When it comes to spending money on our animal companions, consumers certainly aren’t stingy. We love our furry friends – as our spending shows. Sales in the global petcare market reached approximately $250 billion in 2021, a figure which is expected to grow to $350 billion by 2027.1
The online pet market in particular has nearly quadrupled since 2013, with ecommerce sales set to continue growing.
Our experience working with leading petcare brands is that Shopify Plus is a powerful and scalable platform for bringing their direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce visions to life. The platform hosts a litter of pet stores selling everything from nutritious meals and premium kennels, to designer dogwear and health supplements.
Today, we’ll be looking at 11 Shopify pet stores that are leading the pack in the world of pet ecommerce. These brands are successfully leveraging Shopify and its integrations to serve pet owners with convenient and compelling online experiences that drive both conversions and retention.
Pet ecommerce experts
Swanky’s team of award-winning Shopify Plus Experts have significant expertise building and optimising pet ecommerce solutions. As a full-service agency, we provide our petcare sector clients with end-to-end support, from branding support and ecommerce migrations to conversion rate optimisation and digital marketing.
We’ve acquired a detailed understanding of consumer behaviour in this industry, informed by many years’ experience working with leading DTC petcare brands and animal charities, including YuMOVE, Forthglade, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and Animal Aid.
To find out how we can support your pet ecommerce project on Shopify Plus, please reach out to our team today.
Best pet stores on Shopify and Shopify Plus
Based in New South Wales, Australia, PetCulture not only specialises in pet food, litter, toys and other accessories, but also offers tailored guidance to members with pet insurance and expert vet advice. Their website is a one-stop online destination for pet owners that provides a comprehensive, personalised experience, complete with auto-delivery capability and a reward points program.
The site features a headless architecture, with Shopify Plus providing the ecommerce backend. Launching in just 120 days, the Australian brand saw 100% sales growth month on month post-launch.
“We landed on Shopify Plus as it is a mature platform, simple to use, and there are lots of native integrations already built out. It was quite easy for us to get speed to market and connect all the different pieces we have. Knowing we have big aspirations for the future, we needed a stable and mature platform that can scale with the business.”
– Chris Cheung, Chief Ecommerce Officer, PetCulture
#2 Gunner Kennels
Named after founder Addison Edmonds’ very own canine, heavy-duty dog crate brand Gunner began its journey towards making “Man’s Best Kennel” in 2015. With every detail of their crates designed and tested in real-life conditions to ensure the safety of their four-legged customers, Gunner needed a website that was just as robust as the products they were selling.
Migrating from Magento to Shopify Plus, the D2C company developed 3D models of its crates with the help of Shopify experts, allowing their buyers to inspect every detail of the product prior to purchasing. In addition to implementing an augmented reality (AR) feature for customers to virtually place the crates beside their dog, these 3D models reduced return rates by 5% and boosted conversions by an impressive 40%!
Thanks to Shopify and its native support for 3D modelling and AR technologies, Gunner Kennels saw a dramatic improvement in their bottom line and continue to thrive on the platform.
Check out our article about AR in ecommerce, where we explore how this revolutionary technology is redefining the fashion industry in particular.
Just like Gunner Kennels, YuMOVE was similarly inspired by co-founder John Davies’ beloved pet, a chocolate labrador named Charlie, who slowed down in his old age until he was barely able to get on and off the sofa. After trying various alternatives, Davies resolved to create the UK’s number one veterinary joint supplement brand.
Possessing over 15 years of experience as animal lovers, YuMOVE are devoted to ensuring every dog, cat and horse lives a mobile and happy life, providing sustainably-sourced pet products with all-natural ingredients through their D2C ecommerce site. Products are available as one-time purchases or on subscription.
After Swanky launched their Shopify Plus website in January 2020, YuMOVE engaged our Growth Accelerator team to drive revenue by implementing data-backed conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and personalisation strategies. Read more about how Swanky’s commercially-guided CRO program topped 150% of YuMOVE’s additional revenue target, here.
On a mission to tackle rising anxiety symptoms in dogs, Pupnaps created a solution by offering man’s best friend “the greatest sleep possible.” Revolutionising how much importance we place on the sleeping habits of our pets, the conscientious pet brand went viral in Australia with their signature Calming Dog Bed and have provided a peaceful night’s sleep to over 100,000 pups across the world since their launch on Shopify in 2019.
Pupnaps leverage zero-party data to deliver meaningful interactions to users across their site. Visitors can take a quick quiz to find out which bed suits their pet best, following which the needs of their four-legged friend will be catered to with personalised product recommendations and relevant resources.
Providing a personalised, empathetic experience like this can directly influence buying behaviour across the customer life cycle, increasing the likelihood of consumers purchasing, repurchasing and recommending. It also builds long-term relationships with users through emotional attachment, which drive increased satisfaction, belonging and loyalty. We talk more about these benefits in our article on the ROI of personalisation.
Comprising “a team of Devonian dog lovers,” Forthglade was established in 1971 and has now become a leader in the natural pet food market. Passionate about keeping dog food wholesome, nourishing and simple, they use their 50 years of experience in pet nutrition to provide nutritious wet, dry and natural treats made in the heart of the Devonshire countryside.
Whilst they can be found in local retailers across the UK, including Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Pets at Home, Forthglade wanted to keep their entire range available online and soon looked to Shopify Plus after outgrowing their own bespoke platform.
We’re excited to be working with this popular pet food brand to unlock their ecommerce potential with the power of subscriptions – watch this space!
Established by Harvard University graduate and cat-lover Daniel Rotman after his feline friend Gingi fell ill, PrettyLitter helps pet parents keep a careful eye on their cats with health-monitoring litter that changes colour when it detects urinary abnormalities.
