Pet Loyalty Programs: Top 5 Software Providers

by Brad Tanner | May 7, 2024

Now, more than ever, pets are considered valued family members — and the pet industry has seen double-digit growth in the last year.

Pet stores are taking advantage of this trend, and turning to pet loyalty programs as a strategic tool to foster long-term relationships with their customers. 

These programs offer more than just perks; they provide a unique opportunity for pet stores to differentiate themselves by rewarding loyal shoppers with discounts, exclusive offers, and individualized shopping experiences. By understanding and implementing effective loyalty program practices, pet care businesses enhance customer retention and drive sales growth.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of pet loyalty programs, and how they can boost your sales and grow your pet shop.

Retain Customers With Better Pet Loyalty Programs

It’s one of the most trusted rules of retail — to sell more, focus on existing customers

For a sustained sales boost, start with your existing customers. Your pet store already has an established relationship, and you’ll increase sales by introducing your customers to more of your existing products and services. 

There are several reasons why focusing on selling to the customers you have is more efficient than spending time finding new customers:

  • It's less expensive. Acquiring a new customer can cost substantially more than retaining an existing one. Your pet store won't have to spend as much money on marketing and sales to reach them.
  • It's more effective. Existing customers are more likely to become loyal repeat customers than new ones. They know and trust your brand, and are more likely to be receptive to your marketing messages.
  • It's more profitable. Existing customers spend more money with you than new customers. They're already familiar with your products and services and have a positive experience with your company.
  • It's easier to build relationships. You have a relationship with your existing customers, so it's easier to expand that relationship and increase your customer’s loyalty to your pet store — leading to repeat business, happier customers, and referrals.

But how do you keep customers happy and returning to your pet store? Like most consumers, your pet store customers respond to incentives. A pet loyalty program may be just what your pet store needs. Let’s see what the benefits are.

8 Benefits of Pet Loyalty Programs

Let’s outline some of the details of how loyalty programs can drive sales and position your pet store for the future. Pet loyalty programs can:

  1. Boost customer retention:

    • Rewards incentivize repeat business, creating a loyal customer base.

    • Personalized experiences foster customer loyalty.

  2. Increase customer lifetime value:

    • Exclusive deals and early access to products encourage increased spending.

    • Customers invest more in their pets' health and well-being over time.

  3. Enhance customer experience:

    • Special treats and discounts for pet-related events make shopping enjoyable.

    • Memorable moments are created for pet owners and their furry companions.

  4. Provide valuable data:

    • Tracking purchases and preferences provides insights into customer trends.

    • Better stock management and targeted product offerings are enabled.

  5. Strengthen brand image:

    • A well-designed loyalty program reinforces a positive brand identity.

    • Customers develop a sense of belonging to a community of pet lovers.

  6. Improve competitive advantage:

    • A loyalty program differentiates your pet store from your competitors.

    • It creates a unique selling proposition that attracts and retains customers.

  7. Encourage word-of-mouth marketing:

    • Satisfied customers spread positive experiences through word of mouth.

    • This can attract new customers and increase brand visibility.

  8. Increase revenue and profitability:

    • Loyal customers spend more money over time.

    • This leads to increased revenue and profitability for your pet store.

Loyalty programs are proven to be a successful strategy in the retail space. Now that we’ve explored the benefits of loyalty programs for pet stores, let's look at a few strategies you can employ to create an effective program.

Related Read: Unleashing the Power of Customer Data: Leveraging Your POS System for Pet Stores

7 Strategies for Pet Loyalty Programs

So, what should you do to create a pet store loyalty or rewards program for your pet store? There are a variety of strategies you can use. Here are a few.

Memberships and Subscriptions

Offer your customers opportunities to receive early access to exclusive products or recurring products. You’ll enchant your customers and create a sustainable revenue stream.

Event Rewards

Celebrate holidays and special events with your customers. Tie loyalty promotions to annual or triggered events such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, bounce-backs, or extra-point campaigns.

Per Visit Rewards

Reward your customers with reward points based on a per-visit minimum purchase. You’ll boost average transaction value, and get more customers through the door and visitors online. 

Percentage of Amount Spent 

Customers earn reward points based on the total amount spent before tax. This strategy rewards customers directly for spending more, and tying rewards points directly to credit in-store and online purchases drives additional traffic.

Item or Category Rewards

Tie pet loyalty programs directly to an item or category of products. Offer a greater incentive or double points for products that indicate higher transaction value or are related to high-ticket items.

