerce is the attempt to sell products through social media.
“It’s an interesting trend, but in the United States it’s not necessarily something that’s popular,” he said. “Networks are been trying, Facebook has been trying since 2014 to sell us information or products, but consumers aren’t responding.”
“There’s lots of reasons, but my favorite theory is paying,” he said. “We’re nervous about paying from our phones. We’re getting there, we’re just a lot slower.”
Social commerce and the pet food industry
Pet food brands are online and engaged on social media, but simply creating more content does not necessarily create more sales.
During his presentation at Petfood Forum 2017, Emig explained that brands can find more value by utilizing the information social media users are providing to the platform to create highly targeted ads.
Emig said brands are making an investment in social media and online marketing — and they are growing their investments in social media in particular — but they are not getting a strong return on their investment.
In the United States, social commerce — or a customer making a purchase directly from a social platform — is not strong. Only 2 percent of purchasing is done via social commerce, Emig said. However, social media networks are making a strong push to grow social commerce. In Asia, where customers are already used to making mobile payments and one-click purchases, social commerce is already big. In 2015, Chinese consumers made $672 billion worth of social purchases.
Petfood Forum 2018
Petfood Forum provides an opportunity for pet food professionals from around the world to network, exchange ideas and do business with one another and with the industry's leading pet food manufacturers and suppliers. Petfood Forum 2018 will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA on April 23 -25, 2018.