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pet retail management tips

The pet retail industry is huge — and it’s not going to stop growing anytime soon. 

As a pet store owner, this is great news. It’s exciting to hear that your line of work is projected to see even more success as time goes on.

But because the industry is growing, you need to be equipped with the right tools to fight off the competition. Usually, you aren’t just selling to one animal type, you need the right equipment for a large variety of pets.

Pet retail management can seem like a lot to face, but once you hone in on the right processes, you’ll start seeing how simple it can be.

Here are 10 tips to help you effectively manage your pet retail business, so you can boost your sales and improve your overall operations.


Related Read: Small Pet Business: 9 Profitable Retail Ideas


Tip 1: Optimize Store Layout

Because pet stores tend to sell a wide variety of products, having an easy-to-navigate layout is important for your customers — especially because they usually shop with their pets and don’t want to aimlessly wander. For the most part, you want your customers to easily get what they need and check out as soon as possible.

Mindfully organizing your store layout also gives you an opportunity to put eye-catching products in front of your customers. For example, if a customer wants to go in to get a new dog bowl, you can also place water-wicking dog mats next to the bowls to encourage them to buy more.

Your pet store’s layout not only keeps your customers happy, but is a vital part of overall pet retail management. An optimized layout will boost your sales in no time.


Related Read: Improve Your Customers’ Shopping Experience: Tips To Create an Effective Pet Store Layout


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Tip 2: Leverage Data-Driven Insights

Assuming your customers’ behavior without data-driven insights is useless. You should never make big changes to your pet store operations without solid data analysis. Luckily, data-driven changes can help your pet store succeed much faster.

To get clean data, you need software that gives you data customized for your pet store. This way, you can better understand buying behavior, product trends, and product popularity.

With proper data, you can lessen product waste and, in turn, save money for your pet store. For example, let’s say a specific cat tree goes viral on social media over the summer and is flying off the shelves. You know that when you’re ready to order more cat toys, you should focus on that viral product.

Let’s continue with the cat toy example — say it starts to lose popularity, but goes viral again next summer. You can safely assume that this cat toy will be most popular in the summer months. Now, instead of buying this toy with the same frequency throughout the year, you can stock more in the summer months.

Once you find a software that gives you proper data, make sure to analyze it often so you can pivot when needed. With this pet retail management strategy, you’ll see quick success.


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


Tip 3: Enhance Customer Loyalty Programs

Nothing has more impact on business growth than a loyal customer — and one of the best ways to gain and maintain customer loyalty is through a rewards program.

Think of Nike, one of the most popular companies in the world. Their loyalty program doesn’t just give their customers points for buying from their store — they give a sense of community.

Even though your pet store might not be as big as Nike, you can give that same sense of community to your customers through a customer loyalty program. Once you’ve created your customer loyalty program, promote it! Make your customers excited about coming into your pet store.

The good thing about pet retail is you already have a huge sense of community within the industry. Take advantage of that and create a customer loyalty program where the pet community can thrive.


Related Read: Pet Loyalty Programs: Top 5 Software Providers


Tip 4: Implement Pet-Specific Point of Sale Systems

Pet retail management and point of sale (POS) go hand in hand. You need a good POS system in order to have a thriving pet shop, so it’s imperative that you find a POS system that’s specifically made for pet stores

A good POS system collects the right data and information, so you can make informed data-driven business decisions. Without comprehensive POS software, you can’t make proper changes for your pet store to thrive.

In addition to collecting customer buying data, your POS system should have a catalog of popular pet products so that you can easily manage your store’s inventory both online and in store.

One of the biggest mistakes pet businesses make is buying POS software that isn’t made specifically for their industry. Do your research and find the right POS system — your pet shop’s efficiency will soar.


Tip 5: Develop an Online Presence

E-commerce is vital for small businesses. These days, you’d be hard pressed to run a thriving company without an online presence.

Here’s the good news: Now that a business website is standard, creating one is relatively simple. Chances are, you’re not a website designer. Find a software that integrates your website with your POS system, so you can make sure all of your data is live.

If you haven’t yet moved your business online, you’re missing out on tons of sales. Managing your pet retail store is often easier when you have a website because virtually everything is automated. Although having an e-commerce website can seem daunting, you’ll experience the perks when you add it to your pet store.

Related Read: E-Commerce Logistics for Your Pet Store

Tip 6: Host In-Store Events

In-store events for your pet store are great marketing tools to gain popularity for your business. Although it might seem like a scary thing to start, hosting an in-store event doesn’t have to be too hard to plan.

