Americans found a lot of ways to make pandemic distancing more bearable, but perhaps the most enduring was adding a furry friend to the family. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the percent of households with at least one dog grew from 38% in 2016 to 45% in 2020. Cat ownership saw its growth more recently, only increasing by one percent during the pandemic to 26% in 2020, but reaching 29% by 2022.
Of course, the pandemic also saw an increase in ecommerce and convenience trends, and the pet industry was no exception. Pet owners turned to the web for everything from food and toys to medications for their cuddly creatures. And as the world continues its return to normal, consumers remain dependent on the convenience of home delivery to help take care of their pets.
For pet care retailers and manufacturers, this presents a variety of opportunities to serve a growing and dedicated audience of pet owners. The key to success? Crowdsourcing to help grow your service area and fulfill demands for fast delivery, all while keeping your logistical costs in line.
Expand your pet business pawprint
With the increase in pet ownership, industry retailers are eager to expand the paw or footprint of the area they can serve. The global ecommerce market for pet care is $179 billion and is expected to grow steadily through 2030. Retailers know they can’t ignore this opportunity, and must offer the variety of shipping options online shoppers have come to expect, including same-day shipping. But growing with the market and adding shopping options is difficult without the right logistics partner.
“We knew that not offering same-day delivery options was limiting our customer base,” said Rick Moffett, president of Colorado-based Raw Dog Food and Company. “As customers’ expectations around convenience have increased in the pandemic, we needed to keep up — and that’s where Roadie came in.”
By taking advantage of the affordable, fixed cost of on-demand drivers using Roadie, Raw Dog more than doubled its delivery radius and grew its clientele of happy pet parents. The best part of this crowdsourcing success story? With a variety of vehicle types available, drivers who use Roadie can accommodate any pet retailer’s needs, whether they’re delivering bags of bones, cartons of catnip, or cases of kibble.
Fresh is fast — and so is crowdsourcing
Raw Dog’s experience with Roadie spotlights an important part of the pet industry: fresh pet food. Comprising 40% of a $123.6 billion pet market, food and treats are by far the largest industry segment, with fresh pet food becoming a growing portion of that. It’s expected that the fresh pet food market size will nearly double from $5.9 billion today to $11.1 billion by 2027.
Just like with the growing meal kit delivery industry, crowdsourced delivery partners are accustomed to servicing customers in the tight time frames fresh pet food delivery demands. Whether the orders are placed on-demand or in advance with subscription services, delivery drivers on the Roadie platform can ensure the safe and quick transport of temperature-sensitive orders, with delivery in as little as two hours.
Auto delivery and batched delivery go hand in hand
Pet food purchases also represent an ongoing need for pet owners, aligning perfectly with an uptick in subscription ordering. In 2021, 79% of consumers indicated their interest in auto-replenishment services. For pet owners specifically, pet food and treats top the list of autoship requests, attracting a combined 36% of pet owners.
Crowdsourced delivery is a boon for this type of ordering format. With its predictable scheduling, pet retailers can effectively time their supplier orders and then leverage batched delivery with their crowdsourced drivers for efficient order fulfillment. This approach works well for both direct-to-consumer orders from retailers and manufacturers, and distribution to retailers, like those that carry fresh pet food brands and need to replenish their inventory frequently. This approach can also help your bottom line; Roadie customers can save 25% on shipping costs when scheduling five or more daily deliveries.
Logistics that put pet lovers first
Crowdsourced delivery has solutions that pet-focused brands need: fast, convenient and right-sized delivery options for both pet owners and the retailers they prefer. With on-time, fresh and accurate delivery, retailers can build a customer base as loyal as man’s best friend.