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10 Market Research Tools for Your Pet Business

Market research is the process of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information about a market, including details about potential customers, competitors, and overall industry trends. It helps businesses make informed decisions by providing insights into consumer preferences, market dynamics, and opportunities. Market research tools encompass a range of methods and technologies, such as surveys, focus groups, data analytics, and competitive analysis tools, designed to collect and analyze relevant data for strategic decision-making.

Benefits of Market Research

Market research boasts many benefits, including the following.

  • Understanding Customer Preferences and Needs. By conducting market research, you can ensure you’re offering the right kinds of services to the folks you’re targeting. <li> Finding Market Opportunities. Your market research participants can give you ideas of what services and products you could consider offering in the future. 
  • Assessing Viability of Products and Services. If you’re thinking of offering a new service, like dog agility classes, but aren’t sure if your customers would be excited about bringing their pups, you can suss out whether people are interested in it before you go ahead and buy expensive equipment and train new staff members.
  • Competitive Analysis: You can look at your competitors to assess what they’re giving customers that you’re not – yet. Are they in different neighborhoods, where you could expand your operations? Is their pricing structure different? Do their employees make more money or less?
  • Optimizing Pricing. Let’s take that dog agility class as an example again: you can ask your participants how much they’d pay for a class, and you can assess how much your competitors are charging. That way you can land on the ideal price to maximize profits, beat competitors, and service your market appropriately.
  • Improving Customer Satisfaction. By asking customers to participate in market research you’re letting them know you care about their opinions and want to do whatever is in your power to make them and their pups happy. This will make customers more loyal to you and even improve word of mouth, especially if you implement any of your customers’ suggestions.
  • Improving Marketing Efforts and Strategy. Gain clarity on your customers’ responses to your marketing by seeing which channels they’re using to find and interact with your business. You can test marketing messaging and tactics to see what resonates with them.
  • Mitigating Risks. With rising inflation and costs, from labor to retail products, it’d be a shame to put out a new product or service and have customers not take you up on it. You can mitigate these risks by asking your customers how they’d respond to your new ideas.
  • Measuring Performance. Market research gives you data that you can put into annual reports for shareholders, or use as data to determine whether your staff members should receive raises.

Market Research Examples 

You can use market research in a variety of ways to enhance your business. Here are some examples:

  • You’re a doggy daycare business that’s considering adding boarding. You text anyone who has booked daycare with you in the past year whether they’d be interested in boarding. In fact, PetExec offers an email blast tool that allows you to identify and group those clients who have been to daycare within the last year. You can prepare a custom email to that group with the option to include images and links to documents such as a survey.
  • You’re thinking of launching a marketing campaign for your groomer but can’t decide what version of marketing copy you’d want to send out. You get together a group of people who have been coming to your business for a while to see which version is more impactful to them.
  • You want to see if a display touting a new line of dog treats impacts sales, so you observe your customers interacting with the display and take notes.
  • You partner with a market research firm that works in the pet industry generally and access their reports to gin more actionable knowledge about your industry.

Types of Market Research

Market research can come in multiple formats, with different population sizes and methods. Here are some you can incorporate if you’re looking to do market research.

  • Surveys. Create interviews and questionnaires, sending them via e-mail, telephone, or ask them face-to-face. Surveys are useful for quantitative data like “on a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with our doggy daycare”, demographic information, customer preferences, and their purchasing behaviors.
  • Focus Groups. You can get a group of customers or potential customers together online or in person and work with a trained moderator who guides the group through a discussion of a topic, and in a qualitative way, understanding their desires, opinions, and attitudes. 
  • Interviews. A researcher can conduct one on one interviews for qualitative discussions into one specific topic or multiple topics. This is a great tactic for interviewing your most loyal customers to see where their needs are being met and where you could improve.
  • Observational Research. A researcher observes a customer in your store to see how they pick out and look at products to understand their behavior.
  • Secondary Research. Researchers analyze existing data to give you insight into market trends.
  • Social Media Monitoring. Tracking what your customers are saying via social media comments and direct messages to give you insight into what they want or what your business is doing well.
  • Online Analytics. See how well your website or your social media ads are performing by analyzing  various metrics such as bounce rate, engagement rate, conversion rates, and page views to learn about customers’ online purchasing behaviors.
  • Customer Feedback and Reviews. Analyze how your customers are interacting with you via customer service agents, feedback forms, and review platforms, and learn what parts of your services deserve two paws up.

