While owning a pet is becoming very common, pet stores too, are becoming common. This means more intense competition among pet shop owners. If your pet shop business is weak on the marketing side, it will start seeing a decline in customers and thereby revenues. To make your pet store business stand out amidst growing competition, the following pet store marketing ideas will be the most significant.
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1) Efficiently Performing Website
Your pet store website will be the online interface through which you can direct people (customers) to your offline shop. So in order to convince your site visitors to purchase pet-related products from you, your site must have some basic elements in it that are directly related to your site’s conversion performance (ratio of site visitors converting into your customers). These elements are:
a) Your pet store site must enable online selection and order of products. This will increase user convenience and will result in more orders for your business.
b) Your website must be fast enough to load fully within a few seconds as many studies prove that slow loading time of site results in drop of visitors.
c) Considering the growing number of mobile visitors, make your pet store website mobile friendly (i.e. auto adjusting resolution of website) else a good percentage of mobile visitors will abandon it due to rigid resolution.
d) Mention all the best possible features of your store along with testimonials so as to boost the trust of visitors for your store.
e) Contact details should be placed at the top and the most visible part of your website. Also, the site must provide easy navigation across various categories present on your site.
2) Capture Organic Traffic
Search on Google for terms like “pet store near me” or “pet store in [CITY]” and see if your website does show up within the top 10 results i.e. the first page results. If not, then your competing pet store businesses on page 1 will capture many clients from organic search. To compete with them effectively, you must have a strategic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy so that your website can also be found on first-page results. As dozens of factors need to be handled for having a good SEO strategy, you must either learn SEO and implement it for your website or you can simply get it managed by any agency that has ample experience in ranking websites organically.
3) Show Up in 3 Pack of Google
In the case of local searches, Google picks up 3 businesses and shows them within a special zone called as “Google local pack”. To get selected in this pack, the first requirement is filling up your “Google Business Profile” also known by the old name of “Google My Business” page. The most important aspect is optimizing this “Google Business Profile” which requires reviews, citations, etc. If you search Google for optimizing “Google Business Profile”, you will find many free and paid information sources that you can apply for achieving the goal of ranking your business within this pack. If you want a hassle-free approach, you can let this task be managed by any capable SEO firm.
4) Grow Local Content to Grow Customers
As you start posting more and more articles related to pets on your website, you will start getting more visitors. Since you would like to get more visitors from your region, you must focus on writing articles that are locally oriented. If you are situated in Houston, you can write articles on “which is the best pet care clinic in Houston”, “where can I buy X (pet variety) in Houston”, etc. Articles that are pet related along with your city/town specific must be addressed through your website. This will make your pet store more recognized locally through your blog posts.
5) Distribute Press Release
Traffic, backlinks, and reputation, these 3 benefits are achieved with a press release distributed using the right distribution partner. For many small businesses, it seems hard to get their business name mentioned on popular platforms like Yahoo News, Associated Press, etc. However, a good press release service can effortlessly get your pet store press release published on such high-end platforms along with providing a quick traffic and link (backlink) spike. This will also give you the accomplishment of being seen on popular sites which you can proudly mention on your pet store website.
6) Run Ads on High Performing Platforms
If we take paid advertising into account, then running your pet store advertising through Google Ads, Bing Ads and Facebook Ads can be the most rewarding one as these platforms provide quality traffic. The only catch here is that you must not expect a good return on investment from your paid advertising if you don’t know anything about ads. You must make yourself familiar with some of the most basic aspects of running ads like selecting keywords, filtering negative keywords, testing various versions to attain good click-through rates, etc. With so much information on ads spread online, it is no longer difficult for anyone to become acquainted with operating ads. However, if you still want your pet store advertising campaign to yield the most efficient results, you can directly contact any digital advertising agency which has a track record of increasing sales for its clients.
7) Be Consistent with Social Marketing
Though it is not hard to find businesses on social media, most businesses take social marketing as a casual marketing step as getting visibility and leads through social media takes some time and effort before it yields results. If you just create a profile for your pet store business on social media and expect people to interact with it, it won’t happen. By just dedicating a few hours every day to utilize popular hashtags, create/share new posts, interact with local communities and groups, etc, you will see that your business profile will start gaining more followers and more recognition. With consistent activity for a few months on growing your social media, it is not hard to see a few thousand followers on your profile after which the increase in followers and thereby sales becomes automatic. Using a social media management agency is another option if you can’t spend time consistently on your social media.
8) Start Collecting and Using Emails Actively
If 100 people come to your pet store website online, it will never happen that all of them will buy some product or will become your customer. A big percentage of visitors online are casual surfers who have not yet made the decision to buy any product/service. In order to make sure that you utilize these undecided visitors, it is better that you collect their email addresses by giving some freebie in return like coupons or pet-related e-books. Once you start collecting email addresses on your website, you will get additional chances of making sales by sending offers and coupons regularly. It is also a great method to make repeat sales and maintain a customer base because emails give you the power to send out your marketing message at any time.
9) Use Local Influencers to be More Vocal
Find out who are the best pet-related influencers (influencers = people having a good following on various social media platforms) in your local area. Send a message to them and ask if they are willing to promote your pet store for some incentives/commission. If the charges quoted by them are reasonable, you can make them your promotion partner and can use their services occasionally to announce new things about your pet store to their followers. You can also come up with customized coupons that will be exclusive to their followers as these customized coupons will have a greater acceptance by their followers.
10) Encourage More People to Bring New Customers
While it is normal for business owners to ask their customers to refer new ones, it is not a very effective strategy as most people don’t do things unless it gives some benefit to them. If you can come up with a two-way benefit program for your current customers, you can very easily get new customers referred by your current customers. All you have to do to implement this method is you must offer coupons to your current customers for distributing to their friends and when their friends use these coupons on your pet shop, the referring person will also get some points which they can use for their next purchase.
