Holiday Ideas for Pet Stores

When do the holidays really start? Are we late to the pawty here? Day before Halloween is cutting it a little close? Is Halloween a real holiday?

These are the questions that keep us up at night.

No but really, as pet store owners it can sometimes feel like the holidays somehow, year after year, sneak up on you. They can go by in a blur and hopefully be good and big for business. However, if you aren’t taking the time to prepare, plan, and market your holiday ideas, events, products, promotions, and otherwise, then it can all seem like there’s too much going on and not enough hands on deck. Sound familiar? If so, you should consider setting up a discovery call with us so some of those tasks can be delegated to pet industry marketing professionals ike us.

So, before November truly hits (you have a little bit of time, just enough!), the team here at Pet Engine Marketing are going to give you a few holiday ideas for pet stores to run with. Seeing as 94% of pet parents intend to purchase a gift for their fur babies this year, these holiday ideas for pet stores are a great way to capitalize on this time of year (Source: Pet Business).

Holiday Ideas for Pet Stores

We don’t want to get too deep into any one thing here because we try to keep these Insider posts manageable and quick enough to get what you need from them to improve your pet store’s marketing strategy. Stay tuned to the rest of our holiday-themed retail tips by subscribing to our once-a-month emails and following our social channels.

It’s Giving Season

One of our client’s campaign using strategic local partnerships and cause marketing to their benefit

One of our client’s campaign using strategic local partnerships and cause marketing to their benefit

A great way to build a positive relationship with other local organizations, your customers, and online is to engage in a charity-based partnership this month and reap the benefits of “cause marketing.” Consider collecting donations for a local rescue or shelter, throwing a fundraising event, or otherwise partnering where you can have an impact on the local pet community.

Your customers will love it, the organization you work with will be appreciative, and you’ll help pets in need. Win, win, win!

A few pointers:

  • Choosing the right organization is critical! From the standpoint of your pet store’s marketing, look for organizations that have a large following or client base of pet parents in your area. It’s great to collect donations and raise funds, it would also be great if engaging in these activities (which may or may not cut into your margins) can result in a positive impact in your business by gaining new customers, increasing your visibility online, or building on or starting the foundation of a strong partnership for referrals.

  • Social media is your best friend for things like this! Don’t forget to post regularly on Facebook, Instagram (especially if you or the org can collect donations online), and Google My Business.

  • Make sure your employees are on board and talking about it! A huge part of collecting donations is based on impulse (Source: Pew Research Center).

Special Products for Special Times

To get the basics out of the way, there are a few items that your pet store really needs to be selling and marketing come holiday season, and these are NOT what this portion of the post is about:

  • Winter items (sweaters, paw balm, booties or mittens, ice melter)

  • Holiday flavored treats and foods

mystery box.jpg

Those are the necessities, and what’s expected of pet stores. Here’s the fun part, pick one of these ideas and see what happens:

  • Holiday mystery box - customers pay $10, $20, or $30 and get a mystery box of goodies. Prepare as ordered and have them available for in-store pickup. Give options for a variety of pets. Use samples from vendors to your benefit here!

  • Send out Christmas Cards from your store to your top 50 customers with a coupon and a personal thank you - you’ll see them in your store, and their friends will hear about it!

  • Give the option to mail out a product or products as gifts to friends or customers. The key to this is making the options easy for shoppers - they want to pay for it, and then they want you to do it, and then they want to get the thank-you text from their friend a few weeks later! Hands off, easy, and thoughtful.

For the first and last options, offering these online is a GREAT idea because customer’s don’t necessarily need to know what they’re getting or giving. Furthermore, 69% of millennials intend to use their phone to shop this year, so you’ve got to get in front of them online (Source: OpenX). Fulfilling these orders as they come in doesn’t have to be a huge extra burden on your staff either.

Holiday pet photoshoots are consistent winners

Holiday pet photoshoots are consistent winners

Capitalize on the Occasion

It’s holiday season, so if you aren’t throwing an event (or two!) you’re missing out on all consumers being willing to spend a little extra on items and experiences. Here’s a few event ideas the get more people in your store for a few more minutes and to continue to build your community:

  • Holiday photoshoot (time it appropriately so pet parents can use these for holiday cards they may be sending out!

  • Holiday dog cookie decorating sessions

  • Fundraising day or event for a local organization

  • Thanksgiving feast (have your reps and vendors come by and set up small tasting stations for the doggos)

Holidays Ideas for Pet Stores

Hopefully you’ve found a few of these holiday ideas for pet stores to be good or inspiring. What kind of holiday ideas have worked in your pet store? We’d love to hear from our audience so comment below if you’d be so kind.

The point of the holidays is to give a little more, go a little further, and do a little better. Our team at Pet Engine Marketing thinks some of these ideas can help you achieve those goals and keep you, and your pet store, in the holiday spirit.

For more resources, information, and ideas, this guide to holiday retail by Pet Business is pretty thorough.