In spite of economic difficulties around the world, pet supplies are still a growing market. Approximately 50% of families in the USA own a dog or a cat and there are over 10.5 million dogs and 10.3 million cats in the UK alone. Increasingly, customers are choosing to purchase their pet supplies from online pet shops rather than high street stores. There are many possible motivating factors behind this trend.
Online pet shops can stock a wider range of pet supplies than most high street stores. This allows them to specialise in many areas rather than just providing dog supplies or reptile supplies with a few bits of other ranges as filler.
As more of the population is in full time employment, many people find online pet stores more convenient. They allow people to order their pet supplies on their dinner break or during their commute and have them delivered instead of having to make a trip to the shops.
The trend towards keeping more exotic pets rather than the traditional dog or cat means that people need access to more specialised pet supplies. Rather than go to the effort of finding a specialist pet supply store nearby, people opt to buy their pet supplies online and take advantage of expert advice at the same time.
Online pet shops tend to employ more people than local high street stores, so they have access to a wider amount of knowledge and experience. If you ask an online pet supply shop a question, they are more likely to have access to an expert in that field, rather than just going on what sells most frequently.
Because people have access to price comparison websites, the prices of online pet supplies are usually more competitive than the prices in your local high street pet shop. Online pet supply retailers are subject to strong competition from discount stores on Ebay and Amazon, supermarkets and major competitors who can use online marketing with email newsletters and facebook to attract their customers away. Therefore they are heavily focused on giving customers the best possible price for their pet supplies.
Many online pet supply retailers have developed over the past 5 – 10 years, since the dotcom bubble burst. A great example is NetPetShop.co.uk, which has grown from a small scale operation run out of a bedroom into a national company selling top quality products all round the world.
Companies such as NetPetShop are an inspiration to the next generation of entrepreneurs – pet supplies are a great market to get into provided you have the knowledge base and are willing to focus on product quality, customer service and value for money.
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