For those of you that weren’t able to make it to Pet Connections Expo this past year, we’re going to break down one of our popular campfire session topics. This particular topic was focused on 2019 trends for retailers, marketers, and pet store owners, ultimately providing some takeaways and ideas for pet store owners to market their stores in creative ways that will draw the eye and bring in business.
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Making the Most of your Marketing
Let’s dig into trends for retailers, ways that we’ve seen successful businesses think outside the box with great results.
Subscription Models: Want more passive income? Subscription models are great for both consumers and businesses. Think of major subscription boxes like BarkBox, FabFitFun, or Dollar Shave Club. These businesses are dropshipping products to subscribers on a monthly and yearly basis, so they never touch inventory and continue to bring in new business, as well as tie in funding from the content of their boxes (if it’s not their own). They are often making a huge markup on these subscription plans due to the streamlined supply chain and logistics processes.
In-Store Experiences: The days where retail can just be retail are over. We’ve seen retail giants like GameStop, Apple, and Sephora completely redefine the purposeof a retail store by offering experiences that get consumers in their doors for reasons other than purchasing a product (which they can do online). As an example, Apple has become a community hub for creators, assistance, ideas, innovation, and more. GameStop is trying to outgrow some negative publicity of taking advantage of consumers by offering a place for gamers to actually play, and it’s not just video games - they’ve gone oldschool by offering board games, outdated game console stations, and more. This is a huge part of our model at Pet Engine Marketing. For more information on that, schedule a free discovery call with one of our pet store marketing experts.
Customer Convenience: Customers are people, and people have different preferences. Some customers want to do it themselves, others want assistance. Some want it delivered to their doorstep, some want to feel and experience the store. The point is, giants like Kroger and Starbucks are making it easier for customers of all types to get what they want. Look at the Starbucks App and how much faster it’s made the drive through window. Look at Kroger and how you can pre-order your groceries and have them delivered to your car. These innovations are for the busybodies that don’t want to spend time in the store or shop, and their needs are being catered to.
Video marketing: It’s everywhere, and it should be. The stats back it up, video marketing outperforms standard text and image posts in nearly every possible metric. So, it’s going everywhere. Even Instagram, which made it’s name as an image-based social media platform, has introduced the wildly popular and powerful IGTV. Check out our directory of Insider posts for more information on IGTV.
Personalization: Your consumers don’t want to be treated like consumers. They want to be treated like customers. They don’t want clutter or wasted ads that are irrelevant or low quality. They are becoming more and more immune to that kind of advertising. They are craving brands that care for them, care about them, understand them and their needs, and are speaking languages they understand.
Influencers: A huge growth area for marketing and social media platforms in the past few years, influencers can have huge results on brand popularity, reach, sales, and more. Used correctly, they can be the backbone of your marketing strategy. Used incorrectly and they are basically useless!
Pet Industry Trends
Health consciousness: More and more pet parents want to know what they’re feeding their pets. They’re also more and more willing to try new products that are focused on health, nutrition, sustainability, and environmentalism. Brands that are embracing these features are seeing big growth as millennials continue to claim that they like their dogs more than they like people.
Diversification of services: Pet stores that are combining offerings like pet boarding, doggie daycare, grooming, retail, and even human offerings (coffee/bars/etc) are bringing in a ton of profit. Customers that are already loyal to your pet store would love to be at an all-in-one location where they can shop, get their dog’s nails trimmed, and grab a cup of coffee. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one area!
Spending: Pet parents are spending more money than ever and the pet industry continues to grow, reaching nearly $80bn this year. Pet parents are willing to shell out more money on things that weren’t available in the past, such as CBD products, pet technology, alternative health and therapy, pet insurance, and beyond.
Making the Most of your Marketing
Combining All 3
Some of our clients have already made the connections between some of these trends and have had huge years! That’s really exciting. We’ve got some ways to take advantage of these trends and make the most of your marketing for your pet store in 2020.
Maximize customer convenience and the in-store experiences by increasing store offerings. Consider strategic partnerships and events with other local businesses (vets for CPR days or microchipping, pet photographers for holiday photoshoots, bring dog walkers and trainers in for educational opportunities). Turn your retail space into space where an experience can happen. Offer coffee, some reading material, and a place to sit. Allow your customers to spend more time in your store and build your connection with them.
Simple personalization of messaging and basic subscription services doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult to do. Sign on with Pet Engine Marketing and we can enact some email marketing processes that will bring your customers in on shopping anniversaries, birthdays (for pets and people), loyalty rewards, and more. Personalized thank you notes to top shoppers would go a long way towards building brand advocates, so why haven’t you written any?
Create and share content that is focused on health, wellness, and/or the environment. Products reviews and new product features are a great idea on social media, especially if you are going Live. Ask your vendors and manufacturers to send you some marketing material if you don’t want to make it yourself. Lean on them some more for seminars and educational opportunities to talk about their product line, new offerings, nutritional benefits, and more.
Making the Most of your Marketing
We hope you can see that there are a ton of creative ways to transform your pet store and your pet store’s marketing strategy with just a few takeaways. They don’t even have to include the team at Pet Engine Marketing, but it’d be awesome if they did! We could at least take it all off your hands and handle it for you. If you want to do all these things and see some amazing growth in your pet store marketing, schedule a discovery call with us today and we’ll tell you about it.