Retail - eCommerce

Pet Supply Loyalty: Its More About the Brand

Pet Supply Loyalty
Photo by Matt Nelson

If you’re one of the 84.6 million pet households in the country you spend a great deal of money feeding, grooming and otherwise caring for your beloved creatures. And you are always looking for a bargain, discount or coupon to bring down your expenses. Let’s face it, most of the time, my pets eat better than I do and, even in lean times, I don’t skimp on food, toys and healthcare.

by Jennifer Towne

In fact, pet expenditures grow each year, despite the condition of the economy. After spending $69.51 billion in 2017, we pet owners are forecasted to spend even more this year, a whopping $72.13 billion, according to the American Pet Products Association.

After receiving yet another shipment of pet food that contained broken bags, I decided to compare pet supply loyalty programs in hopes that I could find a program that offered more value or at the very least, not broken bags every other time they ship food to my house.

According to Pet Business, the top three retailers in the United States are PetSmart, PetCo and Pet Valu. I replaced Pet Valu with Amazon since they don’t have an online store and there are no physical stores in my area. First I examined prices on the items that I order routinely and there is no price difference (+/- $1.00). Second, shipping is free for the first 2 as long as you purchase more than $49, if you sign up for the auto refill programs, shipping is free no matter what you spend. Obviously Amazon Prime is free shipping, but not all items are eligible for prime and then shipping costs kick in.

Next I checked to make sure they offered what I needed. Amazon and PetCo carried my bird food in the size I buy, but PetSmart only offered it in a smaller size. Not the end of the world, but smaller containers means I either buy them more frequently or store them and both seem like a pain.

All the websites provided articles, videos and information so that was another wash. They all allow you to setup a pet profile so they can target products to your needs. Additionally, PetCo and PetSmart offer birthday gifts.

PetCo

  • 5% back
  • Free birthday gift
  • Free shipping/discounted prices with repeat orders

PetSmart

  • Exclusive in-store benefits
  • Free birthday gift
  • Free shipping/discounted prices with repeat orders

Amazon

  • 15% discount on first order
  • Free shipping
  • Discount on repeat orders

PetCo offers 5 percent back on each purchase. When you reach $100, an email is sent with your reward that needs to be used within 45 days or it expires. PetSmart offers special in-store deals and member-only pricing. Prime offers coupons on its site.

If the program differences are nominal, their ancillary services provide genuine value. PetCo and PetSmart are vested in their mission, funding charities or foundations to assist animals in need. Additionally, they offer other services, such as training classes, vaccinations and grooming services.

Jennifer Towne is a reporter for The Wise Marketer

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