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.
Gain valuable insight into the behavior of the modern pet consumer and start effectively connecting with your customers.
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.
The New Year is almost here and as we all settle in for winter, with our own resolutions, why not throw one in for our pets? It’s easy in the pet food industry to forget that fresh is best when it comes to nutrition for ourselves and for our pets. We make resolutions to eat more salads, grab more greens, ditch fast food but what about our companions? Integrating raw foods into dogs and cats’ diets can make a huge difference in their health. Treating the freezer section of your store as an exclusive space, only for those committed to a 100% raw diet is the wrong approach.
Not every small business has the resources or marketing budget that bigger companies have. In fact, I find that most pet retailers are not even sure where to start when it comes to building their brand and telling their story. Even if you have a wealth of ideas you might not have the team to help put things into motion. Because of this, marketing can fall by the wayside as you tend to the more important tasks in your store. Maybe the answer to your marketing troubles is thinking smaller. Besides, sometimes it is the simple things in life that have the biggest impact.
Despite what some may think, sustainability can be much more than recycling and reducing your carbon footprint. In the pet industry, sustainability concerns play a major role in the production of many of our favorite brands. Research has found that cats and dogs make up 25 to 30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the United States each year. With this in mind, more and more members of the pet industry are making the effort to move towards more sustainable practices to protect and ensure the future of our planet.