How To Start An Online Pet Store: Benefits, Challenges And More



In the last few years, the pet business or industry has taken off. Many experts believe that the Coronavirus Pandemic and the new Work-From-Home culture are adding to the growth. With many individuals staying at home and working, they are now looking to get pets.

This is a major trend across countries like the US, countries in Europe as well as developing nations like India. The booming pet industry then becomes a great economic opportunity if you are looking to invest in a new business.

In this article, we speak to leading experts. We request them to share with us some of the benefits, challenges, and other issues that potential entrepreneurs need to know about the pet industry.

The Global Pet Industry: Important Facts and Figures

According to Global Market Insights, the global pet industry is set to surpass $350 Billion US Dollars by 2027.

The CAGR projections for the same are in the double digits. As we speak, the pet industry in the United States alone is worth nearly $100 Billion US Dollars. Dog Food alone constitutes $40 Billion US Dollars.

According to experts and financial advisors, more than 60% of all American homes have one pet or another. This figure is going to rise in the next few years as more and more people start working from home and looking at pet options to increase their family.

There is also a growing awareness when it comes to pet food, pet accessories, and vet services in different parts of the world. With growing economies like India and China becoming a preferred ground for international brands and businesses operating in the pet industry.

How to Start an Online Pet Store: 5 Important Things to Consider

  1. Background Research on the Competition-

The first thing you need to do is understand what your competitors are doing. This means looking at the brands they are stocking and what kind of service are they offering. Many brands in this space have traditionally been physical brick-and-mortar stores. While they are shifting online, it is taking them some time. Look at their strong points and weak points.

  1. Decide on the kind of Products you would want to stock and sell-

If you think that the pet business with its enormous range of products is simple, think again. The following are some of the major products you can stock and sell-

  • Food
  • Accessories
  • Medicines
  • Supplements
  • Clothes
  • Grooming

This means that to become a complete one-stop-shop, you need to carry all these products. This will ensure that anyone looking for something comes to your online store.

  1. Fix the Brands, Vendors, and Delivery Partners-

There are hundreds of brands, vendors, and distributors you can choose from. Do market research to see which brands are being preferred and what kind of a marketing strategy they have in place. You also need to check for the prices and the commissions on offer to see what will best suit your financial interests. The same goes for delivery partners as well.

  1. Set up a Strong Online and Digital Presence-

It is not just about buying a theme from Theme Forest and setting up an online store. It is about ensuring that you are leading a strong and aggressive digital marketing strategy. This means prioritizing SEO, Social Media, and PPC Ads. You also need to ensure that you are maintaining an active and informative blog that can help with building credibility and for Inbound leads.

  1. Striking Relationships and adding New Verticals-

There is a lot of competition when it comes to an online pet store. This is why you need to go over and above what you and the competitors are already doing. Try to add things like talking to a vet, a nutritionist, or grooming experts on call on your platform. The extra services that you offer will make your brand stand apart from the competition. This also helps build goodwill.

Challenges of Starting an Online Pet Store according to Experts

Like any other business, even though there is a growing market, you cannot expect immediate success. The key is to pay attention to the above-mentioned five points and establish a solid foundation.

  • When it comes to running a successful online pet store like brioPets, digital reputation and credibility matter a lot. You might be aware of how building a reputation takes some time.
  • This is why the key is to stay patient and try to push your strategies. Investing in digital marketing is the best bet for an online pet store. This will help you reach target audiences, engage with them and allow them to start ordering from the platform.
  • It should be pointed out that in terms of commissions, the marked-up percentage is not that high. The industry depends on volume to ensure revenue flows and profitability.
  • There are a lot of business laws, rules, regulations, licenses, and certifications that you need to get as well. Lawyering up is also something that should be done right from the start.
  • While dogs, cats, fishes, and birds are the major pets that homeowners keep, there might be other more exotic options that are emerging in recent years.

The Bottom Line

One thing is for sure- the pet industry is growing and will continue to grow for the next many years. This means that there is a definite opportunity here. What needs to be ensured is that you are putting your best digital foot forward to win the trust of the pet parents in the field.

There is a lot of emotions that are attached when it comes to pets. While pet parents are more than likely to not care about the prices, they do value great services, a lot of love, and gentle attention from the stores they purchase from.

If you are someone that loves and haves pets themselves, you will know about the kind of emotion we are talking about. Once you can convey the same to the pet parents, you do not have to worry about the sales. It will happen on its own. Whether you are targeting a first-time pet parent or someone who has 50+ years of experience, emotion is going to be your card.