Fur babies: increase your sales with pet clothing and accessories
There really is no better feeling than that first bond between a pet and its new owner: that first time a kitten sniffs its new best friend, that first lick of an excited puppy, or watching a beautiful fish explore its new aquatic habitat. With COVID-19 lockdowns responsible for a massive increase in pet sales and pet adoptions, more people than ever have been able to experience this joy more than ever.
However, as all major retailers know, the experience of owning a pet doesn’t end with selling the pet. Owning a new pet is just the first step in what can become a long and rewarding journey for the pet owner and retailer. However, this relationship only develops if it is nurtured, through quality customer service, a healthy stock of needed items, and innovative marketing. Of all the possibilities that a pet retailer can offer, accessories are one of the mainstays of any store looking to establish themselves as a mainstay for pet owners in their community.
The current focus on pet accessories stems from a new trend in the industry: the humanization of pets. Fueled by millennials and Gen Z members, the humanization of pets is, indeed, a shift in the way pet owners view their pets. Rather than just being a companion or servant, these pets are considered surrogate children. According to a 2019 study by Advantage Solutions, more than 90% of cat and dog owners consider their pets to be “part of the family,” and nearly 45% of survey respondents even go so far as to buy. pet items for special occasions, such as birthdays or holidays. In addition to increasing delays in typical life stages – marriage, home ownership, childbirth – some have come to view pets as almost replacing children.
Herein lies the opportunity for an enterprising retailer. While many stores are content to sell food, leashes, and other more traditional items, a store that sells pet clothing, specialty pet toys, decorations, and the like can operate a market. emerge and attract lifelong customers. Think about all the times you’ve come across a unique item in a specialty store; that feeling of “Oh, I wonder what other new things they might have!” »Ensures visits to your store, additional purchases and excellent word of mouth between pet owners. Add in well-stocked essentials and you can bank on additional sales whenever a pet owner decides to purchase food or bedding.
However, these accessories are only limited by your imagination and your current market. If your area has a large number of reptile or fish owners, consider adding a special section for items to accessorize an aquarium or terrarium. Unique item storage for this can include items from licensed properties – imagine a terrarium where frogs ride on Castle Grayskull from “Masters of the Universe” or an aquarium with the home of SpongeBob SquarePants and the other residents of Bikini. Bottom. If pets and their habitats become expressions of the tastes of their owners, tapping into that sense of individuality and brand identification allows you to connect with a whole new group of customers.
Alongside this, consider a clothing section, specifically for cats and dogs. Even a single rack of dog shirts or costumes has the potential to attract new customers, eager to see what else you might have, besides the cute hot dog costume for their dachshund. Take advantage of the holidays and other significant times of the year by offering seasonally appropriate options throughout the year. If your space allows, you may even consider providing a ‘photo booth’ or similar space, specifically designed for social media. Getting customers to share these images on your social media feed only fuels the fire, spreading the word about your store as a unique location, eager to meet the needs of a pet owner.
While some have decried the concept of humanizing pets, the fact remains that the trend seems to be here to stay. With a growing number of pet owners willing to spend on their “fur babies,” stocking your store with unique and fashionable accessories can both set your store apart from your competition and ensure continued activity for years to come. to come. While food and shelter will always be the mainstay, don’t overlook the desire of the younger generations to treat their pets like family.