3 tips for sales-boosting pet food e-commerce displays

Pet food companies can follow three guidelines to improve the effectiveness of their online retail presence.

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(Artem Samokhvalov | shutterstock.com)
(Artem Samokhvalov | shutterstock.com)

During their careers, many industry professionals have witnessed the internet go from a new frontier to an essential part of pet food sales and communications strategies for brands worldwide. As digital commerce and e-communications grew in importance, they also diversified into numerous platforms, from traditional websites and e-mail to Instagram and podcasts.

Integrating a pet food brands’ efforts across those platforms is the key to developing a strong digital presence, said Diana Mercado, founder of Zoo Inc., during her presentation at Foro Mascotas Internacional 2019 (International Pet Forum), held in Guadalajara, Mexico. Audio, video and written components must be able to scale and integrate into various platforms so content remains consistent and appealing on devices that vary in size from home theaters to smartphones.

Pet food e-commerce and pet owner education

When implemented well, pet food brands’ digital presence serves to educate consumers while making it convenient to purchase products. Ideally, a website provides a clear path to the shopping cart, converting website visitors into buyers, she said.

When presenting pet foods and treats for sale online, many of the rules of marketing learned in brick-and-mortar retail outlets no longer apply. Shelf placement and share no longer matter. Consumers can’t be swayed by premium packaging if all they see is a thumbnail image.

However, pet food companies can follow three guidelines to improve the effectiveness of their online retail presentation of products.

  1. Price and discount – Make sure the price is clearly visible, she said. Consumers don’t like to wait until an item is in the cart to find out the price. Note any discount prominently.
  2. Product images – Use high-resolution images of the product itself, not the package. Another good option is to use an photo of the food with content dog and happy family.
  3. Benefits – In the description, mention the products benefits, as opposed to its characteristics. In other words, describe how protein helps a dog before declaring the percentage of protein present.

Other features of websites tend to distract pet owners or worse, annoy them, she said. For example, pop-ups, cookies and registrations can make people uncomfortable or annoyed.

I understand that you need leads, but think of the consumer, she said.

Optimizing loading speed across platforms and devices also boosts customers likelihood to follow through to the shopping cart.

“On the other hand, think about yourself,” she said. “When you go to a website and it doesn’t load quickly. Um, bye.”

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