The digital revolution is everywhere and now has even the pet supplies sector in its clutches, although evidently all but a few have failed to recognise this. Matthias Frechen (Amazon) and Stefan Müller (eBay) made it clear at the Pet Conference Germany that the big e-commerce players are going after customers with their steady stream of new concepts and services, and the bricks and mortar trade has seemingly been powerless to resist this so far. Online retailers are adopting an increasingly individual approach to consumers, with growing success. And the pet trade? "Many are only evolving slowly," commented Markus Gerhardus, manager of the innovative aquarium and garden pond store Fish & More in Mudersbach near Siegen. Voicing the criticism that "most pet product retailers have no idea who their customers are", he appealed to his professional colleagues to prioritise customer requirements more strongly in the future.
Success with CRM
Fressnapf's considerable advances in this respect were highlighted by board member Daniel Euler, who stepped in at the last moment for the indisposed Alfred Glander. The title of his keynote presentation was "Fighting for every centimetre of competitive advantage" and Euler explained in detail how the chain is succeeding in shaping an increasingly detailed and targeted relationship with the customer with the aid of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This has reduced the cost of marketing campaigns while significantly improving the response rate and the sales achieved thereby. The Fressnapf Group's participation in the Payback system has proved useful, with Fressnapf providing Payback with a large quantity of new customer data that the company then analyses in a highly systematic and meticulous manner. For Euler, however, CRM is synonymous with evolution, not revolution: "Only a phased introduction brings success."
Appealing to consumers in a more individual way is also the key for Thorsten Kern, who has been responsible for coordinating market research at Nestlé Purina PetCare since 2015. In his presentation he talked about the results of a shopper study that shed light on the decision-making processes of people shopping for pet food. On the basis of these, the company came up with proposals on how to improve shelf and range structure for pet stores.
How to speak to customers
Clemens Bauer, managing director of the online shop operator Zoo Royal, which is part of the Rewe Group, expressed his view that the revolution in…