How to Distinguish Your Shop From Other Local Pet Stores
Today standing out is more important than ever. Not only are small businesses competing with the other local shops in the area but the ubiquity of e-commerce makes store uniqueness indispensable. Those in the pet grooming industry have a big advantage. The service portion of this business will naturally build a clientele list. But standing out from other local pet stores still has its challenges.
It all starts with location. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique owners premeditate location based on profitable key metrics. A local pet store’s location needs to have high visibility with tons of foot traffic. Neighboring businesses in the vicinity is also crucial to engage with prospective customers. Even with a phenomenal location, shop owners can make adjustments to strategize factors that lead to more customers and higher sales rates.
The trick is to against the grain. Whether you’re planning a local marketing campaign or decorating for the holidays it never pays to copy other local pet stores. Why be the same when you can be different and set the precedent? When you post on social media about new products don’t use language and media that mirror your competitors. Post things that represent what makes your shop special. Instead of organizing signage that emulates the competition—find new creative ways that you know your customers will resonate with.
This article offers some guidance on ways to make your local pet store the best one in town!
1. A Sight for Sore Eyes
It’s an old trick in an unwritten book but window displays are your first line of offense when it comes to getting foot traffic to come into your store. Bolstering your curb appeal.
- Is your window display engaging?
- Does it spark interest in potential customers?
- Is it on brand and look inviting?
- What makes a good window display?
The same effect that a mannequin has on shoppers is the methodology behind window displays. Customers visualize ownership. This is a part of influential merchandising. Themed window displays tell the story of what you sell inside and services your small businesses provide. For Splash and Dash shop locations it reads upscale, clean, and charming. Banners displaying the company name and brand also help distinguish local pet stores. Think about those famous golden arches and you can almost taste the french fries. This same evocation can happen by displaying your company banner.
Appealing to other senses is important too. Shops need to smell inviting—not like dirty dog water. Most local pet stores and grooming salons have that wet dog smell permeated into the walls. Not Splash and Dash! Also make sure your store is always clean and well lit. Avant-garde merchandising isn’t effective unless the other elements of your store match the caliber of your displays.
A final thought is that when associates look busy, this image is psychologically welcoming for customers. When your employees looked bored, your store looks boring.
2. Unique Store Layout & Merchandising
The Splash and Dash brand carries a detailed and notable store layout and merchandising schematic. Everything from the color palette of the walls to the positioning of peg boards is all unique to the pet franchise. Display fixtures are made in-house and are complementary to the theme of the boutique.
Visual merchandising is the force that prompts people to pick up a product. The way shop owners purposefully organize product aisles to entice shoppers. For instance, think of holiday cards. Almost no one goes into a specialty shop to specifically buy a holiday card. But, when you get to the line to check out, and there’s the cutest card staring at you in the face, that you just have to get your friend—this is merchandising magic working.
The key to merchandising is having your store be in a constant flux of product positioning. You want items your repeat customers have never noticed to pop-up at them. You want items customers are readily looking for to be accessible and point them toward other items of interest. There is a lot of amazing literature out there for local pet stores. “Merchandising Theory Principles and Practice” by Grace Kunz is amazing. For those in the pet industry, “Quit Your Bitchin’ and Start Making Real Money” by Dan J. Barton gets straight to the point on more than just store design.
3. The Millennial Customer Experience
The buzz in all the local pet stores has been the recent announcement from the APPA, that Millennials have replaced the older generations as the primary pet owners in America.
Millennials have different shopping tactics than their generational predecessors. Millennials are much more experimental. The generation is less skeptical than their frugal parents but is also armed with mobile. Smartphone accessed consumer reviews and FAQs on products aren’t quite making old fashioned sales teams obsolete. A knowledgeable and friendly sales team is still vital.
Marketing to this consumer in your brick-and-mortar store will look different. This generation wants an experience. A personalized experience should be one that is easily shared on social media. Updating the tech in your shop may not be as difficult as you think. Simple low-tech things like selfie-boards and treat tastings are ways for your customers to interact with your brand.
4. Dazzle Them With Legendary Service
Mark Levy, shop owner in La Verne, California, describes his shop as a place “where a cold nose is treated with a warm heart and everyone is treated like royalty. ” Treating your customers like royalty is not as hyperbolic as you think. Thinking that customer service and building relationships are limited to the service industry is precarious thinking. According to BizReport, 75% of customers state that they consider customer service as a true test of a company’s competency. Why shouldn’t they? This is the segment of a company that interacts the most with customers.
Your employees need to be knowledgeable, honest, and fair with customers. Treating customers as fellow humans is simple and smiles go a long way. Remember, you are dealing with someone’s pet, and many pet parents are particular.
Splash and Dash help set a precedent for our customer service by setting a guarantee. The company guarantees full satisfaction with the quality of any product or service and Splash and Dash will do everything possible to set things right if complaints arise.
5. Embrace Corporate Social Responsibility
Local pet stores in your area have social responsibility just as much as the big guys in other industries like Microsoft. Arguably, a pet store is held even more accountable since the business is centered around animals. Focusing your business tactics on giving back to society not only betters the world but has massive consumer appeal.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique do their part by hosting adoption events, providing meals for local charities, and shrinking the carbon pawprint.
We hope you found this article helpful to make for all the local pet stores out there!
Follow Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique:
- Website: http://splashanddashfordogs.com/
- Website: https://splashanddashfranchise.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/splashanddashfordogs/
- Instagram: @splashanddashfordogs
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-j-barton-622ab517
- Twitter: splashanddash4dog