Last year, purchasing pet products online became the most popular channel for for the first time. As brands like Chewy and Petco capitalized on the rising popularity of direct-to-consumer pet subscription options, the industry began to shift to an increasingly online model, unintentionally paving the way for the importance of D2C business in the midst of the pandemic. The coronavirus shutdown further accelerated the move to online sales driving eCommerce to make up 30% of the market.

In our recent infographic analyzing COVID-19 retail trends, we found that pet subscriptions grew by 110% week-over-week in the first months of pandemic-induced stay-at-home orders. Dog pads, cat litter, and dog food were the most popular products ordered through subscription packages, and in March pet subscription retailers saw an 80% increase in subscribers calling for immediate delivery of their products. 

Chewy saw its subscription sales rise to $1 billion for the first time ever in Q1 of 2020, a 46.2% increase from the same quarter the previous year. The retailer also reported that pet adoption was up 60% more than usual in March and April. New pet owners who adopted in the midst of store closures had no choice but to order pet supplies online, and were drawn to the benefits of recurring subscription services. 

Steve King, CEO of American Pet Products Association, told Forbes that pet store closures are an unfortunate inevitability of the current economic crisis. 

As the country continues to adjust to re-openings with pandemic safety measures in place, we expect to see pet subscriptions continuing to flourish as a reliable, safe, reassuring way for owners to make sure their furry friends are well taken care of.

To make sure your subscription program stands out, keep these three tips in mind:

1. Make sure you display your subscription options natively in your checkout experience

An integrated checkout increases customer enrollment by as much as 40%, making it as easy as possible to ensure customers receive their next batch of products exactly when they’ll need them.

2. Have team members design A/B checkout experiments 

Checkout options make a major impact on customer behavior, and A/B tests are crucial to find out how small changes affect a customer’s probability of subscribing. 

3. Don’t forget to offer financial incentives in exchange for subscribing 

If your customers are going to spend more, they expect more value. Offering free shipping or a discount for first-time subscribers helps ensure that repeat customers are getting the most bang for their buck, and provides an immediate reward for choosing a recurring revenue route.

Contact your Ordergroove Customer Success rep to learn more about how you can take your pet subscription program to the next level.