How These Traditional Pet Services In S’pore Move Their Bizs Online
Singapore’s demand for furry friends is at an all time high.
According to Business Times data, there were around 288,900 pets in Singapore in 2019, including animals not registered with the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) and adopted animals.
This is why many Singaporeans were understandably concerned when Singapore went into lockdown due to Covid-19, and many animal services were deemed to be unavailable.
For example, veterinarians were only allowed to deal with urgent, non-elective cases, including hospitalization. This prompted and accelerated the transition of many traditional pet services online.
Here are a few companies that have made this digital shift:
Telemedicine for pets
Telemedicine, in human terms, refers to a virtual consultation with a doctor, where doctors can diagnose conditions and prescribe treatments.
Even though telemedicine has been around in the medical industry for several years now, most Singaporeans still feel more comfortable seeing a doctor offline.
The adoption of telemedicine as an alternative to visiting the doctor has become a bit more normalized with the emergence of Covid-19 and social distancing rules.
Just like seeing a doctor online, pet owners can also see vets from the comfort of their own homes.
Several Singapore vets have started telemedicine services. These online veterinary consultations are performed by AVS registered veterinarians, who assess and diagnose your pet’s condition remotely via video call.
Medicines will also be dispensed and prescribed if necessary.
Zumvet is a local startup that connects Singapore veterinarians with clients through video consultations. According to their website, a video call costs S $ 30, while a home visit can be scheduled for S $ 150.
Pet care platforms
Besides medical services, pets also have other necessities such as grooming and exercise.
Online marketplaces that connect pet owners with service providers are plentiful these days.
Singapore-based PetBacker connects pet owners with pet sitters, dog walkers, taxis, groomers and more.
Another similar platform is Pawshake, which connects pet owners with services such as accommodation and dog walking.
Traditional online pet supply stores
The local chain of pet supplies Pet Lovers Center is a household name, especially to pet owners.
Singapore’s oldest and largest pet supply store had to shut down operations for all of its 70 outlets during the breaker.
Pet Lovers Center chief executive David Ng told The Straits Times in an interview that the company had started investing in e-commerce operations since 2003.
As a result, the pet supply giant was not incapacitated by the circuit breaker and was able to take orders through its online store.
According to David, the company’s daily online orders grew up to 18 times more during the Breaker.
Various e-commerce startups specializing in pet products have also popped up in Singapore over the years, with Pawrus one of them.
Founded in 2014, it is a pet supplies e-commerce platform that aims to educate pet owners on proper pet care.
Pawrus founder Kevin Yeo told Vulcan Post that “he both produces well-researched content on his shop’s blog and makes sure he has top-notch knowledge of his products as his main advantages over its competitors.
Pet influencer marketing
Put human influencers aside, pets are the latest trend in influencer marketing.
The Woof Agency is a digital and social media agency specializing in pet marketing, from launching social media campaigns to creating content for brands.
It’s also Asia’s first influencer agency for pets.
The startup recently partnered with the Sendjoy personalized video messaging platform, and users can now receive a personalized video message from a four-legged friend.
There are currently eight animals available on the platform.
The collaboration was also part of a process to brighten up “the lives of those who have been disturbed by the pandemic”.
“I think there’s just something magical about pets and how they can brighten up your day so easily,” said Jane Peh, co-founder of The Woof Agency.
A ‘Purr-Fect’ opportunity
It has been said that the Covid-19 pandemic has provided a multitude of opportunities for some industries and accelerated the digitization of others.
Along with the growth in the number of pets in Singapore, the demand for services such as telemedicine and e-commerce for pets is also steadily increasing.
Singaporeans are also spending more and more on their pets and giving them the royal treatment.
According to Statista, Singapore’s pet food industry generated sales of US $ 102 million (S $ 138.14 million) in 2018 alone.
Therefore, it seems that now is the time for the pet industry to pivot and diversify its online operations so that it can capture a larger market share.
Featured Image Credit: Zumvet via Facebook
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