UK Pet Supply Retailers - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q1 2024

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The Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK pet supplies has just been published. Learn how the top 10 UK pet supply retailers perform across the digital space.

The latest Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK pet supply retailers has just been published. It covers the largest 10 pet supply retailers trading in the UK, including Pets at Home,, Jollyes - The Pet People, Pets & Friends, Pet Drugs Online, VioVet, Monster Pet Supplies, Zooplus, Animed Direct, and

Pet Suppliers - LOGOS

The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other pet supply retailers to win brand exposure, drive traffic online, and even increase in-store footfall, where relevant. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.

To see a preview and contents page of the Q1 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.

Pet Suppliers - COVER

Q1 2024 winners leader board

For a glance into just 6 of the metrics, we evaluated these top 10  pet supply retailers on, check out our quick-look table below;

Pet Suppliers W&L Jan24

Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's top and poorest-performing pet supply retailers, or request a copy of the report for the full review.

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What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each site based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.  

Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels

Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will underperform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing.  Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long-term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

Technical Website Compliance

Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. Brands within the pet supplies space will be juggling huge volumes of products for a wide range of different animals and breeds. They’ll want to ensure potential customers can easily find what they need and aren’t met with dead ends if looking for specialist products.

In our previous audit, Pets at Home flagged 1,302 4xx errors — a reduction from the previous quarter, but an issue that the supplier needed to address nonetheless. In this quarter, Pets at Home has more than doubled its 4xx errors to 2,840, which it must fix by the next quarter improve its customers’ online experience.

Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance

When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. For pet owners looking for food and other supplies, they’ll want to access what they’re looking for quickly, especially when items are needed urgently.

The mobile site speed for this quarter ranged between 57 and 6, with in last place. This pet supply retailer should reduce some of its product image sizes on its homepage and even include lazy loading to prevent any download delays.

Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority

Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance, and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Brands in the pet supplies sector can look to collaborate with animal bloggers, and run pet breed based PR campaigns to gain exposure and backlinks.

A ‘good’ DA really comes down to how your competitors are performing, however it’s generally considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. The DA range for this quarter ranged between 73 and 34, with Pets & Friends at the bottom of the scoreboard. This supplier also had the least number of backlinks (621), and it should adopt a PR strategy to increase these, which will help to boost its DA rating. This is the only brand scoring below 40, with all of the other brands scoring a ‘good’ DA.

Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop

A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. We’ve seen organic traffic fall for retailers across many of the sectors we specialise in, mostly in response to the cost of living crisis, as consumers cut back on essential items. For pet suppliers, they may feel this impact by pet owners opting for less specialist products, that may be available in their local supermarket for a lower cost.

Nine of the 10 brands encountered a loss in organic mobile traffic YoY, with Monster Pet Supplies seeing a 91% reduction compared to the previous year. On the other hand, Pets & Friends reported a 24% increase in traffic. Though, with 90% of the brands losing traffic, this suggests that there’s a universal issue and not that the brands are necessarily underperforming.

Universal Search Opportunity

Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a retailer can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. Pet supply retailers could look to ‘reviews’ and ‘people also ask’ results, in order to build trust with potential customers and help educate them directly from the SERP.

In our last audit, Pets at Home had the most appearances for Universal Searches, and it continues to hold the number one spot in this quarter, too. VioVet, which reported the largest appearances for ‘reviews’ in the last quarter, is still at the top of the leaderboard in this quarter.

The Longtail Keyword Opportunity

Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for brand new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Pet supply retailers can look to their range of products for inspiration and guidance on longtail keyword strategy, including key terms such as ‘next day delivery’ and product weights to appear for users showing high-purchase intent.

Pets at Home is number one again for longtail keywords across all appearances. We’re pleased to see that Pets & Friends has continued to increase its searches in the top three positions — from 309 in the previous quarter to 360 in this audit. Additionally, Zooplus is proving to have an excellent keyword strategy, as it’s second place for the top three positions, despite being in the top four for the top 100.

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) hitting over 44 million users in 2023, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019. Pet supply retailers can use Facebook ads to drive awareness of low-traffic bricks and mortar locations, along with generate visibility on key product lines.

We’ve included examples of Pet Drugs Online’s sponsored Facebook posts. This supplier incorporated vertical videos to makes its content more mobile friendly. Two of these three posts adopted a bullet point style (with fun emojis) to reduce line length, thus, increasing scannability for online scrollers.  

Pet Suppliers - FACEBOOK Pet Drugs Online Ad

Top Social Shares & Content

When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Generating informational content will help with longtail keyword performance (and ‘people also ask’ results), and pet supply retailers can look to include shareable content such as infographics to make on-site content engaging on social media.

All suppliers favour Facebook, though Zooplus has the largest Facebook page with 833,100 Likes. Pets at Home is at the top of the leaderboard with Instagram followers (223,500). Surprisingly, neither of these suppliers have the highest total engagement, but out-beats them with a total of 18,782 interactions on its social media — an important factor that shows its audience Like, comment, and/or share its content.

Website Readability & Accessibility

20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, brands lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. Pet supply retailers should ensure their site is accessible for all as vision deficiency does not exclude pet ownership. In fact, pet supply retailers are in the unique position that at least some of their customers will be shopping for guide dogs or other assistance animals!

In our previous report, we noted that Animed Direct flagged 450 alerts. In this quarter, this supplier increased its alerts to 476 — the highest of all brands. 426 of these alerts are from redundant title text, which Animed must address to improve accessibility for those using a screen reader. Additionally, Pet Drugs Online reported 120 contract errors, with the majority of these contrasts on prices.

Get the full 70-page Q1 2024 report

To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

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