The $23-billion pet food industry has the highest e-commerce penetration relative to other home care categories. In 2015, Pet Food e-commerce sales grew 55% to $760 million. But Pet Care is still a fragmented landscape, and surprisingly Amazon has not yet emerged as a clear winner. Amazon lags behind PetSmart in Google visibility for dog and cat food searches. Furthermore, PetCo and Petsmart offer transactional loyalty programs and buy online/pickup in-store – which Amazon does not. All major Pet Care retailers have auto-replenishment, as the category is ideal for subscription commerce.
Despite the sophistication of e-tailers, Pet Care brands in L2’s 2016 Home Care study did not excel in digital. In fact, eight Nestlé Purina brands that debuted in this year’s Index fell into the low Average class with an average Digital IQ of 91. Purina brands did not take advantage economies of scale – except for a shared newsletter – and efforts for producing online content is siloed. For example, Friskies has one of the best social media strategies among brands in the Index while providing a clunky desktop experience that fails to showcase its best-in-class content.