online shopping

Over the past year, the pet category has continued to gain traction as pet owners began working from home in the pandemic.

In fact, during the pandemic, the humanization of pets has driven innovation and several companies expanded into dog and apparel accessories. And as previously reported by WWD, according to Deloitte’s holiday data, this trend was expected to grow over the 2020 holiday season with 50 percent of surveyed consumers saying they planned to spend on pets this year, with an average spend of $90 for pet food and supplies.

Embracing the ongoing trend, Petco hosted a pet fashion show and dog adoption drive, called “The Perfect Fit,” through Facebook Live on Thursday evening which combined the consumer engagement of live shopping with charitable elements.

Petco

The event was hosted by actress and television host Arielle Vandenberg and featured looks from Petco-owned brands.  Courtesy Image.

The event was hosted by actress and television host Arielle Vandenberg and featured looks from Petco-owned brands, Youly and Reddy modeled by rescue dogs from L.A. Animal Services. Consumers who tuned in were able to ask questions about the pet clothing in real-time and purchase items through Petco’s Facebook Shop. “The Perfect Fit” has seen more than 304,000 viewers.

According to Jay Altschuler, vice president of media transformation at Petco, the company has rapidly expanded, placing continued focus on e-commerce business offerings and looking for new ways to reach pet parents.

“Consumers are increasingly exploring and discovering things they love in social environments and they’re looking for faster, more convenient ways to shop and real-time engagement with the brands they love,” said Altschuler. “Facebook is a front-runner in the e-commerce space, so this FB Live shopping event is the perfect opportunity to connect with modern, social-forward audiences in a new, innovative way.”

dog, Petco

Reddy Best Friend Ever Dog Hoodie from Petco.  Courtesy Image.

Moreover, as the pet industry’s first live shopping event on social media, Altschuler told WWD the company is excited to drive awareness to its two owned brands while featuring rescue dogs through L.A. Animal Services. Notably, the dogs featured are currently up for adoption.

“As consumers continue to lean into omnichannel shopping, Petco will prioritize its e-commerce presence to help pet parents care for the health and wellness of the pets they love,” said Altschuler. “Knowing how consumers use social media to stay on top of the latest trends, and even look to influencers’ shopping habits and preferences, this Facebook Live tool will broaden Petco’s exposure with a digital-first audience and position us as early adopters in the space.”

Facebook has one million shops and 250 million people actively shopping on the platform each month.

“We’ve seen a lot of growth in social commerce over the past year, as people discover new brands and products through content across our platform,” said Yulie Kwon Kim, director of product management commerce at Facebook. “We’re constantly working on innovative ways to remove the friction between discovery and purchase, and Live Shopping is a natural extension of that. It brings the window-shopping experience online to help users make buying decisions without missing out on the personalized shopping experience.”

petco

Reddy Blue Vintage Eagle Graphic Dog T-Shirt from Petco.  ANDRIEN TRUJILLO

With the ability to show and sell products in a livestreaming format, businesses and creators are able to answer questions and get real-time feedback from consumers.

“This personalized touch has been a lifeline for many businesses throughout the pandemic — as people longed for human connection in the shopping experience,” Kim told WWD. “It’s great to see small businesses, creators and bigger retailers across industries harness the power of [Facebook] Live shopping and make it their own. Petco’s pet fashion show and dog adoption drive is a perfect example of how businesses can leverage this tool and use it to create unique and dynamic experiences for consumers that authentically embodies the brand’s ethos and mission.”

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