Founded in 1999, IPO in 2008, one billion revenue in 2017. zooplus AG is one of the most successful online pure players – not only in Germany, but all over Europe.
Starting with a turnover of €2m, the Munich-based company successfully increased its turnover to over €1.3bn in 2018. With a projected growth of 14% to 18% in 2019, zooplus is expected to generate over €1.5bn in its 20th anniversary year. This is an impressive development, which can be reconstructed by following the market entry years.
Shortly after its launch in Germany in 1999, zooplus entered the Austrian market at the turn of the millennium. The only expansion of the pet supplies expert until 2005. In 2005, the company’s revenue had climbed to €27m in the meantime, an extensive internationalization strategy was launched. Initially, the focus was on markets with the highest sales volumes in Europe. This included, among others, the United Kingdom, France, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, and Italy. In the second step, zooplus AG concentrated primarily on the remaining Eastern European markets and on parts of South-Eastern Europe. The result is impressive: Nowadays, zooplus runs 25 country-specific online stores and supplies 30 countries across Europe. However, market entries are not the only reason for the rapid growth in turnover. Since its foundation, zooplus has consistently and successfully positioned itself as a pure player, a company that specializes solely on eCommerce. Although Fressnapf, another German pet supply specialist, is leading the European total pet supply market (stationary and online), the roles are clearly distributed when it comes to eCommerce in general and the German eCommerce market in particular.
While the turnover of fressnapf.de amounted to approximately €85m in Germany in 2018, the eCommerce turnover of zooplus AG amounted to €308m in Germany, approximately €250m of which were generated solely through zooplus.de. The remaining €58m were generated through online stores that are also operated by zooplus AG and that are part of the strategy of the pet supply specialist. In 14 countries, zooplus runs an additional online store brand called bitiba, reflecting a discount concept primarily designed to appeal to price-sensitive customers. Additionally, medoca.com was launched at the end of 2018. A website that is also available in Germany and that focuses exclusively on the premium pet supply segment. In sum, zooplus has a multi-faceted approach. With the help of different concepts, different target groups are addressed. The result is a successive expansion of market power in the pet supply eCommerce. A strategy with which the zooplus AG also positions itself against the apparent superiority of amazon.de. In addition to the strict specialization of the product range, various service offers aim at further strengthening customer loyalty and market position. These offers include a search for veterinaries and a so-called pet profile, a program that enables the pet owner to save pet-related information. Based on this information, individual recommendations are made regarding product selection.
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