July 1 2024

10 minutes of reading

E-commerce for pets - developments, trends, and innovations


Anna Bryk

The pet products industry is expanding globally, driven by an increasing number of pet owners and their growing demands. Online shopping is gaining popularity, offering companies significant opportunities for online sales.

E-commerce in the pet products sector is on the rise, as highlighted by the Chamber of Electronic Economy's report, "E-commerce Animal-friendly Business." According to the report, up to 85% of pet owners shop online, and in families with children, this number rises to 96%. Consumers value attractive prices (54%), a wide selection (47%), and the ease of searching and comparing offers (45%). The quality and composition of products are also crucial, confirmed by 42% of respondents. There is an increasing demand for eco-friendly and natural products for pets, indicating growing awareness among customers.

The report also reveals that E-commerce in the pet food industry is a space where consumers share their experiences and seek advice on pet care. A significant 67% of respondents use social media to exchange opinions and recommendations about products. Additionally, there is a noticeable trend of increasing numbers of small and medium-sized enterprises offering specialized pet products. Over the past five years, the number of such companies has grown by 20%, further enriching the online pet market and providing consumers with more choices.

Online pet care market development in the U.S. and Europe

New trends and innovations in the industry are evident around the world. According to data presented by Grand View Research, the value of the global pet care E-commerce market is expected to reach $149.21 billion by 2030, with an annual growth rate of 7.64%. This growth is driven by technological improvements and the increasing availability of E-commerce platforms.

In the United States, the growing popularity of pet ownership and the trend of humanizing animals have contributed to the demand for online quality products. By 2023, the pet supplies E-commerce market in the U.S. was worth $38.76 billion, with a projected annual growth rate of 12.49% (Grand View Research data). Euromonitor International reports that pet owners increasingly treat their pets as family members, prompting them to invest in healthy foods, supplements, and other premium products. In the U.S., about 60 percent of pet care purchases are made online, with major market players such as Amazon, Chewy, and Petco.

Similar trends have been observed in Europe, influenced by the growing number of pet adoptions and increased awareness of pet welfare. The value of the E-commerce market reached $23.01 billion in 2022, and forecasts point to further growth, according to Zion Market Research in its publications. In countries such as Germany, the UK, and France, many pet owners are using E-commerce platforms such as Zooplus and Pets at Home to provide their pets with the best products. Across Europe, 45% of pet owners shop online (GlobalMRRC, NIQ Brandbank) (PDF).

Key aspects of the pet food E-commerce market

Many factors influence the decision to purchase from a selected E-commerce, what matters to customers is product quality, shopping experience, sustainability, and technological innovation.

Product quality is a key determinant of success in the industry. Consumers are increasingly looking for quality products that contain natural and healthy ingredients. The pet food and treats segment dominates the market, and pet owners are willing to pay more for premium products that ensure the health and well-being of their pets, according to data released by Zion Market Research and NIQ Brandbank.

Customer experience in E-commerce also plays a vital role. Consumers value convenient solutions such as a wide selection of assortments and fast home delivery by their favorite suppliers. They also pay attention to the ability to personalize the offerings for their pet, such as the ability to tailor the diet to the specific needs of a particular pet. According to Grand View Research, Euromonitor, and NIQ, such solutions are becoming the industry standard and attracting customers.

Sustainability is another important trend. Consumers are increasingly opting for organic and eco-friendly products. Grand View Research and NIQ report that companies are introducing innovative packaging, reducing the use of single-use plastic, and products from known sources, delivered through a sustainable supply chain. An example is Castor & Pollux, a U.S.-based company that has introduced a line of organic and responsibly sourced products.

Customers also value technological innovations such as mobile apps, subscription shopping, and pet health and wellness services. The aforementioned elements are contributing strongly to market growth. The introduction of tools to assist in pet care, such as health monitoring and automatic food dispensers, is becoming more desirable and sought after among pet owners (Zion Market ResearchResearch&Markets, NIQ).

