Many pet-focused businesses start small. However, they don’t have to stay there. If you are thinking of taking your company through a growth stage, you may be wondering where to start. These seven tips can help you make the next move.
1. Know Your Product
You absolutely must know your product inside and out. Pet products are a niche market, and you need to be an expert on them to stand above the competition. One way to do that is to thoroughly understand what you are selling. That means that if you want to sell custom pet leashes, be able to provide details such as dimensions, material strength, weight and any special features that make them stand out.
2. Keep Detailed Records
If your business started off small, there’s a good chance you didn’t have a formal record-keeping system. At the earliest stages, you might perform inventory by checking what is in the closet to ship out. This type of system does not work for growing businesses, so you’ll want to have something more detailed in place before you implement a growth strategy.
When looking for programs, try to focus on those specifically geared toward online companies. Give special consideration to those that are tailored toward pet stores. Investing in a pet store POS platform is a good place to start. With just one program, you can keep track of inventory (without opening the closet) and process online sales.
3. Grow Your Social Media Presence
In some ways, selling online is very different from having a brick-and-mortar storefront. For example, when you have an online store, you cannot rely on foot traffic to bring people in. Instead, you need to drive shoppers to your website. On the other hand, there are many similarities. In both structures, you will want to build relationships with customers and share information about what is going on in your store.
A robust social media presence allows you to do all of these things. You can create a sense of community, share news, celebrate customers and their achievements and drive new shoppers to your site by asking followers to share posts.
4. Research Your Customer Base
If you want to grow your customer base, then you’ll need to know what they want. This is where market research enters the picture. Some companies do this type of research regularly, and using their services is a great idea. However, you can also do a lot of it on your own.
Start by adopting a solid customer relationship management software package. This can help you to learn more about your current customers individually and as a whole. Use it to develop relationships that cultivate loyalty among current shoppers. Then, investigate industry trends to see what is gaining in popularity so you can appeal to new customers.
5. Prioritize Customer Interactions
You may notice that customers are a recurring theme here. That’s because prioritizing customer interactions is an excellent way to grow your business. Think of it as an investment of your time instead of finances. Take the time to learn about your customers (and their pets) and make them feel special each time they interact with your business.
For example, send birthday wishes with a discount code for every pet. You’ll ensure each customer feels valued while also encouraging them to make an extra purchase.
6. Start a Blog
If you are looking for a great way to establish yourself as an authority on your products and how they help pets, consider starting a blog. You can include information about your products, but be sure to keep the focus on how they help make pets’ lives better.
7. Enroll Product Testers
Some of the biggest pet product companies (and smaller ones, too) use product testers to ensure each treat or toy is up to snuff. Offer to let pets keep any items they get to test. Hold a contest to get a pool of candidates. Then, select several pets that provide a good representation of your customer base. Ask their pet parents to provide videos or photos of their pets with the samples.
To grow your online pet business, you’ll want to focus on your customers and how you can improve their lives. Embracing social media, starting a blog, and enrolling product testers can help. Using business software designed for online companies is also a good idea since these will best fit your needs.