During the age of coronavirus, pet owners—like all Americans—are flocking online in droves due to store closures and stay-at-home and social distancing measures. This trend is not likely to suddenly or fully reverse either post-pandemic or even as some states begin to reopen, according to Packaged Facts’ recent report Pet Reptile Products: U.S. Pet Market Trends and Opportunities, 2nd Edition.
Even before the crisis, e-commerce sales were a primary pet market driver, and with the accelerated consumer migration online, Packaged Facts expects e-commerce to surge even faster and further. This trend represents a particular opportunity in the reptile market, where pet owners have tended to shop brick-and-mortar pet specialty stores at a greater rate than dog and cat owners and are likely now shifting an even greater portion of their business online. With the coronavirus discouraging in-store visits and shopping, it is paramount that marketers and retailers of products for reptiles and other pets connect with customers online and plan to continue to do so once the pandemic is in the nation’s rearview mirror.
Aside from promoting and selling products, marketers use their online presence to create a bond with pet owners via instructional information on how to best care for their pets, anecdotes about reptile ownership in general, and images of how other reptile owners have created reptile-friendly environments.
Looking ahead, Packaged Facts projects reptile products will grow from $495 million in 2019 to between $550 million and $650 million by 2024, depending on the depth and duration of coronavirus pandemic-triggered impacts on household finances and housing situations. These figures include food and non-food supplies for pet reptiles including snakes, lizards, and turtles as well as amphibians such as frogs.