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Fetching new opportunities: Enhancing the pet store experience

Summary

Fido, Buddy and Mr. Cat Crackers the bird. Americans love their pets. Millennials , who own 35% of all pets overall, consider themselves more than pet owners. They are pet parents and love Spot dearly. It’s no surprise that 68% of American households have a pet. The pet […]

Fido, Buddy and Mr. Cat Crackers the bird. Americans love their pets. Millennials , who own 35% of all pets overall, consider themselves more than pet owners. They are pet parents and love Spot dearly.

It’s no surprise that 68% of American households have a pet. The pet industry rakes in almost $70 billion annually and continues to grow year after year. It’s not just about pet food. Pet parents, especially those in the millennial generation, are big sellers of toys, accessories, leashes, and even pet outfits.

This sector has huge potential. How can pet shops best capitalize on these opportunities in-store?

Pet owners can have their pet’s best interests at heart

Some people consider a pet more important than a job, apartment, or even a home. A significant other.

However, such a thriving industry can lead to a very competitive market. The challenge is to help consumers differentiate and educate themselves about the different brands. Parents want to be as informed and empowered as possible to care for their child.

They are as concerned about their pets’ health as they are about themselves. They seek the best food – real proteins, non-GMO, no-GMO – safest toys and highest quality products. With informative cards, you can help your pet shopper make an informed decision about the best products for them.

You don’t just need to create “starter kits” for your puppy or kitten. Provide signage with seasonal tick medicine reminders and housebreaking tips.

You can also create sections to cater to older pets. With detailed signage, explain the products and how to best care for them. While millennials love cute accessories, they really want to care for their pets.

Give people and pets an unforgettable experience

Pet ownership is a social experience. Talk about your kitten’s behavior and share videos of their funny tricks every day. Walking your dog is a common activity. You often meet other dog owners. You meet other dog owners at the dog park. It’s easy to share something, so how come 75% want to purchase pet products online?

Pet stores should not be viewed as commodities. They need to make pet shopping more enjoyable and offer experiences that are shared with pet owners. Pet stores are now offering evening play, training and care events.

These events offer more than socialization for pets, which is very important for their overall health. They’re also social events for pet owners (also known by shoppers, customers, and so on). There are many options: you can have date nights with your partner and pet, spend Saturdays with your children, or host an ice cream social with just you and your puppy.

These events bring people into the store, motivated to take part in an experience they don’t have online and open to purchasing for their pet.

You can tap into deeply-rooted emotions

Animals are part of your daily life. Many people, particularly millennials, consider them part of their entire life. They have an inborn emotional connection to their pet and the entire animal kingdom.

Consider the possibilities of online animal videos. An adoptable shelter cat. A puppy who overcame all obstacles. A soldier returns home to be greeted enthusiastically by his dog. A rare pairing of a chick cuddling with a rabbit. These videos are extremely popular and tug at the heartstrings. The Dodo is the most viewed page on Facebook.

Pet stores, which are so popular and emotionally driven, can be surprisingly unmotivated and often boring. It’s possible to tap into the emotions of pet shopping by using key signage and displays. These videos can be shown in your store. Or you could use imagery and messaging that elicits an emotional response. The key to attracting customers is their loyalty and heart. They will buy from you no matter what.

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