The Pet Industry Numbers Keep Rising Making Gift Options for Pet Lovers a Must Have for Pet Store Franchises’ Shelves
Buying Gifts for Pets is on the Rise
Both pet and financial experts agree, the rising trends in the pet industry show that dogs are being embraced as part of the family more extensively. Above fireplaces, every pet in the house is also getting their own stocking ready for stuffing. Trends like this are imperative to note for pet store franchises.
The Orlando Business Journal of Orlando, FL–one of the best places to open pet store franchises–reports that 71% of households will buy their pet a Christmas present averaging $25. Last year the consumer spending on pet products was $14.28 billion, with 3.9% growth from the previous year, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). The APPA also estimates that the products sector will grow again by 4.9 percent this year.
Rise in retail sales are evident in the options customers have. A myriad of different choices is emerging as selections for this year’s holiday shoppers.
More people consider their dog a family member, and will want to show their love by buying them a holiday gift for their dog’s stocking.
Pet store franchise stores need to stay competitive to boost sales and stay ahead of online shopping. Market trends point to customers enjoying the idea of one-stop-shopping for convenience. Shoppers want to cross as many items off their list as possible–all in one place.
Retailers can become this one-stop-shop through careful merchandising and skillful marketing.
Good thing for the Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique franchise family is that corporate will be helping to take care of that headache. The goal is to make stores indispensable for the holidays.
Pet store franchises want to make their retail space a place where customers experience a unique assortment of selection they can’t find anywhere else.
Trending Stocking Stuffers
Reports show that consumers are favoring originality in two different ways of interpreting trend. The first is to embrace pop culture trends. Typical and mass made products are becoming obsolete in favor of more hot-selling fads.
Capitalize on characters of recently popularized T.V. shows, or movies, like the Star Wars franchise releasing a movie this December. Celebrity pets that have gained brand recognition through memes like Grumpy Kitty also trend positively. Grumpy Kitty pillows are sold in retailers outside of pet store franchises with impressive sales figures.
Another trend to hit product design are emojis. The emphatic and distinctive look of emojis have been designed into pet bedding and chew toys, and are are trending in sales and smartphone keyboards. A company that saw success with this was Woofables, with their launch of emoji bones.
Wearable pet products are also making progress as a staple of holiday gift purchasing. The human trend of wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, Santa Costumes, and reindeer antlers are making way into the pet product market.
A notable item is Hip Doggie which is a classic puffer-style vest coat. Wearable pet products are marketed both with novelty and utility. Pet clothing also pushes itself because it invites customers to interact with the product–pet owners put the clothes on their dogs in the store and love how cute it is.
Innovation Works, but Tradition Holds Fast
Embracing new trends is advantageous. But, the holiday spirit will never let go of tradition. Having a blending of fad inspired products with classic items is a safe bet. Don’t re-inventory your whole entire store to make room for trendy hot-sellers. Some customers appeal more to traditional products like The Santa’s Little Squeakers toy set from P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle and You).
Gingerbread man-shaped cookies are always cornerstones of the holiday market. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique gourmet cookies are a great item to push this season, capitalizing on both holiday themes, and the trend toward premiumization. Customers love the design and health benefits.
Don’t Forget About Thanksgiving
Anytime is a great opportunity for pet gift giving. It is always warmly received. Now more than ever people want to make their pets more included in the family during every holiday.
Thanksgiving is especially hard for dogs when the family is gathered around eating rich foods that will make the dog sick.
This is a good time for pet store franchises to provide treats for their dogs to enjoy for the holidays too. This helps alleviate the urge to give pets food that could possibly harm them while providing a product that includes pets into the holiday spirit.
Market trends show that holiday visiting of friends and relatives with a treat for their pet is received the same way as bringing a bottle of wine or pie. It shows appreciation for the host’s whole family.
More people are investing in travel crates, bowls, and beds. This indicates people are bringing their pets on the road for the holidays. The bond between pet and owner is strengthening.
A series of pet franchise stores have been experimenting with this bond between pet and owner. Many have found that combination packages catered for both owner and dogs are selling well.
Gifts that reinforce an owner’s love for their dog are the aim with these kind of packages with theme and function. For example, a holiday gift idea might be a gift card to the owner’s favorite coffee shop with a bag of treats for the dog.
Capitalize off this.
Promotional campaigning such as including a holiday greeting card with purchasing a bag of dog food may work. Coffee mugs that broadcast a pet owner’s favorite breed also perform well with this same function.
For families who just got a puppy for Christmas a gift idea that pet store franchises could provide are training videos paired with puppy training equipment. This helps retailers become the one-stop-shop.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique hosts training and obedience online classes. Inform customers about this while also promoting puppy training products like dog pads and treats.
More Trends for the Holidays
One of the biggest marketing trends pet store franchises need to prepare for are functional products the let owners display affection of their dogs. Consumers that are pet lovers want to broadcast their love. You see this on the road with bumper stickers that read “I Heart my Beagle.”
This style of product is translating into kitchen utensils like cutting boards and towel sets that announce pet love and breed loyalty. No matter the breed, or mix-breed, it is no longer cliche’ to be obsessed with your pets. The evidence is in the statistics of the rising pet industry and the varying selection of products.
House welcome mats have human footprints and paw prints.
Merchandising Your Pet Store Franchise
Merchandising can create holiday magic. Both in the holiday spirit of your store, but also in fruition of sales goals.
Eye-catching window displays invite customers inside. When creating a window display feature hot-sellers that are welcoming and organized in an aesthetically pleasing way. Maximize signage highlighting your stock in gift options that are easily visible and use fonts that are both on theme, and legible.
Use social media. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique pet store franchises have the advantage of corporate handling this to ease franchisee holiday headaches.
Plan special events by collaborating with local animal organizations. Schedule a photography session for pet owners to come in and pose with their dog with Santa.
Ask customers how many dog lovers or dogs they will be shopping for. This is an active approach. Having positive and engaging experiences with customers is what separates online shopping methods with pet store franchises. Being able to cater to customer needs, create ambiance, and up-selling gives storefronts a strength over wholesale websites. Gifts are hard to buy because customers aren’t always sure what the person they’re shopping for will want. That’s where your staff steps in to help.
Be aware of Black Friday. Many shoppers still participate in Black Friday over Cyber Monday for the thrill of being involved in the excitement of the holiday shopping process.
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