May 30, 2023
The population of pet owners in the U.S. is younger and more connected than ever. This shift is changing the way veterinary care is managed.
According to a generational study by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Millennials are the largest pet-owning segment in the U.S., representing 32% of all pet-owning households. This audience is considered digitally native and is more likely to view their pets as ‘part of the family’ than older generations.
Because they are digital natives, Millennials are more comfortable going online to learn about pet products than previous generations. The same APPA study revealed that 62% of Millennial pet owners increased the number of online pet product purchases they made over the last year, with over half of those respondents stating that they plan to increase online purchases with home delivery over the next year. This shift indicates that these habits are here to stay.
Before the pandemic sent most audiences online for their shopping, there were signs indicating that increased digital spending by pet owners was already underway. Millennials especially love having pet products shipped directly to their homes– they (and even older Gen Z pet owners) have embraced auto-ship and subscription models for pet products.
E-commerce and Pet Medications
This preference for online shopping is also impacting the market for pet medications, especially for medications that comprise the majority of prescription spending, like preventatives, parasiticides, and medications for chronic disease management. Many Millennial pet owners are buying medications from their veterinarians’ websites rather than in person from their practices. Others are turning to third-party online retailers.
While this change in behavior was challenging for veterinarian practices that had to adapt during the pandemic, the shift to online medication purchasing was offset by the increase in demand for pet medications. It is predicted that this trend will continue, with analysts estimating that the share of pet products purchased online will grow, reaching 30% of the overall pet medication market by 2025.
A large percentage of medications, especially preventatives and those that are used to treat chronic conditions will require refills. This means that consumers will continue to embrace the ease of home delivery as well as shop around for the best price, which is easier to do from the comfort of home. This follows the larger transformation in e-commerce that has occurred in other categories, like groceries and apparel.
How E-Commerce Has Impacted Veterinary Practices?
The migration toward online shopping for pet products has transformed how some veterinary practices are managed, including how inventory is managed and even the mix of products and services that they offer. Some veterinarian clinics are carrying a more tightly edited inventory, only stocking products and medications that are needed for acute treatment situations.
Pet Owners Still Need Veterinarians
Regardless of how pet owners shop for and receive the products that they buy for their furry friends, veterinarians will still be at the center of the relationship between them and their pets. The APPA study reveals that almost 60% of pet owners reported relying on their veterinarians for pet health information and guidance.
To keep pace with the changing needs of their customers, veterinarians will need to adapt to an environment that is more digital, while also staying focused on pet health and wellness. More pet owners are now attending to the overall wellness of their pets and still turn to their veterinarians for advice. A study by Eyes4Research revealed that 61% of pet owners consider their veterinarian a key source of information on holistic pet care.
Veterinarians have the challenge of embracing new technologies in order to meet their customers where they’re at. But they also have the unique opportunity to elevate the quality of information they offer to them at the same time.
Eyes4Research has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from pet owners and veterinarians. Our panels are made up of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.
February 27, 2023
The veterinary industry is complex and among the most competitive globally. The number of consumers needing veterinarian services is growing and the landscape of animal health and welfare is ever-changing, with more pet owners looking for high-quality products to optimize the health of their pets. Here are 6 trends that are helping to shape the future of veterinary services.
Lockdown-Fueled Pet Ownership Rise
The loneliness and boredom that many people experienced during lockdown prompted a rush of people wanting a pet to pass the time with. While some of the households that brought pets home during this time have since rehoused those animals after going back to the office, there was still a rise in pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic that has carried over, post-pandemic.
Smart Pet Gadgets
Pet products powered by technology are everywhere and are making being a pet owner a little easier for consumers. Companies like Petcube, which has introduced a camera that attaches to a pet collar which allows the owner to view a live-streamed account of what is happening at home, including a pet’s everyday activities. Other ‘smart’ pet products include feeders that deliver food items straight into a bowl and trackers that help owners find pets who have wandered away from home.
According to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, it is estimated that there are 21 million households with pets in the U.S. alone. If companion animals were thrown into the mix, that number would be closer to around 23 million. This has created a vast market for pet-friendly homes as people are looking for housing that allows them to live with their pets. A recent study by the American Pet Products Association revealed that there was an 8% increase in the sale of pet-related products in 2021, including pet food, toys, accessories, etc, which may be attributed to this trend of consumers choosing pet-friendly housing options for their homes and offices.
The Rising Market for Exotic Pets
Not to be outdone by cats and dogs, there is also a growing market for pets that are a little out of the ordinary, like birds, snakes, and even spiders. Because these animals are more low-maintenance than cats and dogs, this category of pet has become more popular with higher-income consumers. The American Pet Products study mentioned above also found that 12.2% of American households currently care for one or more types of pet in addition to a dog or a cat, an increase from 10.8% over the last five years. This data points to a robust market for a wider variety of household pets.
Adopt, Don’t Shop Campaigns
A recent study by the National Pet Alliance revealed that there are more than 10 million pets in shelters across the U.S. But even with that staggering number of pets waiting to be adopted, most people still buy pets instead of adopting them from shelters. To reverse this trend, there have been several awareness campaigns launched in recent years encouraging people to adopt their pets instead of shopping for them at pet stores. These campaigns have included adoption drives at local shelters, which often waive or drastically reduce adoption fees for the duration of the drive, as well as social media campaigns.
