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Artificial Intelligence Meets the Pet Retail Industry

Technology has truly gone to the dogs! With artificial intelligence (AI) implemented into more and more pet products, smart technology is transforming the pet retail industry. With pet tech products reaching $565 million in sales in 2018, the time is now to tap into all that emerging technology has to offer. Increase your artificial intelligence and get smart—smart technology, that is. Stock up on the latest gadgets and connect your customers to the AI they’re searching for—from smart pet doors and food bowls to two-way video chats and Alexa-enabled vet checks. AI is everywhere and it should be in your retail store. Here’s how AI is making an impact on the pet retail industry:

Providing Pet Owners Peace of Mind

It’s not always easy to get to the veterinarian or to judge if an animal’s condition warrants a trip to the vet office. Thankfully, Amazon’s Alexa can help. Working in conjunction with AskMyPetDoctor, everyone’s favorite smart device can now connect concerned pet owners to a licensed veterinarian who can answer pet health questions immediately. For owners worried about a lost pet, Finding Rover uses facial recognition software to help locate them.

Making Life Easier for Pets and Their People

Just like the saying, “There’s an app for that,” the same can be said for emerging pet tech products: “There’s AI for that.” Smart pet food bowls? Check. Mookkie is an AI-powered bowl that recognizes an animal’s unique features to tailor feeding time to a specific pet. Smart pet beds? Check. The Petrics app has developed a collared activity tracker that also connects to a smart pet bed that can control temperature to keep pets healthy and comfortable. Smart pet doors? There’s AI for that, too. petWALK modernizes the old flap-door design with a sleek doo r that can be opened via remote, smart phone and all the popular tech-assist devices.  

Keeping Customers Connected with Their Pets

If we learned anything from The Secret Life of Pets, it’s that we know nothing about what goes on in our pets’ lives when we leave the house each morning. Until now. Thanks to smart-tech products like Petcube, pet owners can check in on their pets through two-way video “chats” and photos triggered when the pet gets close enough to the camera. The Pawbo + Wi-Fi Interactive Pet Camera and Treat Dispenser goes one step further, allowing pet owners to dispense treats remotely.

Offering New Opportunities for Retailers

With the pet technology trend expected to stay on the rise, pet retailers would be remiss to not incorporate this into their store—especially when that’s exactly where many customers find out about pet technology in the first place. In fact, research has shown that 43 percent of pet-tech owners heard about the technology in a pet store. The same research, from the CTA 2018 Pet Technology: Ownership, Use and Perception report, found that 72 percent of customers are likely to buy tech products at a brick-and-mortar store in the future.

All these new tech trends and forecasted purchasing preferences translate to new opportunities for pet store owners to tap into their customers’ interest in AI by stocking new products, offering in-store demos and staffing tech specialists that can help customers learn to use them properly. Position your store as an expert in pet AI and capitalize on the rapid growth of smart products and connectivity.

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The Pet Sustainability Coalition is a non-profit organization that envisions a thriving and collaborative pet industry that creates a positive impact for the communities and environments where we do business. PSC promotes continual sustainable improvement that directly reduces the impact of pet products on the global environment and communities. To find ways to accelerate your sustainability journey, visit PSC’s Membership page.

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