Dog food sells well in the rain

The new ecommerce bellwether?

The new ecommerce bellwether?

E-tail in the UK has blossomed over the past year. Take pet food. Despite sneers by many a critic saying only the big supermarkets would succeed here (it's one of their top online purchases) specialists in dog food and more besides have done well. One dog food pundit - yes, we know a few - with a thoughtful inclination as to why pet supplies online have turned into such a hot product pointed to the UK's weather, much of it cold and miserable. Yes that's right, torrential rain means people will spend more time sitting indoors at their PCs. And a stroll to the local outlet to pick up Fido's Pedigree Chum can seem that much more of a pain. Ordering online is far easier than getting wet, especially when ordering from a website that specialises in all things doggy. Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) keeps an index of e-tail sales for the UK and it reckons since last May consumer spend has almost doubled. Some at young e-tail outfits think it may be down to their businesses age - initial strong growth is inevitable for any decent start-up. Others believe massive market consolidation within their sector has pushed consumer confidence up in those emerging as the market stayers. silicon.com likes to think a long, drizzly spring and, so far, summer have promoted the use of the internet. Perhaps all those members of the UK population with dogs and cats have finally been convinced of the value of home shopping, and today that means the PC plus net more than the phone or TV. No, good and simple internet delivery services of those products that our pets need on a regular basis year in, year out is what we need. The same will hold for many other item types. Have you ever tried carrying 12 tins of cat food home in plastic bags while keeping an umbrella over your head? It's not easy.