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Executive Summary:

The pet industry is booming beyond the world of competitions. The key takeaway about the future of the pet industry is that pet owners are looking for better, and more customized products for their pets. The future of the pet business market is not with mass-produced and standardized products and services. Pet owners want their beloved four-legged family members to enjoy the same quality of products and services that they would treat themselves with. The multi-billion-dollar pet industry shows no signs of losing demand, with pet owners spending increasingly more on fashion and luxury items.

With an increasing number of pets and the rising popularity of their clothing and accessories, the industry is projected to witness steady sales growth over the forecast period. Increasing interest amongst pet owners regarding fashion trends for pets and the need to offer them comfort based on the climate conditions has raised their expenditure on pet clothes. Pet owners are essentially trying to figure out specialized and better-quality products or garments for their pets. These factors have led to the growth of the pet clothing market. Furthermore, an increase in the number of pets (especially cats and dogs) across the globe is also expected to influence market growth over the forecast period. 

Three in every four millennials in the United States own either a dog or a cat. Strong economic conditions, the demographics of the U.S. population, and a growing body of medical research pointing to the health benefits of pet ownership are all contributing to its continued strength of pet clothing and accessories market. Dog owners love their pooches so much that Americans spend an average of $139.80 on dogs monthly. According to American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA), dog owners in the U.S. are expected to spend more on them every year.

As pets are increasingly seen as part of the family, there is an increasing demand for pet products that enable owners to take them on holiday or day trips. This trend is also being encouraged by the growing number of hotels that now welcome pets, with manufacturers responding enthusiastically with travel-focused innovation.

To be a part of the growing pet clothing and accessories market, the founder Nathanael Strickland launched a company named “Boston Made, Inc.” offering a collection of products specializing in luxury handcrafted pet fashion. The Company was formed as a Delaware c-corp based in Boston, Massachusetts in March 2019. 

Boston Made, Inc. has embraced the concept of authenticity and innovation. The Company offers a collection of curated products from clothing and accessories to travel products specializing in unique hand-crafted designer dog jackets, designed for all the weather New England has to offer. All the products offered by the company are sourced from third-party suppliers. It has also entered into agreements with the distribution partners to fulfill the orders on time. At present, the company is selling its products online through its website. After having established a foothold in the market, it will be launching its mobile app, which will assist the customers to place orders from their mobile phones offering more convenience and ease. 

The company not only focuses on making designer fashion but also focuses on animals in need. It is committed to giving back a portion of the net gross proceeds on every purchase to the non-profit animal welfare organizations to ensure they have the resources to continue to help out the animals that are in need. The company recently partnered with Boston Animal Rescue Collaborative (BARC), a newly founded organization dedicated to empowering and supporting animal rescue organizations. 

The Company will initially be targeting the pet owners’ population in Boston. After having established a brand name among people, it will be looking to expand its business throughout the neighboring cities in the United States.

The Company will be perfectly positioned to capture a significant share in the multi-billion-dollar pet clothing and accessories industry through its comprehensive management team and experience, and its ability to utilize state-of-the-art digital and social media marketing expertise.

The Company will be managed and guided by the founder, Nathanael Strickland having a shareholding of 100% in the company. Qualified staff will be hired, and regular training will be provided to the employees working within the company to update them with the latest trends in the pet fashion industry.

Vision:

To be a leading online pet store that offers a wide range of pet clothing and accessories and brings quality, comfort, and creatively designed products to pets around the United States.

 OBJECTIVES:

  • Develop a sustainable online pet product business that designs, sources, and markets innovative pet products.
  • Support pet associations and non-profit pet organizations that rescue, train, and promote the humane treatment of animals. 
  • To achieve a higher return on equity compared with peers operating in the pet clothing and accessories market and reach the sustainable and profitable growth.
  • To formulate multiple marketing strategies to maintain a steady flow of referrals.   
  • To create an open, accountable, and transparent culture across all levels in the company. 
  • To build organizational capacity and expertise to support growth and ensure the highest-quality delivery in all areas of work.
  • To provide quality products to the customers and maintain cost-effectiveness for long-term customer loyalty.
  • To differentiate itself as an inclusive, socially responsible pet products brand. 
  • To offer a wide range of sizes for pet clothing so as to capture the long tail demand missed by bigger retailers.
  • To achieve a significant share in the online pet retail market. 
  • To hire qualified and experienced staff and expand the team to cater to future requirements. 
  • To review and measure the company’s growth and impact periodically, aligning business strategies with existing market trends. 
  • To investigate the potential problems faced by the pet owners and customize the products based on their requirements. 
  • To establish long-term relationships with suppliers and distributors to ensure quality products and timely delivery to the ultimate customers.  

