Online Pet Stores Keeping Customers Satisfied

Satisfaction among the pet owners who have purchased from online pet stores bodes well for the future of the online pet supply industry, according to a study by NPD Online Research.

NPD’s study found that the Internet has yet to capture the attention of most Internet pet owners, but almost 30 percent of the visitors to online pet stores have made a purchase, and more than half the buyers report being very satisfied with their online buying experience. Almost all of the buyers intend to shop for pet supplies online again.

According to NPD, most Internet buyers of pet supplies are female. Women made up 68 percent of all Web-related pet supply sales, and females spent twice as much as males when it came to buying for their pet.

Most Frequent Reasons
for Shopping at Online Pet Stores
Convenience of
24 hr. shopping
54%
Orders delivered
to front door
48%
Low prices 47%
Online discount
promotion
35%
No waiting or
standing in line
34%
Source: NPD Online Research

“Americans have a great affinity for their animals, so it comes as no surprise that the Internet is tapping into this market,” said Pamela Smith, vice president of NPD Online Research. “We found that most Internet pet owners discover online pet stores while browsing the Web. However, due to the current blitz of pet site advertisements, traffic and sales should increase substantially.”

Despite the wide selection of pet products available, toys were the most popular Internet store purchases. Forty percent of owners polled had bought toys for their pets online. Edibles were also popular, as 31 percent confirmed buying food and 30 percent treats. Non-food accessories were purchased by 26 percent of shoppers, and health products by 17 percent. Almost half of all buyers reported spending up to $25 during an average visit, while 37 percent spent between $25 and $50.

The survey also found that convenience was the main reason for buying pet supplies online. Three of the top five reasons given for buying online reflected a saving of time and effort, including more suitable shopping hours, effortless delivery and avoidance of lines.

Petsmart.com was the most frequently visited online petstore, according to NPD. It was visited by 52 percent of survey participants, while 36 percent frequented pets.com. Other popular sites included petopia.com (15 percent), petswarehouse.com (9 percent), and petstore.com (8 percent).

NPD’s online pet store survey was conducted as part of the NPD Online Research omnibus survey. Two thousand and nine individuals from NPD’s Online Panel, a Web representative sample of individuals prerecruited to participate in surveys, responded to the questionnaire in late September.

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