2020 has brought a lot of uncertainty for small businesses and large retailers alike, but one thing is for certain, e-commerce is on the rise. As we look at what this holiday season will bring for our furry friend retailers, we can look optimistically at what trends are showing us.
“It’s certainly difficult to predict anything that might happen in the economy right now,” says Keith Carlton, a Senior Solution Executive at LendingUSA. “As a result, pet retailers are wondering what this holiday season might bring.” While nothing is certain, we can look to recent trends to learn what we may expect this holiday season.
The pandemic points to more pet demand
One thing we can hang our hat on is that throughout the pandemic, pet adoptions have dramatically increased. Why? The answer to why demand is increasing specifically during COVID-19 may have more to do with the challenges and opportunities that quarantining with your family presents.
It turns out that being at home more means more need for companionship, plus more time to spend with new additions to the family. For pet retailers, there is no reason why continued pet adoptions—and the additional need for pet supplies and toys—would not continue on this trend through the holiday season.
Reports show elevated shopping records for consumers
While consumer spending has undoubtedly slumped this year, recent reports show that as of September, U.S. retail sales have returned to a pre-pandemic trajectory. While this may vary by industry, it suggests that even recent lockdowns have not stopped consumers from spending money.
Additionally, spending through the Thanksgiving holiday gave us even more indication of increased spending. According to ABC News, Black Friday hit a new record with consumers spending $9.0 billion, an increase of 21.6% year over year (online sales hit $7.4 billion on Black Friday in 2019), according to Adobe Analytics data.
Plus, Holiday shoppers spent $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday, up 15.1% from a year ago, setting a record for the largest U.S. online shopping day ever, according to Adobe.
While it’s natural that online shopping has increased this year, the overall spending signal is that consumers still want to shop, and retail sales are back on track to continue growing into 2021. As the holiday spirit moves people to show appreciation for their loved ones (human and pet), pet retailers can likely expect to see increased sales.
It’s your store’s time to shine
For pet retailers, we know that part of the customer experience is how your visitors feel when they walk into a store where their pet is welcome. This presents a rare opportunity to market creatively to your target market digitally through “feel good” advertising and heart-warming sentiments showing the way that pets bring happiness during the holiday season.
You know the ones! Think about that old cartoon movie where two canines share a romantic Italian dish! Think about the family who opens a box on Christmas morning and out pops…the tiniest little kitten! Evoking emotion in your audience is a fantastic way to create an unforgettable experience for shoppers in 2020!
While we certainly can’t fully predict what this holiday season will look like for pet retailers, we know that in a difficult time combined with a season of gratitude, magic can happen. With a few tweaks and a positive outlook, you could knock your sales out of the bark…or park this year!