Market Research Tools

Below are ten popular tools you can use to conduct market research. We’ll go into their uses, pricing, and give an example of how you can utilize it.

Think with Google

Think with Google is a free to use platform that lets you explore various categories of market research to learn more about your business. You can discover new customer trends, do competitor analysis, discover qualitative research data, and find trending topics. You can even search for something as simple as “dogs” and with the power of Google, be able to find market research that’s been conducted on that topic, like how a pandemic-era trend that’s here to stay is people wanting to work from home to spend more time with their pets.  


Statista gives you insights and facts across 170 industries and 150+ countries, starting at $2148 a year. You can explore market, consumer, company, and e-commerce insights, reports, and statistics. Since Statista has e-commerce finance and performance KPIs for over 42,000 businesses, you could use this site for competitive analysis against other pet businesses to see how you compare. 


If you’ve conducted market research and now need to sift through tons of data points to present to higher ups or investors in an actionable, clear, and visual way, you’ll want to use Tableau, which costs $75/month to be able to create and edit data visualization. Let’s say you surveyed hundreds of customers about their satisfaction and want to present that in a graph – you can use their simple interface to create a graph that is visually striking and easy to understand.


Temper is great for small businesses that need to collect user insights, with an affordable price beginning at just $12 a month. You can make simple surveys that gather data and demographics on your audience and assess their satisfaction. For example, you’re trying to put together your business NPS score, you can insert their survey into your website and then view the results in a simple dashboard. 

Survey Monkey

You can use Survey Monkey to target over 175 million people and conduct market research on just about anything, from ad creatives to pricing to product development. If you developed two versions of an ad and want to see how potential customers react to one versus another, you can use SurveyMonkey for that type of A/B testing. SurveyMonkey pricing starts at $25 per user per month.


Typeform is a platform for simple and beautifully designed surveys that are easy to interpret for marketers and easy to fill out for participants. You can create mobile-friendly ones with a variety of question types, like multiple choice, short answer, and ratings, and Typeform integrates with apps you may already use, like Google Sheets and Slack. Typeform pricing starts at $25 a month.


Semrush is a top tool for SEO or search engine optimization. You can easily track keywords related to your business like “dog grooming in Boise” or “dog grooming trends” or “Kong toys” and see how many users per month are searching for these types of keywords. You can use that information to incorporate into your blog, if your business has one, or to make decisions about what services you should expand into or products to sell. Semrush also has tool that can help you with PR, content marketing, marketing insights, and campaign management. Pricing begins at $119.95 a month.

Make My Persona

Personas are a way of using analytics to describe the types of customers who would come to your business, such as a Gen X woman who uses doggy daycare for the days she has to go into her office. Make My Persona utilizes customer demographics and psychographic details that you have already collected to help you create those personas so you can understand your customers and better market to them. Make My Persona is free.


Qualtrics is possibly the most in-depth option for market research on this list but might be out of your price range, which is not even listed on their website. If your business is owned by a large company that could expense the cost, you could use their AI-powered software to track brand awareness and send extremely detailed surveys. 

Check out our latest report on Millennials vs Gen Z: Pet Parent Buying Behavior

Millennials and members of Gen-Z are excellent groups to target for your pet business. Because of the high costs of living, many have delayed human parenthood and as a result, treat their pets like children, spending a good deal of money on them.  But while Millennials and Gen-Z are close in age, their buying behaviors differ. Check out our report on the differences between these two generations.


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