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Do you spend countless hours trying to organize your pet store inventory? 

It takes a lot of work to perfect your process when you have such a wide variety of products — but effective inventory management in a pet store is pivotal for your business’ growth.

Once you solidify the perfect process for you and your store, you’ll start seeing more success almost immediately. We know the process to optimize your pet store inventory strategy can be overwhelming, so here are five tips and tools you can use to manage your inventory effectively.


Step #1: Categorize Your Pet Store Inventory

Categorizing inventory can often be an intimidating process — especially for pet stores. Not only do you have a wide variety of products, but you also have all of those products for a wide variety of pets.

A categorized inventory can cut down your operational time and cost immensely. But where do you start? What’s the best way to organize your inventory? 

The answer is simple: Do what makes most sense for you. Each pet store is different and has different inventory. We suggest you start out with this model and perfect from there:

  1. Food: dog treats, wet cat food, rabbit pellets
  2. Toys: tug-of-war ropes, squeaky toys, rubber balls, catnip toys
  3. Supplies: collapsible travel bowls, disposable litter box liners, aquarium water kits
  4. Accessories: adjustable nylon collars, reflective harnesses, personalized ID tags
  5. Health and wellness: hip & joint supplements, dental chews, flea & tick collars
  6. Live animals: cats, dogs, mice, birds

Repeat for all types of animals that you sell for.

This template will start you off with a strong way to organize your pet store. From there, make sure that you subcategorize your products by brand or manufacturer. This won’t only cut down your operational costs, but it gives your customers an optimal experience both on your website and in your pet store.


Related Read: ABC Analysis for Pet Stores: Categorizing Inventory for Efficiency


Step #2: Set PAR Levels for Stock

A periodic automatic replacement (PAR) level for stock refers to the optimal amount of inventory that your pet store should maintain to meet your customer’s demand, while also minimizing excess inventory holding costs. You can determine your pet store’s PAR level by: 

  • Looking at your sales history data
  • Acknowledging the amount of time it takes to receive shipments to restock your inventory
  • Paying attention to seasonal peak times

Once you’ve determined your PAR level, you know when to reorder new inventory. For example, if you’ve determined that your PAR level for dog food is 50 bags, you know it’s time to reorder more bags of that dog food once you’ve hit 50 bags. This helps your store reduce waste by minimizing excess inventory and helps you keep your stock up so you never run out.

Obviously, the success of your pet store will ebb and flow, so it’s important to look back at your PAR levels consistently to reanalyze. As you stay on top of your PAR levels, you’ll save time and money. Keeping a healthy inventory ensures success for your pet store.


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Step #3: Implement Barcode Scanning

Automated work will always improve your pet store’s efficiency. Implementing barcode scanning is an easy way to automate your work. If you’re still manually typing in product information, you’re wasting time — using a barcode scanner can cut your inventory management time by more than half.

Another reason using barcode scanners is important is for training purposes. Simply scanning a tag is much easier to teach than having to explain all of your product naming and organization structure — and it reduces errors. Using a barcode scanner cuts time for you and your employees.


Related Read: Managing Overstock and Surplus Inventory: A Guide for Pet Store Owners


Step #4: Conduct Regular Inventory Audits & Leverage Data Analytics

Conducting regular inventory audits is an important part of relying on automation. Even though automation creates a more efficient business process, you still need to make sure you have a good understanding of how your pet store inventory needs are changing.

First, determine the most efficient way to audit your inventory. When you’ve solidified your process, make sure that you’re continuously looking at your pet store inventory data so you can quickly alter your inventory strategy as things change. Conducting regular inventory audits helps you stay ahead in the game and, in turn, maintain your pet store’s success.


Step #5: Utilize a Cloud-Based POS System

Using a cloud-based point of sale (POS) system is the best way to manage your pet store inventory. Having a cloud-based system allows you to access your software from anywhere you have an internet connection. This is a huge advantage to you — especially if you go on vacation or have to  leave to go to another store location.

You also want to make sure your POS system has an easy-to-use interface, so that you can quickly learn and train other employees how to use it. A bad user interface (UI) means that you’ll have to pay more attention to your inventory management because it’s much easier to make mistakes. 

Choose a POS system that’s made specifically for pet stores with features like:

  • Pet industry-specific integrations
  • Online booking for pet services
  • Product catalog
  • Customer loyalty program capabilities

You don’t want to rely on a general POS that doesn’t give you everything you need. Do your research to find the software that fits your needs.


Related Read: The Convenience of Using an Integrated Payment Processor With Your Pet Store


How To Manage Your Pet Store Inventory With eTailPet

There you go — you’re equipped with everything you need to properly manage your pet store inventory. Remember these steps while you’re putting this into practice:

  1. Categorize your inventory.
  2. Set PAR levels for stock.
  3. Implement barcode scanning.
  4. Conduct regular inventory audits and leverage data analytics.
  5. Utilize a cloud-based POS system.

Looking for a tool to help you manage all this and more?

eTailPet is the perfect cloud-based POS system made just for pet stores. With our industry-specific solution, you can categorize your pet store’s inventory and set PAR levels more accurately and efficiently. Plus, our top-tier POS analytics allow you to easily conduct inventory audits on a regular basis. 

eTailPet gives you everything you need to successfully manage your pet store inventory. Schedule a demo today to see how we can help you elevate your pet store.