The pet industry has experienced a year like no other, with consumers spending more time at home and looking to add furry friends to their families. The space witnessed incredible growth in 2020, reaching $103.6 billion in sales in the United States alone as consumers sprung for everything from dog treats to veterinary care at a record clip. This trend is expected to continue through 2021 as well, meaning pet care providers and merchants will have plenty of opportunities to continue reaching longtime and new pet owners with products and services.
Unfortunately, four-legged companions are anything but cheap. Dog and cat owners can spend anywhere from $1,000 to $1,800 on their pets during just the first year of ownership, driving many to seek out flexible spending options to keep their critters happy and their budgets in check. A growing share of consumers are seeking out buy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions to help them split the cost of their pet-related purchases without compromising on the care or products they pick up for their animals.
The May edition of the Buy Now, Pay Later Tracker® examines the rapid growth of the pet industry in the U.S. and beyond as well as how more consumers are tapping installment payment plans to ensure they get the best for their pets while keeping a handle on their expenses.
Around The Buy Now, Pay Later Space
Cost is a major concern for many consumers, but a sizable portion are even more eager to pick up payment methods that offer convenience. A recent survey from the National Retail Federation found that convenience is considered very important by 41 percent of pet owners in the U.S, with 58 percent of them stating that they are even willing to pay more for convenient purchasing methods. The same survey found that 89 percent of consumers who tapped BNPL plans were pleased with the ease and speed that these methods granted, illustrating installment payment plans’ potential as convenient payment solutions for pet care merchants.
Flexible spending solutions are making waves outside the pet industry, too, as more consumers turn away from credit to avoid the debt and fees with which it comes. Financial services firm FIS revealed that more than 21 percent of consumers in the U.S. currently do not own credit cards, up 7 percentage points from the year before. BNPL solutions, on the other hand, have been steadily catching on with more consumers and are expected to account for 4 percent of all eCommerce transactions globally by 2024.
Consumers in various markets are also growing comfortable enough to resume shopping in stores, and many expect access to installment payment plans when they do. BNPL solution provider Afterpay recently announced that it has released a product geared toward Australian consumers who wish to use its solution at brick-and-mortar stores. Consumers can download the digital Afterpay card via the company’s app and have it sent to their digital wallets, allowing them to split both in-store and online purchases into four installments using its solution.
Read more about these and other BNPL headlines in the Tracker.
K9 Mask On Harnessing Buy Now, Pay Later To Reach More Pet Owners
Pet owners are often unwilling to compromise when it comes to getting the very best for their canine or feline companions, but this tendency can drive them into debt or force them to reconsider needed purchases if the costs for services or products are too great. Pet care merchants can really make a difference in these instances by offering flexible solutions that can open access to services and products without forcing consumers to rely on credit. In the Feature Story, Kirby Holmes, CEO of K9 Mask, explains how offering BNPL plans has allowed the brand’s N95 air filter mask for dogs to reach more consumers.
Read the Feature Story in the Tracker.
Deep Dive: Boosting Customer Spend On Pet Care With BNPL Solutions
Pet industry sales reached an unprecedented high in 2020 as adoptions soared and consumers spent more on toys, treats, grooming and vet visits for their animals. These purchases can come with steep costs, however, and nearly half of all pet owners would be willing to go into debt to make sure their pets are comfortable and do not want for anything. This month’s Deep Dive examines the booming pet care industry and how BNPL solutions can give pet owners a viable way to keep their pets pleased without piling up debt.
Read the Deep Dive in the Tracker.
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