Recent research among pet owners in four countries revealed some idiosyncrasies. A pet owner’s opinion of what is important isn’t always the one that guides their purchase decision!
What pet owners think of accessories
Yummypets and PETS International recently surveyed pet owners about their overall experience with pet accessories. The survey was conducted among pet parents in Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The survey made a distinction between three types of accessories: toys, functional (leashes, collars, etc.) and bedding and cushions so that we could get the in-depth answers we needed.
Hot and happening or way past it?
The results of the survey revealed one thing pretty clearly: pet toys are here today and gone tomorrow. There are toys that are a la mode one day, and old hat the next. Functional accessories and bedding, purchased less frequently by pet owners, are less popular. More than half of pet owners say they buy toys at least once every six months. Only 28% of pet owners buy functional accessories and bedding during the same time period.
Pet owners seem to have more toys than functional accessories or bedding for their pets, so it’s no wonder they have more toys. Based on the results of the survey, 80% of responding pet owners report having more than three toys for their pets, while only around 35% report having more than three functional accessories or beddings.
Where do pet owners buy accessories?
Across all countries, pet owners purchase accessories for their beloved housemates in the same places. It is not necessary for owners to go to different shops to purchase certain accessories. They prefer to shop at one pet retail store, where they can find whatever they need (or their pets). Pet retail shops seem to be the most popular choice in all countries we examined, whether they sell leashes, toys, or bedding.
However, there was a significant difference in online purchase behavior: in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, online purchases come in second. Rather than buying pet accessories in Dubai online, French pet owners prefer to purchase them in supermarkets.
Over 70% of pet owners say it is important that their pet’s accessories come from a proven brand. 60% of pet owners say it doesn’t really matter whether they purchase another accessory from the same brand or not after purchasing an accessory. Approximately 40% of people think it’s important.
Sustainability: a reason to buy?
Around 85% of respondents said a resounding ‘Yes’ when asked explicitly whether sustainability is important in the production of their pet’s toys. Sustainability is only considered unimportant by 15% of consumers when buying accessories.
When pet owners were asked to rank criteria according to their importance for the purchasing decision, sustainability came third from last! Quality and durability, reasonable prices, and well-designed accessories seem to be more important than sustainability. The lowest scoring criteria are brand and fashion.
Things that matter
Based on the survey results, we can draw several conclusions. A proven brand is important to pet owners when purchasing accessories. It is not necessary, however, for all accessories to be from the same brand.
Additionally, retail stores score significantly higher than online when it comes to preferred purchasing channels. Supermarkets also perform much better than online retailers in France.
Last but not least, although the vast majority of pet owners consider sustainably produced accessories to be very important, when it comes to the actual purchase, other criteria outweigh sustainably produced accessories.