The pet industry is one of the most lucrative industries in the world by far. Many pet owners consider their pets part of the family and do not mind spending on their welfare. For this reason, there is a high potential for businesses that offer pet products and supplies.
Are you a pet lover or toying around with the idea of starting a profitable pet business? This guide is for you. In this article, we discuss why and how to start a wholesale pet products business as an entrepreneur.
Table of Contents
- Selling wholesale pet products: the basic
- Is selling wholesale pet products online a profitable business?
- How to sell wholesale pet products online?
- 6 tips for a successful business
- Sell on Alibaba.com
Selling wholesale pet products: the basics
Wholesale pet products involve selling pet products to retailers in bulk and at a reduced price. The pet product industry comprises dog treats, dry food, canned food, toys, leashes, collars, and so on. Here are some insights into the pet product industry:
Market size and revenue
The pet care market was estimated at $245 billion in 2021 and grew to $261 billion in 2022.1 Also, this figure is expected to reach $350 by 2027. In 2020, the US pet industry alone was estimated at $99 billion.2
- Pet food: Pet food and pet supplies are the second and third baseman biggest eCommerce categories across the industry.6 Nowadays, pet owners don’t just want random pet food but food with healthy ingredients. Also, pet dogs are mainly suffering from obesity, thus increasing the demand for dietary and organic pet food. Pet food has the largest share because of the high demand for tasty and nutritious food items. In 2021, the global pet food market was valued at $75.29 billion.3 Also, according to the European Pet Food Industry Association, pet food sales in Europe were about 8,500 million tonnes.4
- Treats: Asides from food, consumers love to feed their pets treats and supplements. According to research, pet owners feed their pets about 8 to 10 treats a day.5
- Pet care: There is increased attention on pet care, thus leading to high demand for grooming products like shampoos, brushes, and toys.
Pet type insight
Dog care products receive the highest sales by pet type because of the large number of pet dogs. In 2019, there were 63.4 million dogs in the US alone, according to the American Pet Products Organization.7 Also, the cat segment is growing considerably, so there is a demand for more cat care products.
The offline channel has the largest share of the global pet market because they tend to have varieties of pet products at the store. Also, the online segment is fast going, which is majorly attributed to COVID-19 and the popularity of online shopping.
The North American region, especially the United States and Canada, has the largest spending on pet care-related products. After North America, Europe comes second due to large numbers of pet cats and dogs in countries like France, Germany, and Portugal. Also, the customer base in the Asia Pacific region is fast-growing, mainly due to the growing presence of pet manufacturing industries in the region.
Millennials and Grenzer’s account for the most percentage of pet ownership in the world and are forecasted to sustain the growth of the industry up to 14% by 2030.8
Is selling wholesale pet products online a profitable business?
Before starting any business, it’s essential to conduct a market analysis to determine if it’s profitable. Here are some reasons you should consider investing in wholesale pet supplies:
Data show that pet ownership rates are rising, which means one thing; the target audience is also rising, and there is room for increased penetration. According to The American Pet Products Association, almost 85 million households have a pet, and over the last 30 years, pet ownership has gone from 56% to 68% of all households. Therefore, entrepreneurs looking to penetrate a new market will find this industry profitable.
Different product ideas
Pet products come in different forms. Some pet businesses offer food; others focus on products like pet bowls, bottles, and cages; some focus on toys, leashes, pens, and so on. You can establish yourself in any niche to set yourself apart from other brands in the pet industry.
How to sell wholesale pet products online?
Decided to start a business in the pet product industry? Let’s look at some critical steps to creating your pet business:
1. Conduct market research
Before starting your pet supplies business, you must learn more about the pet industry. This is important because it helps identify your target audience, most significant competitors, and the extent of the sector. Also, you need to know the trends in the industry, like most bought items, and what you can offer to have a competitive edge in the industry.
2. Know your target audience’s needs
The next step after conducting market research is to understand your target audience’s needs to help you decide on a niche. Your target audience is the category of people you intend to sell to, and it’s important to supply them with what they need.
3. Decide what products you want to sell
Once you know your target audience, the next step is determining what products you can sell them. You could offer pet supplies that cater to all kinds of animals or selected animals like a dog or a cat. Also, you could decide to provide just pet grooming products or pet food. The advantage of picking a pet niche industry is that it reduces your competition and helps you reach your target audience better.
4. Write your business plan
Once you know your target audience, target market, and competitors, developing a business plan is next. Why do you need a business plan?
