The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the world in a number of ways. Even though supply shortages and movement restrictions are no longer with us, they are still fresh in the minds of many who suffered their effects.
One industry that has seen a surprisingly big transformation as a result of the pandemic is that of pet pharmacies. This is because the lockdowns brought something new to the world.
Work From Home Culture.
With people being forced to stay at home during lockdowns, the demand for a service that allowed you to purchase and refill prescription drugs and supplements exploded. This has been a significant catalyst for online pharmacy growth.
Let’s take a look at how online pet pharmacies have become a massive industry since the Covid-19 pandemic.
They Found the Need and Filled and Satisfied it.
As pets become more and more integrated into our lives, there is a growing recognition that they deserve the same level of care as human family members.
More awareness about the importance of quality healthcare has caused pet owners to demand only the best for their furry loved ones.
Quality care involves regular check-ups and vaccinations, access to experienced vets who can help treat a wide range of issues, and treatments for chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. Initially, this was not something that every pet owner could enjoy.
When lockdowns and movement restrictions were at their peak, there was a lot of anxiety felt by pet owners across the world on how they would care for their pets, many of whom suffered from chronic conditions that needed frequent prescription refills.
It was during these trying times that online pet pharmacy companies saw an opportunity, and that led to a massive increase in sales.
There are several reasons why they were able to achieve these results.
First of all, they reduced or entirely eliminated the need for people to make trips to a pet pharmacy.
Even those who were able to visit a physical store during the pandemic found shelves empty due to logistics disruptions and other factors. No one really knew when things would go back to normal.
The Rise of Companies Like PetMeds & PetCareRx
Online pet pharmacies like PetMeds and PetCareRx, in addition to selling drugs, helped out in unique ways. Their telehealth services and expert resources became widely useful now.
Through services like Vetster, a company that PetMeds partnered with, Pet owners could video call a licensed vet and receive advice and guidance on the health issues of their pets.
The increased demand for pet medicines, food, vet appointments, and more led to online pharmacies and pet care services becoming hugely successful, with market sales hitting $123 billion.
Two main companies emerged and held onto the spotlight even after everything had settled down. These were PetMeds and PetCareRx.
PetMeds acquired pet care for $36 Million in a deal that’s going to be finalized by the end of the first quarter of this year. Even though PetCareRx was acquired, the website will still continue to run in order to preserve the brand identity… but it’s essentially a part of PetMeds now.
It’s Not Just Medicines.
It may be hard to understand the success of these companies and how much money is being spent to acquire or partner with them, but it’s pretty simple, actually.
For one, it isn’t just medicines that these online pharmacy stores sell. They also deal in pet food, accessories, toys, treats, collars, leashes… Online pharmacy sort of struck gold here.
Dealing with these pet-adjacent products is a massive industry and combining aspects of pet health with other pet-related items is the way forward for market success.
The influence of these companies now goes beyond a specific concept, such as “Medicine”
Instead, it is forming one consolidated ecosystem for all things pet related.
Predictions for the Future of Pet Healthcare
It’s interesting that even though the factors from the pandemic no longer exist, companies like PetMeds are thriving and getting bigger. What does this tell us?
It tells us that Lockdown or lockdown, the online model for pet care, isn’t going anywhere.
Just as Amazon revolutionized the entire concept of shopping, pet pharmacy companies are revolutionizing the concept of pet healthcare.
Okay, but does this mean that brick-and-mortar pharmacies and veterinarians are going to go out of business?
It simply means that for minor consultations, we are going to see the focus shift heavily to Telehealth.
Vet trips can often be stressful times for both pets and pet owners. Telehealth services allow for simple online consultations where a licensed vet can assess if an in-person assessment is needed or if the situation can be handled at home by the pet owner.
2023 seems to be a year of massive changes.
Almost every single field and industry is experiencing rapid advancements, and this can be scary to many. However, it can also be an exciting time for those with the willingness to adapt and make use of change to grow.
This is a mindset that traditional pet pharmacies and veterinarians should keep in mind if they feel threatened by the rise of the online pet healthcare world.