Chinese Pet Market Continues on High Growth – Highly-Educated People and Young Women Towing
It is being said that the market for pets in China will continue to grow at a pace of more than 20% from now onwards, and will reach 200 billion yuan (about 3.8 trillion yen) in 2020. What is the Chinese pet market becoming, and where is it heading towards? Economic news site “Jiemian” has published an analysis.
Dogs are preferred twice as much as cats, a sudden increase in fishes too
The 21 Jingdong BD Research Institute established by the 2nd-largest e-commerce company, Jingdong, and the media house Southern Finance and Economic Omnimedia Group, published the “2017 Pet Consumption Trend Report” in late August. It is a report that analyses the big data Jingdong holds and forecasts the future.
Chinese society is undergoing an upheaval due to effects such as increased national income, progress in urbanization, and the one-child policy. The feeling of wanting to be close to a pet dog or a pet cat is gaining strength and is in the process of becoming part of the lifestyle habits of the country’s people. Moreover, this energy continues to gain strength.
According to the estimate of the 21 Jingdong BD Research Institute in 2016, the number of animals kept as pets in China reached 100 million. This ranks next to the USA – the world’s No. 1 – with 202 million. That is 0.07 pets per capita. In contrast, the USA is at 0.67, which is 10 times of that. The average for the 4 countries of the UK, Germany, France, and Italy is even larger at 0.87, and even Japan’s 0.2 is 3 times that of China.
Including China, the primary choice of pet in each of these nations is a dog or a cat, followed by fishes. In China, the proportion of dogs is twice that of cats, with fishes at 10%. However, the market for pet fishes has been increasing explosively since 2016. The sales in the first half of 2017 exceeded 300% of that for the same period from the previous year. Grand aquariums and brightly-colored tropical fish for aesthetics are certainly becoming staple in the homes and offices of the wealthy.
Rise of the 80s (born in the 1980s) and 90s (born in the 90s) women
According to the China Agricultural University’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s data, when the GDP per capita is between 3000 and 8000 dollars, the pet industry develops rapidly. Currently, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, etc. are at this level. In Jingdong’s data, the biggest pet-related consumption in the first half of 2017 was in Beijing, Guangdong, and Shanghai – which is exactly in agreement.
However, the consumption trend is the same in Beijing as even the low-income Tibet Autonomous Region. Pet food, daily necessities, medical care, lodging, and so on – in that order. Besides, the many highly-educated people and high-income people are also a characteristic feature. Nearly 70% of the purchasers of pet-related supplies are university graduates. This is 15% higher than the average purchasers from Jingdong. White-collar workers account for 46%.
The perception of a person keeping a pet used to be a man – a retired father – till now. It has reached this point where the number of women has increased remarkably. In Jingdong’s data, purchases of pet supplies by women has grown more than 80% on average between 2015 and the first half of 2017. The ratio of women buying dog or cat food is 5-10%, which is higher than their ratio in the data of all of Jingdong’s customers. Among the women, the proportion occupied by 80s’ and 90s’ women is over 70%.
Compared to men, women enjoy shopping for items other than pet food. They are items such as shampoos, between-meal snacks, and beauty appliances. Furthermore, the repeat purchase ratio is high. As a result, the sales ratio of pet food fell from 61% to 50%.
Expectations from O2O services
The pet market continues to grow strongly. The direction of future development is the fusion of the digital and material – the key to O2O. Pet shops and veterinary hospitals in China are concentrated in major tier-1 and tier-2 cities. The demand for services such as veterinary and grooming services continue to increase. Expectations from intermediary services to these services continue to increase. According to reports, 75% of pet owners are seeking medical services such as disease control including Cleaning services at 55% and grooming services at 40%.
Chinese pets also seem to be changing their position from next to the hearts of retirees to the partners of single women. The share of pet-owners seems to be approaching the level of developed nations. Actually, it isn’t rare for them to order even Japanese-made pet supplies. Large business opportunities are also opening up.