This holiday, cats may be a bit jealous of their dog friends, who will be digging more than two and a half times the number of gifts. As an annual holiday tradition, SLI Systems reports on what shoppers are searching for most in a particular category during the season. This year, we chose to look at a fast growing segment: gifts for pets.

According to PwC’s 2016 Holiday Outlook, pet owners will spend an average of $62 each this year on dogs, cats or both. We analyzed 3.5 million site searches that took place across eight different pet sites that use SLI Systems Learning SearchTM. The study focused on searches from the beginning of November through Cyber Week, but excluded searches for pet supplies like food or medicine in order to focus on likely gift items.



Here are some of the interesting things we found:

  • Dog gifts are 2x more popular than cat gifts Searches containing the word “dog” were 2.5x more common than those containing “cat.”
  • Dogs all set for slumber Across the globe, site searches for “dog bed” were nearly 2x more common than the second most popular item: “dog collar.” The remainder of the top ten, in order, were: toys, treats, coats, bowls, sweaters, crates, chews, and bones.
  • Cats want to play and scratch Sixteen percent of cat-related searches were for “cat toy,” earning the leading spot among the most popular cat gifts this season. Also clawing their way into the top ten, in order: “scratch” items, beds, catnip, collars, treats, carriers, bowls, trees, and of course, condos
  • Diggin’ for Deals Searches for dog products accompanied by the word “sale” were 16% more common within dog-related searches than when “sale” was used within cat-related searches, indicating dog owners are more likely to seek discounts.

U.S. Highlights California and New York Into Pet Gifts

  • Top Five Dog-Loving States Dogs are living the dream in California, where 9.2% of all dog-related site searches originated. Grabbing 7.7% of dog item searches was New York State, followed by Florida (5.8%) and then Pennsylvania and Texas, which virtually tied with 5.7%.
  • Top Five Cat-Loving States Cats also find the most comfort in California. More than 10% of U.S. searches for cat products originated in the Golden State, with New York (8.9%) close behind, followed in order by Pennsylvania (6.5%), Florida (6.1%) and Wisconsin (5.8%). New York and California also virtually tied for top searches for “kitten” items.

It’s understandable that the highest percentage of searches for pet gifts came from California, since it’s the most populous state in the U.S., with more than 39 million residents, followed by Texas (27.5), Florida (20.3 million), New York (27.5 million) and Illinois (12.9 million) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2015). Wisconsin, with about 5.8 million residents, however, ranks 21st in population, making the state’s love of furry felines especially notable.

To learn more about how SLI Systems addresses the e-commerce acceleration needs of pet retailers, take a look at the Pets industry sector page on our website.