Pet food e-commerce: tips to influence product content performance

Petfood Forum recently spoke with Megan Lippert, Chief Operating Officer of OneSpace, to learn more about her 2021 Petfood Forum presentation. Lippert will speak on ways to influence product content performance on major online pet food retailers during the “Optimizing the e-commerce boom for your pet food business” panel session on Thursday, September 23, at 9:15-10:30 am. Register here to learn from Lippert, and 30+ other industry experts.

Already in growth mode before 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic sent pet food e-commerce into overdrive, also fueling brands with direct-to-consumer distribution models. Selling your pet food online is now a given, new technologies, insights and data are continually emerging that can help you find the best opportunities for your brand and maximize success.

Petfood Forum: How has e-commerce changed the pet food selling landscape?

Megan: In brick-and-mortar stores, physical shelf space is limited, and your placement on those shelves is fixed, with planogram resets occurring only once or twice a year. The digital shelf, on the other hand, offers a seemingly infinite selection of products, and placement in search results and on category pages changes almost daily. This “endless aisle” and the low barrier to entry for e-commerce have made it much easier for new competitors to enter the pet food selling landscape. The more dynamic online environment has also made it easier for consumers to find and try these new products, thereby disrupting the brand loyalty established pet food manufacturers have spent decades cultivating.

Petfood Forum: What do manufacturers need to do differently to work with e-commerce sellers?

Megan: Earning premium placement on the digital shelf requires pet food manufacturers to master the art of retailer search engine optimization. They must understand the various factors that influence their organic search rankings on pet retailer websites and optimize their product listings to show up on the first page of results for popular search queries.

Because consumers cannot physically touch items and read packaging when shopping online, pet food manufacturers must also ensure their product listings contain all of the information shoppers need to make a purchase. Image carousels and product descriptions must be optimized for conversion and merchandise all of a product’s key features and benefits.

Petfood Forum: What challenges do manufacturers face when selling online?

Megan: All pet food retailers aren’t created equal. Each e-commerce platform is different, with its own separate search algorithm and capabilities for product detail page content. To dominate the digital shelf, manufacturers must become intimately familiar with the unique factors it takes to succeed on each online retailer. They also must be constantly vigilant and agile, as performance and requirements can quickly change and require individualized solutions depending on the retailer.

Petfood Forum: What pets rule the Lippert household?

Megan: The pets that rule the Lippert household are two Golden Retrievers, Bo and Lou!

About Petfood Forum

The 2021 edition of Petfood Forum is scheduled for September 22-24 at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Petfood Forum includes an agenda packed with opportunities to network and collaborate with industry professionals, learn the latest in pet food innovation and discover new tools for business success.