As the pet industry in China continues to grow, pet owners are turning to digital platforms to make their purchases. According to research reports, 55% of pet-related sales in China are made online. This trend has led to a decrease in the number of physical pet stores, with estimates showing a drop from 80,000-100,000 stores before the pandemic to 60,000 stores in the year following.
Online marketplaces have become a crucial part of the Chinese pet market, with large platforms like Alibaba (TMall/Taobao) and JD seeing billions in sales revenues. Additionally, smaller platforms selling pet food and related products are also seeing success, with sales revenues in the millions. The use of social media platforms like WeChat is also becoming a popular way for individuals to sell pet products.
However, the online market is not the only way pet-related products are being sold in China. Many manufacturers are using a combination of online and offline sales channels to capture the growth of the online market while also maintaining their presence in the offline market. This includes cooperating with physical pet stores and clinics for offline sales while also selling products directly online through platforms like Tmall or JD.
This integration of online and offline sales channels is not limited to manufacturers. Even small offline stores are buying their supplies in bulk online to cut out the middleman and reduce costs. Additionally, large online platforms like Alibaba and JD are also starting their own offline pet store chains.
Overall, the growth of the online pet market in China is having a significant impact on the industry, leading to a decrease in physical stores and a shift towards online and O2O sales channels. As a result, revenues in the pet sector may be overestimated.