Rewards Reminders

Check your customers' loyalty points value and communicate it to your customers. When customer points are communicated directly on the receipt, in emails, or prompted at the point of sale (POS), customers will return to redeem rewards and spend more.

Automated Expiration

Schedule expiration dates for unused reward points. Avoid the liability of rewards points that don’t expire by setting a regular schedule for retiring rewards.

So, you're convinced you need to implement a better pet loyalty program. Where do you start? For pet loyalty programs, there are a few solutions. Many of the big box pet retailers have custom-built systems. There are also stand-alone generic loyalty programs and integrated point of sale loyalty programs. Additionally, some pet-specific POS systems have more extensive pet loyalty programs. 

Let’s look at the options for independent pet stores.

Pet Loyalty Programs for Independent Pet Stores

There are essentially three options for independent pet stores.

First, many leading online POS providers offer loyalty and rewards programs. We’ll take a closer look at two of them — Square and Shopify. These all-purpose POS solutions understand the value of loyalty programs and enable pet store owners to configure their system to the needs of their pet store.

Second, there are stand-alone generic loyalty programs that service a broad range of retailers. These software providers have created loyalty programs that for the most part operate separately from your existing POS. However, some strive to make integrations as painless as possible. 

Third, with the specialization of pet store POS systems, software providers that focus on the pet industry have partnered with pet supply distributors to create pet loyalty programs that include vertically integrated rewards programs targeted to pet store owners.

Now that we better understand the options, let’s look at five of the top software providers.

Top 5 Pet Loyalty Program Software Providers

First, we’ll look at what generic POS systems provide — then, we’ll explore some more targeted programs.

1. Square

Created for: general retailers that want a simple rewards solution

Square is a solid POS solution for retailers that want to simply offer a reward for each purchase. It can be quickly customized to the preferences of the store and enrollment is tied to the customer's phone number. Notifications are sent by text for transactions online and in store when a customer reaches reward levels.

With Square, you can:

  • Run limited-time or recurring promotions.
  • Add digital loyalty pass to customers’ Apple Wallet.
  • Customize VIP tiers to offer multiple reward points.

Pricing: Square loyalty plans start at $45 per month per location for 0–500 loyalty visits, plus the cost of the Square POS.

2. Shopify

Created for: retail outlets that want a flexible loyalty program

Shopify App Store allows many loyalty programs to be integrated into the Shopify platform. There are hundreds of apps to choose from. Simply select the app that best fits your needs, install it, and configure it to your needs.

With Shopify, you can:

  • Choose from hundreds of loyalty rewards programs.
  • Design a loyalty program to fit your pet store’s needs.
  • Gather information and data from program participants.

Pricing: Each Shopify App Store application is individually priced. Prices start at free to try and up.

3. Loyalty Lion

Created for: retailers that want a system independent of their POS

Loyalty Lion is a stand-alone loyalty software provider. Their loyalty program can be added to POS systems like Shopify or used as a parallel software to your POS.

With Loyalty Lion, you can:

  • Reward pet owners with points for completing surveys and quizzes.
  • Introduce customers to new products with free product rewards.
  • Choose discounts, free shipping, or donating pet products when redeeming rewards.

Pricing: Plans start at $249 per month.

4. Astro Loyalty

Created for: pet stores that want a full featured loyalty program

Astro Loyalty is an integrated rewards program for independent pet stores. Additionally, Astro Loyalty includes communication tools to help you connect with customers.

With Astro Loyalty, you can: 

  • Integrate with limited pet store POS systems.
  • Offer adoption rewards with the purchase of pets.
  • Extend your text, email, and social media marketing.

Pricing: Frequent Buyer program is $49.50 per month.

5. eTailPet

Created for: independent pet stores looking for an integrated loyalty program

eTailPet is a POS system designed specifically for independent pet stores. eTailpet offers a native loyalty and rewards program in addition to a complete integration with Astro Loyalty.

With eTailPet, you can:

  • Offer your customers exclusive, members-only discounts or promotions.
  • Integrate with the leading pet loyalty program — Astro Loyalty.
  • Generate recurring revenue with monthly subscriptions.

Pricing: Request a custom quote for your pet store. 

How To Implement a Pet Loyalty Program: Next Steps

Now that you’ve evaluated your pet loyalty program needs, it’s time to decide on a POS software solution that fits your pet store best.

eTailPet works with hundreds of pet stores to meet and exceed expectations to boost sales with an all-in-one pet loyalty program. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line integrated pet store loyalty program, eTailPet has the solution for you.

See eTailPet in action by scheduling a personalized demo today.

Want to learn more about eTailPet? Schedule a demo.