Tech retailers: Put those smart bones on your endcaps.
The emerging pet-tech category will generate $233 million in U.S. revenue in 2018 — a healthy 18 percent increase vs. last year, according to a study by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
The segment, which includes interactive toys, automated feeders, vet- and pet-health apps, pet GPS and grooming devices, will see 4.3 million units ship for the year, up 20 percent.
"The nascent pet technology category has burst onto the scene with triple-digit unit sales increases last year," said Lesley Rohrbaugh, CTA’s director of market research. "Safety and peace of mind are the biggest drivers of future pet tech purchases, as seen by the interest in automated feeders, vet and pet safety apps, pet GPS' and more. As awareness of this technology grows and pet owners better understand all the benefits tech can deliver to their furry loved ones, the potential for this category will continue to climb."
In a win for brick-and-mortar, 72 percent of pet owners said they’re most likely to purchase pet tech from a physical retail pet store, followed by 48 percent who plan to shop at an online-only retailer and 40 percent who plan to shop at a physical mass merchant store.
Other findings from the “2018 Pet Technology: Ownership, Use and Perception” report:
- Dog owners cited training as the largest issue pet tech should solve (35 percent), while cat owners said monitoring nutrition was their biggest priority (32 percent).
- Cat owners were more likely to use their pet tech at least once day vs. dog owners: 45 percent vs. 35 percent.
- Respondents who use an app or software-based platform that delivers pet health data directly to their vet: 46 percent.
- Those who said they use pet tech for philanthropic reasons, such as finding shelters for rescued strays after natural disasters: 40 percent.
- Those who said they use a pet DNA home testing kit: 29 percent.