11) Create a Memory with Inexpensive Items
Buy bulk custom-printed items like pens, diaries, mugs, etc with the name of your pet store printed on these items. Give away these items for free to all those customers who buy above a certain amount. This process will create an emotional connection with your customers as whenever people will use these items, they will subconsciously be reminded of your business name.
12) Get More Visibility and Links with Directories
It is true that a big percentage of online directories are useless nowadays as they neither rank high on Google nor do the links from them to your website hold any significant value. However, directories like Yelp, Crunchbase, NextDoor, etc are a few good platforms that rank high in Google and generate lakhs of leads for businesses in different verticals. So make your pet store business profile on all such (high-ranking) directories so that the combined effect of these listings will yield extra leads and sales per month.
13) Spread Videos Online
No matter how much text you type and publish online, videos have been proven to be more effective in conveying and convincing people. People get a better feel and understanding of information conveyed through videos. So be it on your website, social media, or big video platforms like YouTube, start spreading your pet store videos. On your website, these videos will help to increase the site’s conversion rate. On social media, these will help your business to get more shared and engaged. On YouTube, your videos will be able to rank easily for local keywords which will increase footfall to your pet shop.
14) Don’t Neglect the Offline Advertising Aspect
Though the cost-effectiveness of online marketing is making it a popular choice among businesses, offline marketing still holds its charm. Displaying your pet store advertising through banners and billboards across public parks, crowded streets, pet clinics, etc is a great way to get the attention of local people. Advertising your pet store through ads in local newspapers is also a good offline advertising method.
15) Maintain Top Notch Reviews
In the age of the internet, businesses can grow as well as fade away with the quality of reviews they get online. Having no reviews or negative reviews of your pet store online will force potential customers to choose another pet store while having joyful positive reviews will add as a catalyst for the growth of your pet store business. If you are finding that fewer customers are leaving reviews about your business online, you can add a taste of some incentives to spice up the reviews for your pet shop online.
16) Increase Sales by Providing Expert Opinion
There are many pet-related problems that people face every day. You can write columns in local newspapers regarding these issues and can alongside get the additional perk of your pet store being recognized by more people. To start this, all you have to do is to start making connections with editors of local newspapers. Since the perceived value of posts published in newspapers is high, you can increase the brand image of your business by regularly contributing articles to local newspapers.
17) Get Your Ads Rolling on the Streets
Wrap your vehicle with fancy design and eye-catching advertisements related to your pet store so that whenever you take your vehicle on the streets, people can take note of your business. You can also ask private taxi drivers to carry your business banner on their vehicles so that after some time, a big percentage of the local population would have already become familiar with your pet store business name.
18) Be Active on Pet Forums
Though people on pet forums will be from different regions around the world, you will get the privilege of securing niche-related backlinks from these forums which will make a high impact on the positioning of your website on search engines. Additionally, if your pet shop supplies products to different locations, you can make additional sales with your profile on pet forums. Another advantage is that you will get easily updated with new customer choices and products by engaging with people on such forums.
19) Start Growing Your Referral Partners
Apart from your customers, there are many entities that can help to spread the word about your pet store to more people. Some of the good potential partners for promoting your pet shop can be pet trainers, pet groomers, pet shelter owners, veterinary doctors, etc. Also, make sure to get associated with relevant bodies so that you can showcase it on your marketing materials and can be more trusted by people. You can join associations like “Independent Pet Retailers Association” (IPRA).
20) Don’t Miss Pet Related Fairs and Events
Every now and then, some or other events take place locally where you can showcase your pet shop. Though the most targeted option will be pet fairs, however, all events are a good opportunity to introduce your business as most people visiting events are local people. You can hand out coupons at such events so that people will come to your pet shop to avail of these coupons.
21) Hold Local Contests to Get Your Business Broadcasted
In order to use the power of people to grow your pet store business, you can announce local contests like sharing your marketing message on social profiles. For any contestant to avail of chances of rewards, he/she must share your promotional message on his/her social media profiles. Such contests have the power to become viral which is a great way to spread your business name. To get started powerfully with this marketing strategy, you can get the contest announced through any popular local influencer.
22) Use Free Pet Samples for Growing Sales
Reach out to all the famous veterinary doctors and hand out a few free samples related to pets so that your store can get more customers referred through them. You can also do the same with pet-related influencers on a local level. In fact, you can hand out some free samples to all such businesses and services that are more likely to send you leads and customers.
23) Grow Your Sales with e-Commerce Listings
You can get your products listed on popular eCommerce sites like Amazon and can hence utilize its massive reach and influence to generate more sales. There are many articles online that detail the methods to list your business with eCommerce platforms like Amazon. If you have a dedicated listing of your products on your website, it will also get benefitted side by side through listing on sites like Amazon.
24) Use Donation and PR Combo
You can donate to pet shelters and can then send out a press release announcing the same to build a good image of your pet store along with marketing your pet store. You can also announce such activities on your website and social media profiles directly. Additionally, you can get new leads from these pet shelters too.
25) Start Making Use of Pet Days
Just search for “pet days” on Google and you will find at least a dozen of them. You can use these pet days to market your business by giving offers, coupons, etc. To announce your specific offers for such days, you can send a press release, use influencers, use your social media posts, etc.
I hope that these strategically compiled pet store marketing ideas will return you benefits in the form of more sales. If you would like to add anything more or would like to ask any relevant questions, you can email or can utilize the comment box given beneath this post.