Research Strategy Group is a market leader in Crowd Intelligence research. We regularly poll Canadians and Americans about a range of issues and trends across numerous subject areas.
Recently we asked Canadians some questions about trends in the Pet Care market, related to pet insurance and pet wearables.
The penetration of pet insurance is significantly lower in Canada than in the United States (CIP Society Report). Canadian pet parents are signing up in increasing numbers to generate modest growth from a small base. Recent growth has been fueled by increased awareness of insurance offerings and the desire among pet parents to mitigate the high costs of regular and unanticipated veterinary care.
Pet parents are primarily concerned about three things:
Cost – average policies with comprehensive coverage can cost in excess of 100 dollars per month
Complexity – many pet parents feel overwhelmed by the complexity of policies available for their consideration. The variation in care and treatments covered by different policies can vary tremendously.
Claims – the claims process for pet care medical treatments can be quite onerous and lengthy compared to the processes pet parents have become accustomed to for their personal medical insurance.
Our Crowd Intelligence results reflect these concerns, with an observed probability of only 54% who believe that signing up for pet insurance will increase significantly in 2019. Clearly, pet insurers need to do a better job of simplifying policies and processes and offering plans geared to different budget constraints if the category is to continue to grow.
In the same way that human wearable technology is gaining acceptance and trial, so too are pet wearables. As part of the continuing “humanization” of pets, pet parents are fitting out their household pets with a range of wearables to give themselves an enhanced feeling of control and security.
Wearables fall into three basic categories:
GPS Wearables to allow pet parents to precisely locate their pet at any time with a Bluetooth or wi-fi connection to their devices.
RDIF Chips implanted to allow for the storage of identification and medical history and assist in identification if the pet is lost.
Activity Trackers/Smart Collars – pet versions of the Fitbit that allow pet parents to monitor physical activity and health biometrics on their devices.
Sales results indicate that pet wearables are most likely purchased by pet parents with active outdoor pets. In our Crowd Intelligence study, Canadians in aggregate predicted that there is a 58% probability that pet wearables will be hot sellers in 2019. Some pet parents will clearly embrace technology as a tool for keeping a constant and close connection with their pet.