Pets at Home brings in Wunderman for digital task

petPets at Home has handed a major tranche of its digital marketing business to Wunderman Thompson which has been briefed to handle customer and user experience across all of the retailer’s digital channels.

The activity was previously handled inhouse; Havas CX Helia handles Pets at Home’s main CRM account, while recently appointed The & Partnership runs brand identity, social and advertising.

Wunderman Thompson will lead in researching, designing and delivering CX, UX and user interface (UI) services to support all digital channels for Pets at Home, and provide advice and support throughout the project.

Pets at Home group head of digital product Marc Sbardella said: “Wunderman Thompson demonstrated an impressive understanding of our business challenges, our customers and their pets, whilst clearly having a passion for connecting the digital experience across our entire organisation.

“Their integrated thinking and approach really sealed the deal for us, and we can’t wait to begin working with them on building the world’s best pet care ecosystem.”

Back in May, the retailer hailed its customer loyalty strategy as a major factor in its annual retail revenues surpassing £1bn for the first time as Covid has triggered a huge rise in pet ownership.

The company said that because the coronavirus has forced more people to work from home and changed their leisure habits, the ‘historical barrier’ to adopting pets had been lifted.

With pet ownership growing over the past year, Pets at Home retail revenues increased by 8.8% to £1.02bn and total sales rose by 7.9% to £1.14bn in the year to March 25.

Membership of the Puppy & Kitten Club loyalty scheme jumped 60.9%, while VIP loyalty club numbers grew 9% to 6.2 million. The company said loyalty club members spend up to a third more than the average customer.

At the time, chief executive Peter Pritchard said the pandemic had been “a catalyst for change around customer purchasing behaviour and pet ownership”, and the company responded by investing more in its loyalty clubs and subscription platforms.

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