Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Brick and Mortar Pet Stores versus Online Pet Stores

Socializing, shopping, playing.
Over the past few months it seems more and more of us are shopping online compared to purchase from the Brick and Mortar stores.  Each of us have our own reasons for doing so, such as we do not have time to go to the store, the store does not sell our pet’s particular food or toy, or we just don't want to be disturb by stopping and going in.  Again, we all have our own reasons and for that those stores are losing income and are trying to figure how to bring the consumer back in.  Most recently a store manager of one of those stores stopped me to asked my opinion to bringing the customers back in.  My opinion for the Brick and Mortar stores:

1.      They have the space for training when the space is not used for training, offer a meet-up group to utilize the space for their a meet-up date, especially in the extreme heat or in the extreme cold.  This will help to bring in consumers to the store even new customers who may shop around before or after the meet-up.     
Nice cool place to meet will help. 

2.      Invite a rescue group or several rescue groups to the store, advertise with them to let the community know which groups will be available at the store and on which days.  Not only will this help a shelter animal exposure and higher potential to be adopted but will bring customers to the store.  Once they adopted a pet they will need to pick up supplies for their new pet such as toys, food, cage or leash, harness/collar and treats. 

Too hot to meet outside. 
3.      Each store has a budget set aside for activities within the community to help advertise and let the community know what their store is doing and that the store is there for your pet and you.  For instance, send an employee to the local Farmer’s Market to walking around with treats for the pets there,  advertising with a rescue groups or a meet-up group to when they will be at the store.  This will help people to recognize the store and the store’s commitment to the community. 

4.      Run specials while the meet-ups are happening and while the rescue groups are there.  Make it a fun time for all those who come in.  People will always remember where they had fun and look forward to coming back.  Offering a discount on treats or pawprints of our favorite pet, just something for a customer to remember that was fun we need to do that again. 

5.      Keep the store clean and stocked.  Again, you always want the store to be clean and stocked so the customer does not have a reason to get elsewhere. 

Not to say customers will be running back in but inviting meet-ups to meet at the store, helping rescues to display and get animals adopted out and just letting the community know that your store wants to be a part of the community, will be a big step towards bringing customers in.  It just starts with one friendly gesture to start the ball rolling.  Commitment to your local community will go a long way just as your local community will return their commitment back to you.  

Again, these are my thoughts of what would be a good idea to bringing customers back into the Brick and Mortar stores.  After all, it is nice to be able to still hang out with friends and their pets but not in the extreme heat or extreme cold so if there was a location such as a store were we would be able to hang out plus do so shopping it is a win-win-win for all – we can hang out with our friends and our pets, we can pick up our pet needs, our pets can get out of the house, and the store has returning customers.  Just something to ponder…   

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