Key Success Factors:

HIGH-QUALITY PRODUCTS: Overall customer satisfaction is crucial to the business’ continued survival, and quality products will assist the company in building a loyal customer base that will drive the business to success. The feedback system will be kept transparent so that corrective actions can be taken as soon as possible through improving the designs. Feedback will be collected through various means including newsletters, blogs, or surveys. This way, the customers will feel connected and be a part of the business.  

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS: The Company has entered into agreements with the manufacturers of the top-quality products and distributing partners to ensure that the customers receive high-quality products with reasonable pricing. Its responsible sourcing ideals and effective distribution channels will ensure quality product delivery with zero wastage.

LOCATION: The Company has been established in Boston, Massachusetts, a pet-friendly city. The location has excellent transportation links with pet travel options, solid business networks, and cheaper establishment costs as compared to the rest of the country. A number of creative businesses are experiencing rapid growth in Boston. The city has also been recognized as a hub for startups (Number 1 in performance ranking).

EXTENSIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES: The Company will leverage social media and other digital marketing strategies as marketing tools to target its potential customer base. It will also invest in becoming a thought leader in its segment and this will allow it to be discovered by prospective clients. It differentiates itself as an inclusive brand with clothing options available for different sizes. 

ENHANCED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: Nearly two-thirds of cell phone owners in the U.S. now use their phones as their primary access to the internet. The Company will always be looking to update the features of the website, create quality content, post high-resolution product images, and reduce the load time on mobile as well as desktop, so that customers may easily browse the products. Pleasant experiences will further encourage better revenue, positive reviews, and lifelong customers.

Problems and Solutions:

The biggest drag on the industry is slow growth in pet ownership. Even with millennials picking up some of the slack left by the aging baby boomer population, advances in the number of new pets and new pet households have been minimal and are expected to slow from 1.1% for dogs and 1% for cats in 2019 to 0.9% for dogs and cats alike in 2023. 

  • Despite slow growth in pet ownership, the role of pets in the household has shifted. As a result, pets are now widely viewed as an integral member of the family. Consequently, pet owners are willing to spend an increasing amount on those pets. This has had an impact on the consumption choices made by pet owners. Modern pet owners are increasingly opting for higher quality and more expensive pet products that has created immense opportunities for online pet businesses in the United States.  

Another challenge that is being faced by online retailers is that people prefer to buy pet products from stores, as they can physically test the products before buying and they find it easy to return the products bought offline. Consumer behavior towards the shopping platform and other preferences often keep on changing which might hamper the market.  

  • Although there is still a fair share of consumers who enjoy the physical experience of shopping in person, those numbers are slowly dwindling as efficiency and cheaper prices become king. In order to encourage more people to shift their buying patterns to online, Boston Made, Inc. will focus on improving the customer’s online shopping experience, promote its unique value proposition, and ease down the process of returns.  

The key takeaway about the future of the pet industry is that pet owners are looking for better, more customized products and services for their pets, thus creating valuable opportunities for the new entrants like Boston Made, Inc. to introduce innovative products and be a part of the multi-billion-dollar pet products industry. 

Market Analysis:

The pet industry has been experiencing explosive growth. According to The American Pet Products Association, almost 85 million households have a pet and over the last 30 years pet ownership has gone from 56% to 67% of all households. Some of the changes in pet ownership are due to technology and the advent of online purchasing.

The internet represents the fastest growth channel for pet product sales. Packaged Facts projects sales of pet products sold online will easily double between 2017 to 2022. Affluent millennial pet owners represent a pet market consumer growth offering exceptional opportunities for marketers of pet products and services. Demand for high-quality products from millennials further attributes to industry profit because of the generally higher mark-ups of premium products.

In the year 2019, an amount of $95.70 billion was spent on pets in the United States, which reached $99 billion by the end of 2020.

The U.S. consumer expenditure has gradually increased year-on-year, growing by around 560% between 1994 and 2019. According to the survey, millennials ages 18-24 outspend all other age groups on their pets with an average of $173.67. Pet owners ages 25-34 came in second at $141.50.

The pet supply market encompasses niche products like clothing, food bowls, collars, and carriers. A key driver for this industry will be the wide range of availability of fashionable and multifunctional pet accessories. Pet supplies are a leading industry category in the United States, with sales of approximately $4.54 billion and positive sales growth of 2.7%.

Pet Accessories: The global pet accessories market is anticipated to reach $22 billion by the end of 2023 witnessing a compound annual growth rate of 7% over the forecast period. The U.S. and U.K. have long been the leaders of the world pet market. The housing and bedding segment accounted for the highest market share of 35% to the global market. Housing and bedding products for pets are mainly popular in developed regions of the Americas and Europe, where manufacturers are coming up with new product innovations to help pet owners adapt to a much more convenient lifestyle. 

DOG OWNERSHIP IN THE UNITED STATES

 Since the beginning of the millennium, dog ownership in the United States has grown. Some years showed a decline, such as in 2002; in general, however, more and more households in the country have decided to add a dog or two to their family. This has led to a booming population of dogs equating 90 million in the year 2019.

