Report: E-commerce pet subscription services altering shopping patterns

This recent study from PYMNTS indicates a shift toward more convenient and automated ways of obtaining pet supplies, driven by the ease and predictability offered by subscription-based models.

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A recent PYMNTS report found subscription pet services are altering traditional shopping patterns.
A recent PYMNTS report found subscription pet services are altering traditional shopping patterns.
Andrea Gantz

A recent PYMNTS report, The Replenish Economy: A Household Supply Deep Dive, revealed that among the 15% of retail subscribers participating in Chewy’s Goody Box pet food and toy subscription program, 53% now shop in stores less often while 11% of participants in the program no longer shop in stores for these items at all.

The study, which drew from a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers in September to better understand their subscription habits and how these affect their overall shopping behaviors, found that subscription services are altering traditional shopping patterns, leading to a decrease in foot traffic to physical retail locations. This trend indicates a shift toward more convenient and automated ways of obtaining household supplies, driven by the ease and predictability offered by subscription-based models, said the report.

E-commerce subscription players see pet food as an opportunity

According to PYMNTS, e-commerce players increasingly see the pet food space as opportunity. Some examples:

  • In summer 2023, HelloFresh announced its new dog food subscriptionThe Pets Table, promising “human-grade” meals as part of the company's push to become the top “fully integrated food solutions group” in the world.
  • British eGrocer Ocado is getting into pet food, launching “fine dining” meals, including lamb with mint and salmon, designed "for younger, urban, mindful owners" who want choice and diversity for their pets.
  • In September, U.K. direct-to-consumer brand Butternut Box, which sells dog food subscriptions, announced tit had raised £280 million (US $353 million) in its latest funding round.

The report noted the rise of digitally native subscription services in the pet supply industry signals a shift in consumer behavior, posing a challenge to traditional brick-and-mortar stores as convenience and automation redefine the retail landscape.

For the full report, click here.

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