This article is the final article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your pet store and make it a success.
Creative marketing ideas can generate buzz, deliver value to your customers and increase profits for you. Try these pet store marketing creative ideas and resources to boost your business this year:
Host an event – Events are a good way to connect with customers, build your brand and makes sales. Try an adoption day, or “tryout day,” whereby customers can come in and play with your puppies, kittens and other animals to see which they would like to adopt. Hold classes and seminars on your niche subjects; from dog grooming to fish tank cleaning and maintenance. If you sell exotic birds, develop a course to train birds to talk. Have manufacturers come in for pet supply product demonstrations, or partner with a dog trainer for a quick hands-on dog training course (which you can use to upsell dog training services).
Partner with others – Partnering with complementary and non-competing businesses is a great way to network and develop cross promotions that benefit everyone. As mentioned, you could invite a dog trainer to put on a class at your pet store. The trainer could make sales, and you would get a commission. You could also contract a trainer, tank cleaner or other professional to provide services directly through your pet store. To save marketing costs, you could pitch in together to develop a robust direct-mail marketing campaign. Develop a multiple service package or offer a discount at your pet store to those who purchase services from your partners. This is also a good way to extend your mailing list.
Creative message placement – You don’t have to stick with traditional advertising outlets. In fact, the more creative your message placement, the more likely your pet store is to stand out from the crowd. See if you can purchase ad space from local veterinarians. You can put stickers on waiting room magazines, for example; or you could ask veterinarians who euthanize to hand out guides on coping with the loss of a beloved pet.
Promote unique angles – Capitalize on what makes your pet store unique. Develop creative product and service names so you can brand not only your company, but individual product and service offerings. Instead of simply stating you’re offering bird training classes, give your course a name: “Beak Speak: Teach Your Bird to Talk.”
Sell complementary products and services – Point-of-sale products, upsells, and other complementary products and services can dramatically increase your profit margin. If you sell reptiles, offer a discount on crickets; if you sell grooming services, upsell a luxury conditioning treatment, nail trimming, or sell a special grooming brush so customers can maintain their pet’s care at home. If someone comes in looking for a fish and an aquarium, also show them the necessities (such as water conditioner) and accessories (such as plastic castles) that will make their pet happy.
Links to pet store marketing resources you can use to bolster business.
Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov) – Helpful guides, forms and sample marketing plans for small businesses. The SBA also supports Small Business Development Centers throughout the United States.
SCORE (www.score.org) – The Service Corps Of Retired Executives provides free advice in the form of online information and business counseling. Simply contact one of SCORE’s volunteer members for business mentorship.