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The quality of your pet store’s eCommerce website plays an integral part in the enterprise’s long-term success.  The challenge lies in creating an eCommerce site that converts.  

eTailPet is here to help.  We provide the industry’s best retail software for pet stores.  Here’s a quick look at what to focus on when planning and implementing your eCommerce website platform.

 

Importance of eCommerce in the Pet Industry

The days of competing with other pet stores strictly based on in-store sales are coming to a close.  Those who make the transition to the web expand their customer base, capture more market share and build customer loyalty.  

Some pet stores have completely shifted online while others maintain a hybrid online/offline business model.  A polished site can function on its own or reinforce offline business for a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.  

eTailPet is here to help you make the most of your online presence, setting the stage for a full or partial shift to the internet.

 

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Start With Research and Market Analysis

Your pet store target buyer personas are likely the same as those of other pet stores unless you have specialized in a certain type of pet or other pet-related niche.  Review your current customer demographic information to develop detailed buyer personas.  

If you have not yet collected information about your current and past customers, now is the time to do so.  Examples of methods to learn more about your customer base include:

  • Conducting surveys
  • Interviewing customers
  • Collecting information for drawings 
  • Information intake forms for email newsletter subscriptions

Understanding your current customer base is only half the battle in identifying the target market.  Pet ownership trends also matter.  Keep your finger on the pulse of the pet food and pet toy industry trends, get a sense of what types of pets are being sold or adopted at high rates and continue to identify niche markets as they arise.

When in doubt, take a look at what the competition is doing.  Though it is in your interest to distinguish your website from the rest of the competition, you can learn a few things from competing websites.  Surf the web over to other pet store sites, take notes and implement improvements to your site using the competition as inspiration.  

Moreover, if you notice competing sites are similar to your own, seize the opportunity to differentiate your site from the rest in creative ways.

 

Planning Your e-Commerce Website

The plan you develop for your eCommerce pet store site is just as important as the implementation and ongoing improvements.  Invest your time in the planning stage, lean on eTailPet for guidance and we’ll help you establish a clear brand identity online. 

Your online brand identity is largely defined by its logo and overarching design.  Such brand identifiers create recognizable points of familiarity that serve as the foundation for customer allegiance.  Present your company to online shoppers with a consistent brand voice and message, continue to update and enhance your online content with additional content and you’ll develop brand loyalty.

 

Choosing the Right e-Commerce Platform

No two eCommerce platforms are the same.  Furthermore, eCommerce platforms are not the same as online marketing platforms.  eCommerce platforms serve the purpose of facilitating purchases on the web while marketing platforms help pet store owners analyze online content in the context of conversions.  

eTailPet is here to help you compare the top platforms and select the best one for your unique business.  Everything from pricing to features, reliability and track record of success are to be considered.  Develop a budget, select a platform, set a timeline for your site’s development and you’ll generate the momentum necessary to quickly win favor with your target audience.

 

Designing an Intuitive and Engaging User Experience

A polished website is important for optics and conversions yet the user experience is essential to success.  The best pet store websites are easy to navigate, facilitate fast product information retrieval and empower shoppers to quickly checkout after selecting desired items.  eTailPet makes it that much easier to streamline website navigation for rapid conversions and enhanced customer loyalty.

The details matter a great deal in the context of pet store website user experience.  Showcase the products you are most interested in selling, feature their descriptions accordingly and make it easy to search through your online inventory.  

Mobile responsiveness matters most as people continue to gravitate away from traditional desktop computers to laptops, tablets, smartphones and other mobile web-connected computing devices.  According to Statista, nearly 60% of all online traffic now occurs on mobile devices. 

Google’s search algorithms are detailed to the point that they favor websites that are mobile responsive.  Test your website on a litany of mobile devices, ensure the site’s pages look perfect on each device and load in three seconds or less.

 

Ensuring a Secure and Smooth Checkout Process

It is often said that the cardinal sin of business is leaving money on the table due to a lack of supply or inefficient processes.  A clunky checkout process or one that confuses or chews up time will deter conversions.  The last thing your pet store business needs is to invest time and money developing a site only for a flawed checkout process to hamper sales.  

Select the optimal payment gateway with eTailPet’s assistance, implement truly secure measures to provide customers with an invaluable peace of mind and simplify the shopping cart checkout process to boost sales.

 

Implementing Marketing Strategies to Drive Traffic

SEO, short for search engine optimization, is integral to pet store sales success on the web.  Conduct keyword research to pinpoint the words and phrases your audience is searching for on the web, weave in those words/phrases throughout your content and your site will move up the search engine results pages (SERPs).  

SEO extends to social media.  Add keywords and key phrases to your social media content.  Regularly update your pages on the top platforms ranging from Meta (Facebook) to Twitter, LinkedIn and beyond.  

An online monologue will not suffice.  Maintain a dialogue with your online visitors to show you care about their needs, problems and concerns.  Reinforce your online and offline marketing efforts with expertly written emails and you’ll plant a metaphorical seed that sprouts in the form of increased sales.  

 

Providing Excellent Customer Service

A confused or lost customer who cannot find answers to questions or concerns will inevitably stray to competitor sites.  Establish customer support channels through the following for heightened responsiveness:

  • Online chats
  • Emails
  • Customer service phone number 

When in doubt, err on the side of being more lenient with your return policy to encourage customers to remain loyal, post positive reviews and steer online and offline traffic to your business through word-of-mouth referrals. 

 

Monitoring and Optimizing Your eCommerce Website

Continue to monitor and optimize your eCommerce website using online analytics for performance tracking.  This treasure trove of information helps pinpoint weaknesses for improvement.  Update and improve your online store using the collected information and you’ll catalyze sales all the more.

 

eTailPet Grows Pet Store Businesses

Now that you have an understanding of why eCommerce websites for pet stores are essential for continued success, it is time to take action.  eTailPet is here to help you create the best possible online pet store.  Our all-in-one retail point-of-sale platform is expertly crafted to help you manage all components of your pet business.

Reach out to our online pet store specialists today to learn more about how we can make your business grow faster than the competition and capture market share.  You can reach us by phone at 323-370-0738 and by email at info@etailpet.com.

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