"As seen above, the conscious consumer expects more than just: low price, fast delivery, and safe shopping. Of course, in addition to building a competitive advantage in other areas, we must not forget the basic ones."

Lukasz Bialonoga
Managing Partner of E-commerce at Salestube

What distinguishes the pet care E-commerce industry?

The online pet food sales industry is characterized by several factors that are worth paying attention to when analyzing the market. Below are the most relevant according to us:

Specific logistical requirements

The petfood industry has unique logistical requirements. First of all, due to the weight and volume of products, shipping can be costly and complicated. For many online stores, the challenge is to ensure fast and reliable delivery, which is key to meeting customer expectations. Additionally, when planning to ship to other countries, various customs and regulatory barriers can be encountered, further complicating the logistics process. 

Low amount of returns

The relatively low number of returns is undoubtedly an advantage. Products such as pet food, treats and supplements tend to be used regularly and have a long shelf life, which minimizes the need to return them. Consumers are usually satisfied with the products they choose.

Good customer retention

The industry is characterized by high customer retention. Pet parents are loyal to brands that offer high-quality products and services, which meet the needs of their pets. Loyalty programs, subscriptions, and personalized offers contribute to retaining customers for longer. Regular purchases foster long-term relationships between stores and customers who feel well served.

Selling products in bundles

Product sets are very popular. Platforms offer bundles of food, treats, and pet supplements that are tailored to animals' specific needs. This approach not only makes shopping for pet products more convenient, but also often saves money, which is attractive to customers, and allows stores to earn more and stand out from platforms that do not offer sets.

Subscription shopping

Product subscriptions are developing gradually, but are increasingly being chosen by customers. It allows pet owners to ensure a steady supply without having to remember to make regular purchases, which increases convenience and loyalty.

Customized approach and innovation

In the pet E-commerce industry, it is important to tailor offerings to individual customer preferences. Online stores offer a variety of options, from gluten-free products to specialized diets for pets with allergies. Technological innovations, such as mobile apps and diet personalization tools, allow customers to easily manage their purchases and take care of their pets' health while allowing stores to stand out from the competition. In addition, growing integration with social media and review platforms is helping to build trust and customer engagement.

Our experience with E-commerce in the pet industry

Our past work in the industry has focused on providing optimized and effective E-commerce solutions that help our clients achieve significant sales results and satisfy demanding customers. Over the years, we have accumulated experience working with brands such as Animonda, Bazar Pupila, and Fera. The implementation for each of the aforementioned companies was unique and customized, allowing us to effectively use the available tools and implement the appropriate processes.


Fera, which operates as a B2C E-commerce company offering pet products and accessories, needed a new, scalable E-commerce platform. After analyzing the client's needs and budget possibilities, we decided to choose CS-Cart technology, allowing full automation of sales processes. Within two years, Fera became one of the largest pet stores in Poland, recording triple-digit year-on-year sales growth.

Check out Case Studies - Fera.pl

Bazar Pupila

In our cooperation with Bazar Pupila, in addition to planning the entire architecture during the discovery phase, designing the UX and UI of the store, and implementation, in the next steps of the cooperation we focused on solving the challenges of mobile user engagement and shopping cart abandonment. We implemented a number of optimization measures. The result of our cooperation was a reduced number of abandoned shopping carts and an optimized UX of the store, which significantly impacted sales and customer loyalty. 

Check out Case Studies - Bazar Pupila


We worked with our hmmh team in Germany on the implementation of an E-commerce platform for Animonda, operating as a D2C E-commerce platform. The main challenge posed to our team was to create a custom site navigation and an innovative way of presenting product variants. Our collaboration resulted in a multi-device optimized platform, tailored for shopping from different devices.

Check out Case Studies - Animonda

Our recommendations for the pet care E-commerce industry

When starting a pet food business, there are many aspects to pay attention to. Our experts highlight a few key elements.

