More and more pet owners are turning to online retailers to purchase pet supplies, with many consumers citing larger product selections, convenient “auto-ship” programs, and low or free 2-day shipping options as being the primary reasons behind this preference. As a result, about 70 percent of brick-and-mortar pet supply stores surveyed by Pet Business consider online retailers as their most dangerous competitors in the marketplace.
If your small natural pet store is trying to compete with the big chain stores, there are a few marketing tactics you can use to get an upper hand. Of course, the most important part of your strategy should be to emphasize that you are independent, natural, and local.
You put the time into researching various vendors and carefully selected new lines of dog treats, dog toys, and grooming supplies to bring into your store. You wrote a perfectly crafted email blast and promoted the new products on social media, inviting customers in to your shop. You meticulously merchandised all of the new products on an endcap that gets a lot of foot traffic and printed flashy signs to draw your customer’s attention. Now what’s left?
One of the challenges facing independent pet retailers today is competing against big box stores, such as Petco and PetSmart, and the even more immense e-commerce giant, Amazon. Companies like Petco operate over 1,500 locations across the United States and, as you can imagine, their buying power is enormous.