From the blog 5 Proven Methods to Boost Pet Shop Profit Margins
Pet shop owners understand the many challenges facing retail businesses, especially in terms of improving the bottom line. In today’s economic climate shoppers are more price-conscious than ever, and tend to be browsing online for things like the best cat trees online for under 50$ instead of physically going into pet shops to look for them. Raising prices is a really tough proposition for most shop owners. Here are five proven methods to improve your pet shop’s profit margins.
Reduce Overhead with a Closely Managed Inventory
A mistake some pet store owners make is trying to be “everything to everyone.” If your store tries to meet the needs of every pet owner by carrying too many products, you’ll find it will negatively impact profit margins. If your store offers pet sales, consider downsizing the number of animals kept in stock – closely managing your pet inventory will save on feeding, cleaning, and grooming costs.
Pick a niche at which you excel and capitalize on it. Focus inventory on providing products that are not found at big chains. These items could include homemade pet treats, holistic specialty foods, or locally-made artisan pet toys. Ensure the products you carry are more durable than those at the chain stores, so your business becomes synonymous with quality.
Market Your Business Through Community Involvement
Pet product consumers require more trust in their shops than other retail businesses. This should come as no surprise; these products will be used by animals most consider to be family members! It’s important to establish your business as a place pet owners trust to deliver quality products for their pets. Using efficient marketing approaches and strategic promotions, you can build a name and earn that trust in your community.
One way to earn the local pet community’s trust is by getting involved. Partner with local pet advocacy groups or the local ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) branch and participate in or even host pet-oriented events around the community. The initial time and costs will be well worth it in the long run because pet owners will consider your pet shop as a place that truly cares about animals.
Get Customers in the Door with Pet Services
Offering a range of pet services is a great way to improve the foot traffic. Like the pet retail market, pet services have grown rapidly in the last few decades. There are many types of services your shop can offer, depending on the amount of space you have available. Some services you can offer include grooming, mobile veterinary care, obedience training classes, dog walking service, and pet sitting, or even more outside-the-box ideas like pet photography.
Pet services do not require a large amount of overhead to be successful. In fact, if you partner with a local pet service company, you may not even need to hire new employees or spend money training your existing staff. These companies can use your space in exchange for a portion of the profits. The additional cash flow helps, but the true value is getting more customers in the front door. A pet owner may come for dog grooming, but end up making additional purchases when your products catch their eye.
Develop Your Vendor Relationships
Another way to improve profit margins is to develop a strong relationship with vendors. Some store owners think using several different suppliers is the best way to get a good price on individual items. However, one of the most effective way to improve profit margins is to work with a smaller number of suppliers. You can purchase in bulk, getting a lower cost on items. This is particularly effective on seasonal items bought in the off-season.
You can also save money by evaluating the cost-effectiveness of your payment processing vendor. If you are unhappy with the performance or costs of your processor, you can shop around and negotiate terms with a new payment processing vendor, saving money on fees and servicing. Some payment processors bundle the equipment and repairs into the service contract, another easy way to improve your pet shop’s profit margins.
Take A Tech Savvy Approach To Customer Relations
The final method to improve your profit margins is taking a tech-savvy approach to marketing and promoting your business. First, build a website that is easy to use and informative. The customer should be able to quickly tell who you are, where you are located, what you specialize in, when you are open, and why they should shop at your store. This is the first place to display any promotions or sales.
Next, take your online presence to social media with robust campaigns across various channels. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are a great way to connect with your audience. You can also use these social media profiles to answer questions customers may have – just remember to always be as courteous to online customers as you would be towards an actual person in your store. Consider online advertising programs like Google Adsense. This online advertising program targets advertisements for your business on web pages that are likely to be frequented by potential customers.