Out-of-stock pet food costs brands millions in lost sales

Over a single quarter, that undisclosed pet food brand lost nearly US$1 million in sales on three online retailer outlets.

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Andrea Gantz
Andrea Gantz

Online pet food retailers may not face the same issues as brick-and-mortar retailers, but they can’t get around one fundamental limitation. Even Amazon can’t sell what it doesn’t have.

When a particular pet food is unavailable, another brand may fill that pet food’s place in a pet owner’s online shopping cart. What if that single purchase of another brand becomes habitual? Brand loyalty is already a virtue from another age for many pet owners. They increasingly viewing the wide-range of brands as a good way to give a bit of novelty and nutrition to dog, cats and other pets. An out-of-stock message might be the trigger to push consumers towards pet product polygamy.

Market research company Profitero analyzed the consequences of inventory inadequacy on one pet food company in the report, “The Amazon Playbook for Pet Brands.” Over a single quarter, that undisclosed pet food brand lost nearly US$1 million in sales on three online retailer outlets.

On Amazon, the pet food brand had an out-of-stock rate of 5%. That translated into US$673,000 in lost sales. On Petco’s online retail website, the brand had a 9% out-of-stock rate, resulting in lost sales opportunities equal to US$242,280. On smaller online pet specialty retailer PetFlow.com, the brand was out of stock 2% of the time, losing US$53,840. In total, the pet food brand missed out on US$969,120 in sales.

Pet food e-commerce strategies at Petfood Forum

Mike Black, vice president of global marketing for Profitero, presented information from “The Amazon Playbook for Pet Brands” during Petfood Forum 2019. To learn more about pet food e-commerce attend Petfood Forum. Petfood Forum is the not-to-be-missed trade show event 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.

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