It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot about our way of life. Undoubtedly one of the most significant changes is the way in which we gather. As a result, we have seen many of our treasured industry shows, including PFEXPO, either canceled, postponed, or testing virtual formats to keep attendees, exhibitors, and workers safe. If you attended Global Pet Expo 2020 just weeks before the world shut down, then you can remember the feeling of impending change. Empty booths, quiet whispers, and the questioning looks when you saw someone sporting a mask as they walked through the aisles. We didn't know at the time, but everything was about to change.
Local neighborhood pet stores have accounted for approximately 4-5% of the estimated $38 billion dollars spent on pet food and treat sales sold so far in the U.S. in 2020. However small that might seem, independent pet stores still represent the best source for information, premium products, and services for consumers and their pets. One of the biggest challenges in growing independent pet’s share of the industry pie is customer acquisition. Meaning, how many customers businesses are able to gain and maintain walking through their doors, or shopping online with them on a regular and prolonged basis.
Gain valuable insight into the behavior of the modern pet consumer and start effectively connecting with your customers.
It's here, the sprint toward the end of the year! That's right, believe it or not, the holiday season is nearly upon us and it is time to start planning. This holiday season, 94.2% of consumers are set to purchase a gift for their pet. This is a huge selling opportunity for an independent pet retailer like yourself. Besides stocking up on inventory and creating attractive displays, there’s another tactic you can use to attract customers during the holidays and throughout the year. Promotions. Should be easy enough right? Fortunately, everybody loves a sale, and this super simple idea appeals to new customers while also rewarding loyal ones. All you need to do is get creative with your promotions and help create a seasonal customer experience that will draw them into your store during these peak retail shopping months.
Providing pet parents with the products and services they need to make sure that they come back for more will always be one of your main goals as an independent pet retailer. It’s easy to learn about your customers by asking them questions while they are in your store; however, we often forget that to build a truly valuable relationship it has to go both ways. In order to make lasting connections with your customers and your community, you need to prove your value. Sharing the story behind your business, not only the what and the how you do it, but more importantly the why you do what you do, and most importantly why pet parents should shop with you over your competition is the value proposition you need to succeed.
It is no secret that creating a memorable in-store experience is one of the biggest ways independent pet retailers can compete with big-box stores and boost their sales. Several factors contribute to a customer’s experience in your store such as interactions with knowledgeable staff, engaging events, and an inviting store layout. The look and design of your store is one of the things that will make a lasting impression on customers both old and new. Taking a strategic approach to merchandising your store will not only improve the customer journey but ultimately boost your bottom line.
Instagram is no longer just a social media platform for personal use, in fact, there are more than 25 million business profiles on Instagram. For businesses, Instagram can be an excellent tool to help humanize your brand, engage with customers, showcase products and services, and most importantly boost sales! As the fastest-growing social media platform, it is more important than ever that small businesses have a presence on Instagram. As a busy pet retailer, it may be overwhelming to try and figure out how to use all of Instagram's features to your advantage but our quick start guide can help you get a jump on it.