Dog and Cat

A Day in the Life of SPINS’ Pet Consultant

Four Questions for Amy Kerr

What is your current role in the company?

I am working hand in hand with Animal Supply Company (ASC) – one of the largest distributors in the pet industry – to ensure that independent pet retailers are harnessing the power of data to unlock drivers of growth.

SPINS data helps retailers in three areas critical to success: consumer understanding, benchmarking to a comparative marketplace, and optimizing product assortment. SPINS’ product attributes help retailers better understand the underlying needs that are shaping consumer decisions at shelf. Our UPC-level key measures ensure the retailer’s product assortment is differentiated and fits with consumer needs. The purview that we have into emerging local, ingredient, nutrition, and lifestyle trends help retailers launch new items that will have a better chance of succeeding.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing pet retailers? What tools do they need to thrive?

The marketplace is more fragmented than ever before. There are more places online and offline that consumers can purchase pet products. Shoppers can even browse the competition on their phones while they are in your store. As a result, pet retailers are understandably uneasy about maintaining their point of difference, attracting new shoppers to their store, and retaining existing customers. I hear firsthand the challenges that retailers face from online retailers gaining traction in the pet industry. I talk daily with retailers who share the concern that their differentiated products are increasingly carried by other retailers and channels. SPINS data and insights allow retailers to prepare for these changes and be ready with an action plan in place, such as a new brand to fill a void.

Data-based selling is at the foundation of every good product launch, and SPINS is the data consultant for Independent Retail, and now for Pet as well. Retailers are very excited to learn that SPINS and Animal Supply Company are reporting actionable insights for their store(s), helping them plan for the future.

What does an average day look like for you?

If I’m not hitting the road with an ASC territory sales manager and talking to an independent pet retailer about the benefits of data, I’m probably leading a seminar at an ASC show, such as the buying show in Los Angeles on January 28 and 29. At this show, Lynn Switanowski from Creative Business Consulting Group (CBCG) introduced me by talking about the importance of big data to the pet industry, which I was pretty excited to hear, as there is a surprising lack of acknowledgement in the pet industry today about the importance of data. To me, it signaled that the industry has made a turn.

I’m also really looking forward to Global Pet Expo from March 21 to 23, where I’ll be educating and signing retailers up at the ASC booth.

What is the greater goal you’re trying to achieve?

To ensure that pet brands and retailers are developing and shelving products that meet their consumers’ changing needs, while protecting and growing early-stage and mid-market pet retailers. SPINS is passionate about the independent retailer, and it has been so exciting to partner with specialty pet retailers during this onboarding process. I can’t wait to launch SPINS’ proprietary Pet Channel of independent retailers soon!