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How To Start an Online Pet Boutique: 7 Steps to Success
images of pet inventory: food in a bowl, leash, grooming tools, and more

We love our four-legged friends — in fact, over 60% of U.S. households own a pet. Many pet owners consider their pets a “human” member of the family, so it’s no surprise premium online pet boutiques are increasingly popular.

But are you interested in opening an online pet store? In this blog, we’ll explore some interesting facts about pet ownership and the rise in pet shops, and how to start an online pet boutique in seven simple steps.

Pet Owner Shopping Trends: Fun Facts

Related Read: Understanding the Demand for Pet Services in Your Area: A Guide for Retail Pet Business Owners

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How to Start an Online Pet Boutique

Whether you're passionate about pets or seeking a niche market opportunity, understanding the essential steps to launch your online pet boutique is important. Luckily, we’ve outlined the steps to take to get your online pet boutique live.


Step 1: Conduct Market Research 

Like with any endeavor, it pays to do your research. An online pet store can sell many things. From chew toys and grooming supplies to organic pet food and medication, you need to narrow down what you want to sell. Are you targeting dog lovers, cat owners, or people with exotic pets like rare fish, reptiles, or arachnids?

Here are a few things to consider when conducting your research:

  •  Do you want to sell premium/luxury, mid-level, or budget-friendly pet supplies?
  •  Which types of pet owners are you targeting (dog owners, cat lovers, etc.)?
  • How many competitors are there in the market?

Market research may be the most time-consuming part of opening an online pet boutique, but it can repay you in dividends if done thoroughly.

Related Read: Create Your Pet Store Business Plan: 7 Steps to Success


Step 2: Develop Your Brand Identity

After conducting your market research, you’ll narrow down what pet supplies you want to sell and who you’re targeting. Now, it’s time to develop a plan and identity.

When developing a brand identity, it’s helpful to know that city dwellers and women tend to spend more on their pets than rural or male pet owners. This will help you develop everything from your brand statement to the look and feel of your website and graphics. Your brand identity can include:

  • Your brand name
  • Your mission statement
  • Brand logos
  • Brand style guide, including fonts, color pallets, and brand voice

Make sure your brand identity speaks to your audience, reflecting what they care about to create a strong connection. A thoughtful brand identity helps you bond emotionally with your audience.


Step 3: Choose the Right E-Commerce Platform

Next, you need to decide where you’re going to sell your products. There are plenty of platforms to help you create your own website — a pet-specific point of sale (POS)  can help with this — but you can also sell on platforms like Amazon and Shopify.

These platforms typically provide easy-to-use interfaces, customizable themes, and powerful tools for “do-it-yourselfers” to create and run online pet stores without a huge team.

Look for a platform that integrates seamlessly with your POS system to keep everything running like clockwork. Utilizing online platforms can give you many avenues for reaching customers.


Step 4: Curate High-Quality Pet Products and Services

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Carefully curate a selection of high-quality products and services that align with your pet boutique’s values and meet the needs of your target audience. Consider offering exclusive or niche products that differentiate your boutique from competitors. Ensure product descriptions are informative and engaging to attract and retain customers. Popular products you could sell in your online pet boutique include:

  • High-quality dog food
  • Eco-friendly pet products
  • Pet apparel and accessories
  • High-quality pet grooming supplies
  • Toys and interactive games
  • Pet beds and furniture
  • Health and wellness products (supplements and dental care)
  • Training and behavior aids
  • Pet-themed gifts and novelty items

The possibilities are endless. If you choose to eventually move to a brick-and-mortar location, you could also include services like self-service pet grooming and training courses.


Step 5: Enlist the Help of the Right POS System

The right point of sale system is like your right hand when starting a business — especially when you’re doing it independently. It can replace the need for lots of staff, help you connect with customers, manage inventory, and so much more.

Look for a platform like eTailPet, which is designed specifically for pet store owners. Whether you’re a seasoned brick-and-mortar store owner or a new entrepreneur, eTailPet has exactly what you need to manage your online pet store.  

eTailPet has the tools you need to:

  • Grow your presence online: Robust tools can help you garner reviews from happy customers, update listings, and engage online via social media.
  • Manage your pet store inventory: Find out which products are selling best with insightful data on inventory. This valuable intel can help you tailor your product offers, from gourmet organic pet food to bespoke collars and leashes.
  •  Reward repeat customers: An integrated rewards program keeps customers coming back by rewarding them for shopping with you. eTailPet’s Astro Rewards Program takes the hard work out of developing reward schemes so you can focus on marketing your products.
  •  Easy-to-use interface: It’s so simple to use, even your newest staff members will pick it up quickly. No more downtime and lost sales due to difficult software.

Related Read: The Benefits of Having an All-In-One POS System for Your Pet Store


Step 6: Implement a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy

Create a strong marketing plan to bring visitors to your online pet boutique and boost sales. Use a mix of digital strategies like search engine optimization (SEO), social media promotions, email marketing, and collaborations with influencers. Tap into the customer data from your all-in-one point of sale solution to tailor your marketing messages and build stronger connections with your customers.

Step 7: Start Selling and Watch Your Revenue Grow

Now that you've laid the groundwork, it's time to launch your online pet boutique and bring your vision to life.

Leverage your marketing efforts to drive traffic and engage with potential customers through social media, email campaigns, and partnerships with influencers in the pet industry.

As you start to make sales, monitor your performance metrics closely to optimize your strategies and capitalize on emerging trends. With dedication and a passion for pets, you'll soon see your efforts translate into growing revenue and a loyal customer base.

Launching an online pet boutique requires careful planning, strategic decision-making, and a passion for pets. By following these seven steps — from market research and brand development to choosing the right POS system like eTailPet — you can build a thriving online business that caters to pet lovers worldwide.

Schedule a demo today to see how eTailPet can help you start and grow your online pet boutique. 

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The eTailPet all-in-one point of sale has the Smart Order System inventory management tool to help you buy the products that are actually selling, and maximize your profits.