A business plan serves as a guide to help you build and market your brand effectively. It highlights your business goals, competitors, audiences, and your needed resources.
5. Find a pet product supplier
After finding a niche and deciding on products you want to sell, the next step is to find a reliable supplier. Remember that you’re selling wholesale; it’s best to work with distributors that offer wholesale products at the wholesale price so you can make a cut when you sell to retailers. Also, your supplier should be trusted and dependable to ensure a consistent supply of products you need.
6. Obtain necessary license and certifications
Getting the required license and credentials is best before you start selling as a business owner. For example, if you sell pet food, you will need approval from the food safety authority. So, check the laws in your country or state to know if you would need a license before starting your business.
7. Set up a pricing structure
Another essential step to building your brand is to set up a pricing structure according to demand, cost price, and profit margin. Some of the things to consider when setting up the selling price for retailers include:
- Other pet stores’ selling price
- How much do you want to make from the pet suppliers?
- How much did you get the pet supplies?
- How much does your business cost to run?
8. Build your online store
Since your business will be online, you need a platform to sell your products. There are different options to sell products online:
- You can build an online store and an e-commerce website
- Take advantage of marketplaces like Alibaba.com to list your products
- Use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or WhatsApp.
All the options have pros and cons, and you can combine different options. For example, you can build an online store and still post your products on social media platforms.
9. Market your business
Now that you have set up an online store and showcased your products, it’s time to let people know about you! Work on marketing your business to reach a wider audience which will, in turn, increase your sales. Different marketing strategies to sell your wholesale pet supplies, depending on your budget and target audience. However, the most popular options include:
- Social media marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- SEO and blogging
- Email marketing
10. Create a customer support strategy
Good customer support is essential in building trust and loyalty with your customers. So set up necessary methods like live chat and other customer support systems where customers can reach you, ask questions, or report problems.
6 tips for a successful business
Here are some tips to boost the success of your wholesale pet supplies business:
1. Niche down
While pet businesses offer various products and supplies, it’s sometimes better to narrow it down to specific products. The more you niche down, the easier it is to reach your target audience and establish yourself as a professional. To find a critical niche, you can use a Google Keyword Planner, Google Search, SEMrush, and other tools to find sub-niches and the latest trends in the pet supplies industry.
2. Build solid customer relationships
Pet customers are usually not one-time customers —they always need to restock food, get newer toys, and new grooming materials. Therefore, it’s essential to build a solid relationship with your customers so that they make more purchases and spread the word to other potential customers. An excellent way to build valuable customer relationships is through impressive customer service; customers who are happy with your service and product will likely buy from you again.
3. Be consistent with social media
Social media is a gold mine for business owners who want to reach more customers. Build a social media presence, promote your products, and create relevant and entertaining content.
4. Know what’s in trend
Offering trend-based products will help you penetrate more customers as a pet supplies business owner. So always stay abreast of the latest trends to help you know what product to stock. For example, consumers prefer dietary food for dogs and cats, so if you want to stock pet food, ensure it’s filled with healthy ingredients.
Also, check out your competitors to generate ideas about running your business effectively and set yourself apart from them.
5. Offer quality products
Selling high-quality products is essential to building a community of loyal customers. Poor-quality products will hurt your business because retailers will look for another trustworthy supplier.
6. Run a referral program
Many new eCommerce platforms boost their customer base by offering referral programs for their customers. This is an excellent way to grow an organic fan base and get the attention of your regular customers. The referral program works because it’s a type of word-of-mouth marketing and the thing about this type of marketing is that it never fails.
Sell on Alibaba.com
Alibaba.com isn’t a new name in the eCommerce industry; this global marketplace is a perfect place to sell your wholesale pet supplies. There are different pet products offered on Alibaba.com, including:
- Pet toys
- Pet foods and treats like dry and canned food
- Pet products like food bowls, water bowls, collars, leashes
- Grooming products like litter boxes, dog diapers, shampoos
- Pet vitamins and supplements
No matter what niche you establish yourself as a wholesale pet supplies company, Alibaba.com can be a valuable tool to reach your audience faster. With Alibaba.com, you can:
- Build a storefront without any coding skills
- Post their products for customers to view
- Reach customers in different parts of the world
- Take advantage of marketing tools to increase your reach
- Conduct competitors and market research for ideas to boost your business
- Receive payment seamlessly after sales.
How do you get started on Alibaba.com? It’s easy! Simply open a seller account, upload pictures of your products, set a price, include some product descriptions, and wait for your first customer to make an order!