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July 15, 2020

Pet owners switch to online buying during pandemic

Published on June 24, 2020

Analysis by the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division

The AVMA surveyed more than 2,000 practice owners in April to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the profession. Results and an interactive dashboard are at COVID-19 impact on veterinary practices. Part of the survey focused on overall client behavior, online sales behavior, and online sales changes.

What?

About 75% of veterinarians reported their clients switched to buying pet food or medications online.

So what?

Among veterinarians reporting clients had switched to online sales, about 73% said clients switched to the practice’s online sales platform already in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. About 4% said clients switched to an online sales platform newly opened by the practice as a result of the pandemic. About 23% said clients began purchasing from other online retailers, mostly Chewy, PetMed Express, and Amazon.

Now what?

Most practices that have online sales platforms report that volumes are increasing. Practices that don’t offer online sales have an opportunity to provide value to clients and help support practice revenue.