Bernard Meunier, CEO Europe, Middle East and North Africa at Nestlé Purina Petcare, gave the keynote speech at the conference. He stressed that data is becoming increasingly important in a digital age. Citing companies like Facebook, airbnb and Skype, he stated that these have no plants or products of their own, but are successful because they act as a marketplace. Their strength lies in being optimally informed about their users.
"The new reality is above all personalised," said Meunier. A consumer survey revealed that 84 per cent of consumers want to be treated as a person, and not as a number. 76 per cent expect companies to understand their needs and level of expectations and 59 per cent consider tailored engagement based on past interactions very important. Nestlé Purina is responding to this changed demand profile in various ways. The acquisition of online platform Tails.com gives the company the capability to feed thousands of dogs, but with their own recipe.
Consumer demand for greater individuality is being met by Nestlé Purina Petcare likewise through its acquisition of the French pet digital media platform Wamiz. The platform enables the pet food manufacturer to offer current pet care information to pet owners. Meunier highlighted the European hub for digital & e-commerce in Barcelona as the company's third line of response.
The fact that more and more pet supplies retailers are embracing the opportunities of the digital age was also clear from the presentations given by Zooplus, Fressnapf and Tiendanimal. Andrea Skersies, the longstanding and soon to depart chief marketing officer of Zooplus, Europe's leading online retailer for pet products, recounted the company's success story. She recalled the launch in 1999, when Zooplus took its first steps into the still new world of e-commerce. Now the online retailer is one of the leading pet product retailers in Europe, with a presence in 30 European countries and an annual turnover of 1.1 bn euros. Skersies described how the company has succeeded in turning pet owners who buy from Zooplus into regular customers. She pointed to the high level of investment in logistics and to…