M/A/R/C Research completed two sets of stratified surveys with 1,000 US pet owners to assess the impact of the COVID-19 situation on certain pet-related behaviors. In this week’s update M/A/R/C explored pet owner rescheduling activity over two survey waves.
Respondents were asked to indicate reasons they were contacting a veterinarian during the APR and MAY study periods. The most significant shift occurred as a reduction in the % of clients calling to cancel a scheduled appointment (down from 20% to 12%). Also notable was the decrease in clients calling to reschedule appointments (down from 22% to 16%) and those calling for general information on risks of COVID-19 infection for them and their pets (down from 29% - 22%). Pet owners reported an improved outlook for rescheduling a cancelled appointment with 45% planning to do so within the next 2-8 weeks. Further positive responses were provided on the issue of re-engaging with local veterinarians, with the number of respondents indicating a preference to delay appointments until after the pandemic is resolved falling from 59% in APR to 37% in MAY. The survey also indicated the number of pet owners seeking to fill their prescriptions online had grown from 4% in APR to 21% in MAY.
Cleveland Research Company analyzed “return to care” demographics of pet owners in a survey conducted at the end of April 2020 with 1,800 pet owners. Respondents were specifically asked how quickly they would be ready to visit their veterinary practice following the on-set of the COVID-19 crisis.
In total, ~ 30% of pet owners indicated willingness to immediately return to the veterinary practice despite ongoing concerns for Covid-19. Additionally, another 25% of pet owners were willing to return within one month.
Among respondents, Gen Xers and baby boomers had a higher portion of pet owners not willing to return to the veterinarian for 6 or more months. Baby boomers were four times more likely to indicate a return to the practice of 6 months or more versus a respondent from the millennials surveyed.
The survey further indicated certain practices had success increasing visits from the baby boomer demographic by emphasizing the implementation of safety and social distancing procedures (such as curbside pickup) through their social media and other customer outreach efforts.
YTD results closing the week of JUL 4 reflected robust growth for surgical suite supplies as well as feline and canine core vaccine categories versus 2019 results. While the vaccine growth in particular is suggestive of continued “return to care” events (wellness appointments) for both species, it is important to note the impact of increased reporting of “warm deliveries” of vaccines occurring as a result of modified route delivery schedules. This issue is reported to be causing an abnormally high rate of replacement shipments for the affected vaccines, resulting in an artificial expansion of total sales volumes. These sales will ultimately be countered by credits in the coming weeks, which are expected to temper results moving forward.
Year to date, canine and now feline core vaccines, supplies and surgical suite purchases along with the VCI index were all positive against 2019. These results are a continuation of positive trending for the past several weeks and further indication of the accelerating improvement in year to date (YTD) purchasing volumes for the 32,000+ practices and shelters in the Animalytix marketplace.
*Map displays YTD Canine Core vaccine sales courtesy of Animalytix
For the week of June 20 – July 4, total purchases of combined canine and feline flea, tick and heartworm preventatives across 32,000+ practices and shelter locations continued to surge, up 1.8% versus prior year performance. Individual category results are mixed with continued downward pressure for feline products as well as canine flea/heartworm combos. Canine flea/tick and canine heartworm preventative sales continued their previously positive trends, both improving YTD vs the same week in 2019.
Among the 236 Vetalytix Market Areas, 158 (67%) reported net YTD growth as of last week. Among these, the Las Vegas, NV and Eau Claire, WI zones were most improved versus the previous weeks YTD results with purchasing volume increases of 7.9% and 4.7% respectively.
*Map displays YTD Canine/Feline F/T/HW Parasiticide sales courtesy of Animalytix
A total of twelve additional market zones met or surpassed the “Return to Revenue” threshold this past week including Ann Arbor, MI, Shreveport-Bossier City, LA, and Plattsburgh, NY among others. The “Return to Revenue” threshold has now been met by 72% or 153 of 213 market zones reported year to date. The most robust week over week improvement in results were reported by Ann Arbor, MI and Modesto, CA at 2.4% and 1.8% improvement, respectively.
Overall, 206 of 213 reporting zones posted net revenue growth for the week vs the year prior week.
Nationally, this week’s YTD results of +1.9% revenue growth marks the fourth consecutive period for which total revenues exceeded 2019 performance. In total, 39 of 50 states are now net positive in terms of total revenues. Among the states still struggling to meet the 2019 threshold performance levels, the most notable are NY, NJ, MA, PA, ME and RI in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions; CA and HI in the Pacific Region; and NE, OH and MI in the Midwest.
*Map displays YTD total hospital revenue courtesy of Greenline Pet
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