Pet Project: Inside Compete’s “Animal Lover” Category

dog and cat

For many Americans, Sunday is shopping day. But not all that shopping is done for the human members of our families. Sunday also seems to be pet shopping day. The “Animal Lover” category on Compete.com, which includes the leading pet retailers and pet information sites, shows a clear pattern of peaks in daily reach on Sundays.

daily reach animal lover

A closer look at online sites within the category shows a similar pattern for individual retailers. Petco.com, number three for visits in February at more than 3.4 million, shows the familiar daily reach pattern as well. Reach clearly peaks every Sunday, and it precipitously declines thereafter to a weekly low on Friday.

daily reach PetCo

So what can the retailers do to capture attention the other six days of the week? We took a closer look at recent referral data for Petco.com for answers. The fastest-growing referral site for Petco.com in February was YouTube.com (+163 percent). Clearly Petco’s strategy to use video to engage its customers is starting to work.

The Petco channel on YouTube has nearly 10,000 views and 228 subscribers. In February, when our data show a sizable referral bump, the Petco Certified Nutrition commercials were racking up 3,500 viewers on YouTube, many of whom made a subsequent trip back to Petco.com. Perhaps the next step for the retailer is to strategically use video to flatten out the daily reach disparity.

As the snow melts and pets head back outside – along with fleas and ticks – we’re expecting to see seasonal spikes to online pet retailers and pet information sites such as Petco.com, Petsmart.com and leader in the animal lover category, Petfinder.com, an ad-supported online, searchable database of animals who need homes. Now that it’s officially spring, we’ll be watching pet shopper behavior even more closely to see which online sites benefit most from seasonality and to see if any of them are succeeding in expanding their reach Monday through Saturday.