Breakdown of Dog Ownership, by Sex, in the United States: More males owned dogs compared to females and those aged 18 to 29 have the highest dog ownership. 79% of females and 91% of male owners had dogs growing up as well, which could partly explain their preponderance towards canine companions.

The online pet industry represents one of the most lucrative opportunities for emerging brands. Stay-at-home orders have also accelerated the ongoing shift toward e-commerce around the world.

Over the past five years, demand from online pet food and pet supply sales has increased strongly at an annualized rate of 8.6%, contributing to strong industry growth. Packaged Facts projects that the online share of overall pet product sales is expected to reach 24% by the year 2020 and further to 26.5% by 2024 with PetSmart/Chewy and Amazon cornering 78% of this ecommerce. 

According to a pet owners survey carried out in 2018, Amazon.com was the online retailer in which 23% of respondents had used to purchase pet products in the past three months in the United States. Walmart.com was the second most popular online platform for such purchases, with 22% of respondents stating that they had bought pet products there followed by Chewy with a share of 20%. 

In 2017, the e-commerce sales of pet care products grew by about $3.4 billion. Two of the most influential factors for purchasing pet care products online were the convenience of online shopping and the competitive pricing of e-commerce sites. The U.S. Online Pet Food and Supplies Market was valued at $3.85 Billion in 2018. Further, the U.S. online pet food and supplies market is expected to reach $6.13 billion by 2025 and grow to $7.21 billion by 2026. 

The graph below depicts the percentage change in buying pet products through online and retail channels in the United States from 2014 to 2018. The data clearly shows that online sales has grown faster as compared to the retail sales. 

Revenue Driver:

GROWING MILLENNIALS POPULATION: Millennials have overtaken the aging baby boomers as the biggest pet-owning generation. Some 35% of pet owners in the United States are millennials, as compared with 32% of boomers. Millennials are also on their way up in terms of income and spending. More than half (51%) of millennials buy gifts for their pets once a month or more. Buying clothes for their pets is increasingly popular, with 60% of millennials saying they are likely to buy sweaters, coats, dresses and other fashion for their pets. The population statistics of 2020 depicts that millennials’ share in the overall population of the United States is approximately 25%, higher than any other age bracket. Their population is expected to reach 75 million by the year 2033 as compared to 72 million in 2019. The increasing population of millennials will further result in increased pet ownership and thereby growth in demand for pet-related products.

From The CEO:

“To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.”

Action Plan:

Ordered List
  1. The Company makes sure that its suppliers have implemented a proper quality control mechanism during each process from designing to fabric selection to ensure the best quality and comfort. 
  2. The Company will stay at the top of the latest fashion trends to keep the customers engaged and innovate new products. 
  3. The experience of the founder in the digital marketing industry will help him guide the company operations successfully in the future.
  4. Highly skilled and professional team; well versed with the latest trends in the pet fashion industry will assist the company in creating quality products with affordability. 
  5. The Company will offer high-quality products at affordable pricing. 
  6. A highly visible and user-friendly website will make it easy for the customers to place orders and track the progress. 
  7. Boston Made, Inc. has built a reliable distribution network that can reach the majority of its potential market.
  8. The Company has a strong base of reliable suppliers of pet supplies thus enabling it to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
Key Statistics:

According to the 2019-2020 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 67% of the U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 84.9 million homes, out of which 60.2 million of the households own a dog.

  • According to the 2019-2020 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 67% of the U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 84.9 million homes, out of which 60.2 million of the households own a dog. 
  • When breaking down the dog ownership by the age of the owner, 85% of the population aged 18 to 29 years owned a dog as compared to 76% ownership among 30 to 59-year olds and 62% ownership among people aged 60 and above. 
  • The Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, and Golden Retriever are the top three favorite breeds of dog owners in the United States followed by Dachshund and Beagle. 
  • The ASPCA reports that an average of 6.5 million unwanted pets are relinquished or rescued to shelters annually. Of these, 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. 3.2 million adoptions take place annually.
  • Rover.com surveyed hundreds of dog owners around the country and found that half (51%) plan to dress their hounds for Halloween, spending about $20 on average.
  • According to a study from Mars Petcare, the world’s largest petcare company, 65% of owners post about their pets on social media an average of 2X per week.
  • Additionally, slightly more than 50% of dog and cat owners made at least one online purchase for their pet in 2018, with an average of about five online purchases per pet owner.
  • Brick-and-mortar retail’s market share is projected to decline, especially pet specialty’s, falling from 29% in 2019 to 25% in 2023, which suggests that people will be shifting to online purchases. 
  • American women spend less than men do on their pets. On average, women spend $116.61 every month on their animals, while men spend $136.99.
  • Over 95% of Americans buy their pets gifts during the holidays.