The business had humble beginnings in an apartment, with Rotman packing and shipping the first bags of litter himself in 2016. Just a few years on, and the smart litter brand was recognised as the fastest growing feline-focussed US company in 2019.2
Making the most of the Shopify platform and its integration with Recharge, PrettyLitter offer an attractive alternative to hauling a 15kg bag of litter home from the shop: a direct-to-your-door subscription service.
Whilst their focus remains on cat litter, PrettyLitter also sells cat food on subscription, providing the option for customers to try out a free sample before committing to a recurring delivery.
“This small act creates a unique experience, tapping into the understanding that pets, just like people, have preferences. The commitment of a monthly subscription box may be scary, so offering affordable sample options is a great way to mitigate that fear.”
– From Recharge’s article “Tips to optimize your pet subscription box brand”
#7 Petlab Co.
Selling vitamin supplements, grooming products and everything in between, Petlab Co. are “a company built for pet owners, by pet owners.” Founded by animal lovers and friends Chris Grabarcyzk and Damian Masanto in 2018, this relatively young but fast-growing London-based brand is taking the pet supplements industry by storm.
Committed to quality and driven by their primary goal of enriching dogs’ lives, Petlab Co.’s nutrition and grooming solutions have found a home on Shopify which helps deliver their flexible subscription program. Perks include automatic re-ordering, free expedited shipping, free monthly gifts, and free access to expert advice.
Plus, Petlab Co. subscribers have access to a thriving Facebook community of over 50,000 members. This is the perfect place for pup parents to engage in conversation, unite around common interests and share advice. By giving their subscribers an exclusive space to interact with like-minded individuals, Petlab are adding value to their brand experience through an increased sense of belonging and richer brand-consumer relationships. This is key for encouraging brand loyalty and improving customer retention.
Founded in 2021, Dutch is an online pet telehealth service hosted by Shopify that aims to provide relief for the everyday problems of pets. Connecting cat and dog parents with vet professionals and pharmacies to deliver medical advice and necessary medications, Dutch strive to eliminate the stress on both animals and owners caused by numerous trips to the vet.
With the help of 100 licensed veterinarians, Dutch have served over 25,000 pets since their launch and counting! The San Francisco-based company recently raised $20M in Series A funding which will allow them to scale at speed.3
Like many of the other pet brands in our list, the virtual veterinarian care platform features a subscription service. This provides members with unlimited access to a Dutch-affiliated vet, as well as customised monthly medication, therapeutics, and even behaviour training programmes, depending on the unique needs of each animal.
The third Australian brand on our list, PETstock is a family-owned and operated pet food and supplies business founded in regional Victoria. Their journey began in 2002, when Shane Young started the company alongside his brother David, shaping the brand around their family values and profound love for animals.
In addition to selling one-time purchase products for a range of different animals, PETstock also offers a subscription, or “autoship”, service for their pet food, as well as access to various services such as grooming, boarding, and vet care.
Speaking to the special familial relationships their patrons enjoy with their pets, and the quality of products and advice they’re looking for as a result, PETstock have doubled down on their customer service offering. Their chatbot function is easily accessible across their ecommerce site – ideal for customers who might be looking for urgent support around ingredients, allergies or dosage, for example.
#10 Honest Paws
Honest Paws is a unique pet care brand which offers premium CBD products for dogs and cats. After watching her dog Rose struggle with a debilitating condition, owner Chelsea Rivera tried her on human-grade CBD oil for a month, after which her mobility improved and the condition disappeared altogether. Not long after, Honest Paws was born in 2018, offering a solution for suffering pets across the United States.
Their Shopify store offers a streamlined, needs-based navigation experience for high-intent shoppers, connecting them with the products they’re seeking as quickly and efficiently as possible. The clickable concern icons take users from the homepage through to collection pages with relevant products for their pets’ needs.
Plus, the Honest Paws blog offers copious information on their organic, lab-tested products, providing peace of mind to customers seeking detailed product information:
“They understand that not everyone is familiar with the benefits of providing CBD to pets, so they created a robust library of articles that span many different topics. By going above and beyond and providing this level of information, customers can do a lot of the heavy lifting within the sales cycle. Getting educated accelerates the convincing factor that your product is something they need.”
– From Recharge’s article “Tips to optimize your pet subscription box brand”
Check out our article on the benefits of content marketing to find out more about how valuable, relevant blog content can help attract new prospects and strengthen connections with existing customers.
Luxury pet brand Fable was founded in 2018 by brother and sister duo Jeremy Canade and Sophie Bakalar, both savvy investors and experienced entrepreneurs. Selling stylish pup accessories that are designed with both dogs and humans in mind, Fable pride themselves on their products’ superior design, unique aesthetic and premium quality.
“We saw a huge gap in the market. Customers like us are being so thoughtful about every other aspect of our dogs’ lives – from premium dog food deliveries to high end grooming services. We started Fable because there was no other aspirational brand in the space that offered better-designed products.”
– Sophie Bakalar, Co-Founder of Fable (Source: Forbes)
With stylish imagery, a chic layout, and understated product pages, Fable’s slick Shopify store ticks all the boxes when it comes to luxury pet ecommerce. The brand is clearly a hit with consumers too, with one unit of their ‘The Game’ product selling every 5-10 minutes over the 2021 holiday season.4
Contact Swanky about your Shopify pet store project
Whether you’re at the start of your ecommerce journey, looking to migrate your online store to Shopify Plus, or in need of some expertise to give your digital marketing strategy a boost, we can help you create a “best-in-show” petcare ecommerce website that drives significant digital growth.
To find out how we can help you unlock your pet brand’s ecommerce potential, get in touch today.