Within the past few years, there has been a major shift in the pet industry towards more sustainable practices. With the fast growing concern for our planet’s welfare, many companies within the pet industry (and beyond) are taking a long hard look at their personal effect on the environment and are beginning to change how they do business. Not only that, but as consumers become more aware of their impact on the planet they are seeking out sustainable brands and products more than ever before. As a retailer, you play a huge role in helping promote sustainability to this growing number of concerned consumers. Today on Earth Day it is the perfect time for you to begin taking steps towards the sustainable future consumers want.
Creating a unique shopping experience and building customer loyalty is the most surefire way to beat out big box stores and online retail giants. You can offer insights and advice to pet parents that they can't get anywhere else and by doing this you offer a more personalized shopping experiencing. Manufacturer frequent buyer discounts paired with your own rewards program is another great way to improve the customer experience and grow customer retention. Research shows that acquiring new customers can cost 5x more than retaining current customers and by increasing retention by just 5 percent through customer loyalty programs you can boost revenue by 75 percent. Wow!
Gain valuable insight into the behavior of the modern pet consumer and start effectively connecting with your customers.
This year's Global Pet Expo marked its 15th year and was the biggest event to date. In fact, with just over 352,300 square feet of exhibiting space,1173 manufacturer booths, 1000 new products, and over 30-plus hours of free educational seminars it has just about everything you need to learn and grow your pet retail business. We did the math, and with a total of 29 hours of showtime and approximately 1173 booths to explore that would give the average person roughly 1 minute and 28 seconds respectively at each booth. That is with no breaks at all. No lunch, no sitting, just one booth to the next. It's almost hard to comprehend!
In the age of online retail, it is more important than ever to have a reliable customer base. When you have the same consumers repeatedly return to your store for expert advice and products that they can only receive from you and your staff, this creates a bond of respect, trust, and cash flow for your business. The goal is to be continually assisting and educating the customer on their journey with their pet. In terms of pet health, there is always something to be focusing on that you (the local pet expert) have solutions for.
In the fight to compete with online and big box retailers, one of the strongest tools for the independent pet retailer is offering services. A groomer, daycare, training, self-service wash, or boarding will help increase traffic and widen your customer base. However, just getting them in the door doesn’t mean that they will also shop your shelves. There is some work and selling required. So take the time to get your team on board so you can tackle services in your store.
While it’s not necessary for dogs to perform circus tricks, having good manners is always appreciated. Dogs have to be taught that you don’t want them jumping on people, that the couch isn’t a chew toy, and that sitting in place will earn them praise. Despite what many think, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, whether the dog is 10 weeks old or 10 years old it is never too late to start training. This is why the Association of Professional Dog Trainers dedicates the month of January to educating pet owners on why dog training is important. Now is the time to be prepared for customers looking for all the tools they need to train their four-legged family members.