Ensure a scalable E-commerce platform. Choose solutions that will allow you to easily increase sales through the platform's ability to integrate with various marketplaces and automate sales activities to optimize costs. A scalable platform will enable dynamic business growth and flexible adaptation to changing market needs.

Analyze and optimize the UX of the platform and grow your offer. Use advanced analytical tools and dashboards to track user behavior and respond to changing trends. This will allow you to optimize your platform's offerings and functionalities, which will contribute to higher customer satisfaction and better sales results.

"Optimizing the UX of the platform based on the numbers we can monitor in analytics on an ongoing basis is the foundation for success in an industry as competitive as pet food. Even basic changes like optimizing delivery time messages can increase conversion rates by up to three times, we've tested this with our clients."

Lukasz Bialonoga
Managing Partner of E-commerce at Salestube

Increase shopping cart value and ensure retention by implementing a Marketing Automation (MA) system. The MA tool allows you to personalize your communications to customers, offer them complementary products, and remind them of recurring purchases. This allows you to increase the value of the shopping cart and improve customer retention, which will translate into customer loyalty and long-term success. Marketing automation also allows you to implement innovative capabilities, such as integration with weather portals, so you can send customers suggestions to take advantage of your waterproof pet product offer when a rainy day is coming.

“The implementation of a Marketing Automation (MA) system is a key step in increasing the efficiency of marketing activities in the pet food industry. With MA, we can accurately segment customers and tailor communications to their needs, which increases engagement and loyalty. Importantly for this industry, automation allows us to effectively manage reminder campaigns for recurring purchases, which is very important for regular pet product orders. What's more, in addition to reminders, purchase subscriptions can also be managed with MA. In addition, personalizing the offer by recommending complementary products increases the value of the shopping cart and enhances the shopping experience of customers. Marketing Automation is a strategic component of building lasting relationships with customers.”

Jakub Szczygiel
Marketing Automation Manager at Salestube

Take care of relevant content that supports growth through SEO. Create valuable and optimized content that will attract organic traffic to your site. Good content not only improves search engine positioning but also builds trust and customer engagement. Regularly updating content and adapting it to current market needs is the key to success in the E-commerce industry.

"Content is not just text written by a copywriter. It is worth enriching it with infographics and various video formats that will make it easier for customers to find important information. What's more, for both customers who care about the welfare of their pets and Google's algorithms, it's important to build trust. In addition to various content formats, it is worth betting on moderated user-generated content, including comments, questions and photos from customers, answers from experts/vets, or product reviews and comparisons. Based on information from customers and experts, we can also constantly expand the structure of the site and supplement descriptions with information important in the decision-making process. Such action will not only have a positive impact on conversions but will also distinguish the service among competitors in Google search results."

Katarzyna Jakubow-Tyka
Head of SEO at Salestube

Key findings

Looking at the pet food industry around the world, there is no doubt that it is growing more and more, with customers increasingly choosing to shop for their pets online. The growth of the industry is tantamount to an increase in competition, so what is worth keeping in mind when developing a pet food platform?

A very important factor is mobile optimization, which is crucial to making effective online sales. Thanks to the use of technologies such as Shopware 6 or commercetools and Headless E-commerce, it is possible to create intuitive and optimized platforms for all types of devices, meeting the pet owners' expectations.

To make the platform competitive and the customers loyal, it is necessary to ensure innovation and shopping convenience, not forgetting the basic expectations of online shoppers, which are:

  • competitive pricing,

  • fast delivery, while maintaining their preferences as to its form,

  • security and ease of shopping.

But as we mentioned, in the pet food industry it is also worth betting on a wide range of pet supplies and modern solutions offering subscription shopping, loyalty programs, and the possibility of using apps.

For companies looking for support in developing or optimizing E-commerce platforms, Salestube offers its experience and expertise in a wide range of One-Stop Shop. Feel free to contact us if you'd like to discuss the possibility of cooperation. 

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