Petcurean gives its biggest brands their own sites

The premium company tailored sites for Now Fresh and Go! Solutions to the needs of info-hungry pet owners.

Petcurean Mobile - image

In a hot pet market, Petcurean is looking for a leg up.

With help from agency Huge, the Chilliwack, B.C.-based premium pet company is giving two of its most popular brands a facelift online, meant to help them better stand apart from the parent brand for a growing number of pet owners looking for information online.

Petcurean held an RFP last spring, and began working with Huge in June of last year, to unbundle the digital experience of its two best-selling product brands, Go! Solutions and Now Fresh, from the masterbrand site.

The mandate included refreshing the flagship brands and improving the digital user experience, providing the ecosystem with the depth and scale that would allow them to expand across multiple markets globally.

According to Tim Thatcher, senior analyst of sales and marketing for Petcurean, Go! is much more centred around unique pet dietary needs, while Now Fresh is more focused on ingredients, indirectly competing with raw foods in a kibble form.

Each brand site now has the freedom to express its own unique personality, Thatcher says. That’s not only in reflecting recent redesign efforts, but in giving each brand its own digital experience created for their different target consumer. Similar to health trends in human food, Canadians have become increasingly engaged with the ingredients and health benefits of what they feed their pets, and the new sites help them more easily find the health or nutritional information that is most important to them.

“Go! Solutions and Now Fresh are the two brands biggest sellers, driving most of the traffic to the [Petcurean] website,” Thatcher says, who adds that it therefore made sense to start with those, but that it will undertake similar digital refreshes for its other brands in due time.

Having five distinct, disparate brand personalities and styles under the Petcurean umbrella – which also covers the Gather, Spike and Summit Original lines – was confusing for consumers to navigate, Thatcher says, especially one increasingly engaging with the brand through mobile.

Petcurean_website“Going back four or five years ago, our mobile and tablet site traffic was maybe 40%, but it’s been slowly creeping up every year,” he notes. “By the time we started the project, it was about 70% to 80%.” The UX, Thatcher says, had to be crafted to really speak to a user with a shortened browsing time.

The sites launched in four different regions earlier this spring, and early results show a 200% increase in site traffic for each brand, compared to the traffic they received when they were part of the Petcurean site.

Thatcher tells strategy part of the project is also about setting up a foundation to set up more localized sites for the over 30 countries it sells in, as well as regions it has pegged for future growth. But the company’s outdated CMS was not able to do this, and he says Petcurean wanted unified templates on the backend, so it’s not working within two different structures and code bases.

“We wanted to make sure we were set up for success in the longer term,” Thatcher says.

In Canada, with borders closing, lockdowns and supply chain issues, he says there’s been trend toward more local, home-based brand purchasing, informed by the trust those kinds of connections reinforce. Each site also makes it easier to navigate towards the local, independent pet retailers that stock each brand.

While the brand has made big changes on the digital side of the ledger, Thatcher says Petcurean is doing a lot to drive customers to purchase in-store. Traditional in-store marketing won’t be going away, he insists, as people still want that experience of a one-to-one connection with a clerk.