Here are some events you can host to gain more loyal customers:

  • Pet adoption days
  • Training workshops
  • Product demos
  • Pet charity walks

The goal of hosting an event is to keep the pet community in your store. Your customers should see how much you care about them and their pets. Make sure to market your events as much as possible.

If you don’t already, find software that allows you to easily communicate with your customers, so they can get the most up-to-date information. You also want to keep your pet store’s website updated.

Hosting an event at your store is a great pet retail management tool to increase sales. If you market it properly, you’re sure to gain more loyal customers in no time.

Tip 7: Train Your Staff

In order to manage your pet retail store properly, you have to train all of your employees. It’s important to know how to give them proper training. If you need to leave the location for any reason, you want your employees to confidently run your pet store.

Here are a few things you should train your employees on, so that your store will run properly:

  • Cleaning protocol
  • POS software
  • Inventory management
  • Website updates
  • Customer service
  • Animal care

Knowledgeable and friendly staff can make or break your customers’ experience. Plus, with proper training, your employees will be happier and your customers will have a more enjoyable experience.

Tip 8: Optimize Pet Inventory Management

Proper inventory management is vital for your pet retail store. Have you ever walked into a store that was impossible to navigate? Or worse — have you ever seen on a company's website that they had an item in store, but the product is nowhere to be found?

That’s because those stores haven’t optimized their inventory management. You want to make sure you have a proper system set up so that your store correctly reflects your inventory management software.

But how do you do that? It’s simple: Make sure your inventory management system is integrated with your POS system. If you haven’t already, you also need to implement barcode scanning, so that you can have an automated process.

Improving your inventory management keeps your efficiency up, which keeps your customers happy. Proper pet retail management and proper inventory management go hand in hand — you can’t have one without the other.


Related Read: Best Practices for Stocking Pet Food: Ensuring Freshness and Rotation

Tip 9: Set Up Attractive Pet Product Displays

You never want to go into a store that doesn’t look nice. A store that’s bright, friendly, welcoming, and has good-looking product displays tends to attract more customers.

Pet displays are different from other retail stores, though. Many pet stores also have to properly display their animals. Make sure that the animals have a safe environment to live in so that they’re happy and healthy.

Like your animals, you want to make sure that your products are inviting as well. Make sure your products are new and clean. Display them so that your customers can feel the product and see how it works.

Making your store welcoming is an important pet retail management strategy. One of the best ways to do this is to display your products and animals properly.

Tip 10: Focus on Customer Experience

Make sure to always focus on your customers’ experience. If you want to practice effective pet retail management, you have to keep the customer at the forefront of your mind. When you create a solid customer experience, your business will thrive.

What is a good customer experience, though — and how do you create it? Here are a few tips to create a good customer experience:

  • Go into competitors’ stores and see how they focus on customers.
  • Send a survey to your customers and ask how their experience was.
  • Always treat your customers with kindness and make them feel welcomed.
  • Go beyond selling products — give them tips on how to use them when they’re checking out.

No matter how you create a good shopping experience for your customer, maintain a space where your customers will want to return. Rest assured that if you put in the little effort it takes to focus on customer experience, you’ll see boosts in your sales before you know it.

How To Tackle Pet Retail Management With eTailPet

Now, you’re ready to properly manage your pet retail store. These tips give you a great foundation to run your business, but remember: You need to constantly reevaluate your processes as your pet shop grows. Simply revisit these tips and see how you can fit them into you business plan:

  1. Optimize your store layout.
  2. Leverage data-driven insights.
  3. Enhance or create your customer loyalty program.
  4. Implement a pet-specific POS system.
  5. Develop an online presence.
  6. Host in-store events.
  7. Train your staff.
  8. Optimize your inventory management process.
  9. Set up attractive product displays.
  10. Focus on your customers’ experience.

We know this seems like a lot — and it is. You need to find something that makes pet retail management as easy as possible. Luckily for you, we have the perfect solution.

eTailPet is an all-in-one POS system made specifically with pet shops in mind. Not only does eTailPet make your point of sale process easier by giving you useful data for your pet store, it does much more.

eTailPet has numerous integrations that make inventory management easier by preloading popular pet products directly into the system. We also integrate with Astro Loyalty to make your customer loyalty program creation seamless.

We understand the importance of marketing your pet store. That’s why, at eTailPet, we make sending marketing messages, receiving reviews, and creating social media messaging easy through our software.

We want your business to stay up to date with e-commerce, too. Through eTailPet, you can create your website and connect with our POS so that all of your inventory data is live.

Last but not least, our onboarding process is as easy as it gets. We make sure you and your employees get all the training you need so that your transition to eTailPet is as smooth as possible.

Don’t wait — eTailPet is the perfect, all-in-one POS system for your and your pet shop! Schedule a demo today.


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