Wellness Isn’t Just for Humans
Wellness, specifically in the form of vitamins and probiotics, is becoming more common for pets, as their owners look for ways to keep their furry friends as healthy and happy as possible. The pet supplement industry is growing and veterinarians are helping owners learn more about how to be more intentional in the care of their pets, beyond yearly checkups and feeding them the right food. Even other health issues, like anxiety and stress, are on the radar of pet owners, as they seek advice from their veterinarians on products like CBD supplements. Relatively new on the market for pets, CBD supplements come in the form of oils and chews and can help alleviate anxiety and chronic pain in cats and dogs.
Keeping up with consumer trends is crucial for every industry. Veterinarians have many challenges to navigate in their daily practices, but staying in the loop with what consumers want and need will allow veterinarians to give their clients higher-quality advice and build deeper and longer-lasting relationships with them.
Read more about consumer trends on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from veterinarians and pet owners. Our online panels are made up of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty online panels here.
December 20, 2022
Research practitioners have a lot on their hands when it comes to designing an effective survey instrument and ensuring quality is not affected during data collection. Another important point researchers have to consider is avoiding respondent bias. Biased responses lead to inaccurate data and can incorrectly prompt companies to make changes that they didn’t need to make while leaving the need for other course corrections unrecognized. Fortunately, there are ways that researchers can recognize and avoid response bias in their surveys.
What is Respondent Bias?
Respondent bias lies more with the questions in a survey, and not so much with the willingness (or not) on the part of the respondents to answer the questions. Respondents can give inaccurate answers to questions due to conscious and subconscious factors, so it’s important that questions are worded carefully in order to get the most accurate responses. Respondents might not even realize that they are giving untruthful or inaccurate answers, but it affects the outcome of the data collection just the same.
Never Lead the Witness
So how can researchers avoid respondent bias and get the highest quality survey answers? One crucial thing that researchers can do is ensure that their survey questions are not framed in a way that leads the respondent to answer a question in a certain way. For example, if a survey had a question that read “How awful are plant-based burgers?”, it could lead the respondent to think, “Yes plant-based burgers are awful.” A better, non-leading question would be “What do you think of plant-based burgers?”
Leading questions can also happen with scaled questions. For example, a question on a survey could ask a respondent if they were extremely dissatisfied, dissatisfied, or satisfied. Offering more options for dissatisfied answers is biased and leads survey respondents in that direction. It is also important to always offer the respondent the option not to answer a question. Providing a ‘Prefer not to answer” option in a survey, or even offering a way for survey respondents to opt out of participating is important to avoid bias. Researchers should also craft survey questions in a way that is dynamic– make sure to use language that is clear and transparent and that avoids negative terms, such as the word ‘not’.
Learn to Trade Places
Finally, an easy way for researchers to avoid respondent bias in surveys is to imagine themselves in the place of the survey participants. If they were taking the survey, what would constitute bias in the eyes of the respondent? It’s important for researchers to take a 360-degree view of their surveys in order to ensure the best possible outcome for quality data collection.
Eyes4Research has an intuitive and easy-to-use survey platform with over 22 million double opt-in panelists, making it easy for companies to find just the right audience for their surveys. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.
December 14, 2022
The global pet care business is expected to reach $241.1B by 2026. For pet product manufacturers, veterinarians are an integral part of their business model. Not only are veterinarians customers, but they are decision-makers and can recommend products (or not), to the pet owners who are their clients. It is necessary for manufacturers of pet products to know what will encourage veterinarians to choose their products.
In order to understand what is important to veterinarians, manufacturers will need to gather insights from this audience to gain an advantage over their competition. The data collected from veterinarians will tell manufacturers what is selling and not selling, what the market trends are, and what part, if any, of the brand story is resonating with the veterinarian audience. Learning how to market to veterinarians will help manufacturers learn what matters to veterinarians and help them hone in on unmet needs within the market. Here are 4 ways companies can effectively market to veterinarians.
Refine and Tell Your Brand Story
The foundation of a pet care company’s brand story starts with understanding its place in the pet care ecosystem within the context of the competition. That starts with market research. Dig deep into the data collected and learn exactly what competing brands are doing and why the veterinarian audience is loyal to them. Companies should also tap into the information that is gathered from other research involving veterinarians, like scientific trials, to integrate it into their own brand story and become experts in their space. When it comes to actually telling the story, nothing is more powerful than word of mouth, and pet owners are more than happy to sing the praises of a product that they love. Those stories are important when a veterinarian is considering a new product to recommend to their pet owners.
Advocate for Veterinarians By Listening to Them
Analyzing data and conducting research online with the veterinarian audience is important, but it is also equally important to add an additional layer to the research and actually talk to veterinarians. Gathering anecdotal information from veterinarians at trade shows, for example, can offer deeper insights from veterinarians about what they really need and what their challenges are, either with other products or in their practices. When companies position themselves as advocates for their customers, it can only make their products and their brand story better in return.
Foster Loyalty and Keep It
Tap into the power of training. It is common that veterinarians will often carry the same products they used during their training in school into their own practice and stay loyal to those products. Companies that establish those relationships with the veterinarian audience early on while still in school, will have a distinct advantage over their competitors.
Selecting a Reputable Panel Provider
Finding a quality veterinarian panel is not easy. Eyes4Research owns and operates one of the few veterinarian panels in the continental U.S. Companies should take the time to vet panel providers: Ask the providers if their panelists are certified; what type of profile information they keep on their members, such as the veterinarian school attended, year of graduation, the types of animals (small, large, or both) the veterinarians on the panels treat.
When considering your marketing strategy for the veterinarian audience, keep in mind that they are looking to elevate their careers and improve their practices and their relationship with their clients. They want products to help them in that endeavor, and market research helps achieve that goal.
Partner with Eyes4Research for everything you need to collect high-quality insights from veterinarians. Our panels are made up of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here so that you can make your product the product of choice for veterinarians.