Over the past decade, there has been an increase of the ‘pet humanisation’ trend, which continues to capture the entire world. Pet owners are caring for and spending on their pets as they would do for a family member. The rising demand for pet care products has proven to be a boon for the pet care industry. The demand for pet care products is not limited to food and drugs alone, pet owners are going as far as signing their pets up for exercise regimes and beauty treatments.
Globally, the pet industry had a market value of $983 billion in 2018, growing at 5,3% during the period 2011-2018. The market is further projected to reach a value of $128,4 billion by 2024, growing at a slightly lower rate of 4,5% from 2019-2024. In South Africa, the annual pet industry market size is R18 billion, where the pet food market alone is worth R5 billion. Furthermore, ‘platform business models ’have become a buzzword (unsurprisingly), as they allow us to harness and create large, scalable networks of users and resources that can be accessed on demand. With different types of platform business models i.e. Twitter, Uber or AirBnB, it becomes apparent that there is nothing yet available for the pet industry in South Africa.
RCL Foods is a South African market leader and owns approximately 40% of the local pet food market. With knowledge and insights on the pet industry, the business is in a favourable position to disrupt the market, expanding on its current, more traditional, manufacturing operation. A small team has been put together, consisting of the Transformation Management Office and Digital Marketing, to build a pet-centric platform that allows pet owners to be rewarded for taking care of their animals’ health and wellness. The idea is to build an agile pet-centric solution, driven by consumer demand, determined and confirmed through data insights. The Yapper Rewards programme was launched at the beginning of May as a progressive web app (PWA) targeted around consumer insights, agile builds and data-driven decision making.
Since launch, Yapper has partnered with big corporate household brands, including Pick ‘n Pay through its Pet Club programme, Dotsure Pet Insurance, Identipet and even a US-based pet fitness tracker company, FitBark. Data is used to make informed, data-driven decisions to see ongoing, exponential growth. The goal is to turn data into information of value and ultimately into insights to generate actions. This is an ongoing cycle across all channels, which includes the member database, Google Paid Search/CPC, Social Media (Facebook and Instagram) and further sources or mediums of traffic, analysed with Google Analytics.
Technology should be an enabler of not only digitisation, but company re-imagination. Traditional corporate companies should embrace change and continue to look for new markets and possibilities to grow into the future. “The world is now awash in data and we can see consumers a lot clearer.” – Max Levchin, PayPal co-founder.
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