How this will unfold, and the challenges as well as the opportunities associated with it, formed the central topic at the International Pet Conference in Budapest. Over 180 visitors from more than 20 countries came to this industry event. In view of the many high-calibre speakers appearing and the fantastic networking opportunities on offer, they are not likely to have regretted their decision to attend.
The presentations returned repeatedly to the theme that digital is a big issue for most companies. Omnichannel is increasingly becoming the standard in retailing. It is not just the case that high street retailers are opening online shops; the example of Amazon shows that more and more e-commerce outfits are even getting involved in the bricks-and-mortar trade too. It should be interesting to see if the purely online player Zooplus will go down this route in the next few years. "It is not a priority for us at the moment," commented Andrea Skersies, CMO of Zooplus, in Budapest. Let's wait and see!
Not many of the retail companies giving presentations at the International Pet Conference were keen to reveal information about online sales. However, the comment by Rafael Martinez-Avial, CEO of the Spanish pet store chain Tiendanimal, that online sales already accounted for half of his company's earnings came as a surprise. He confidently asserted that Tiendanimal was thus Spain's market leader in both online and speciality retail in the pet supplies segment. That is something that other retailers can only dream about!