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3 Things Customers Want and Need from Pet Businesses

“What now?” You’re not alone.

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HAVE YOU BEEN wondering lately, “What now?” You’re not alone. It’s a fact of 2020: Many petpreneurs are rethinking their business models and revenue streams.

To help, ’cause Digital Marketing released year-three data from our 10-year study of what pet parents want and need. This year’s results reveal a deep desire customers have that many pet retailers could benefit from fulfilling.

Simplicity, Best Care & Consolidated Services

This year, ’cause Digital Marketing surveyed 532 primary caretakers of dogs and cats and found a strong desire for three core factors:

  • Simplicity: 79 percent try to purchase from companies that make it easy
  • Trust in best care: 60 percent describe their approach to pet supplies and service providers as being someone they can “trust to take the best care of their pet”
  • Consolidated services: 71 percent of dog and/or cat owners would “be happy” to find out their pet supply or service provider intended to start offering other services, and 57 percent would consider using them.

Why are these three factors so important? It’s no secret that big-box retailers have been moving toward service consolidation for years. And this new data may give a glimpse into why: Adding a service diversifies revenue streams, leverages established trust with customers and makes pet-care simpler for pet parents.

The Upside: Pet Owners Want to Buy Local

Before you think you’ve missed the boat, consider this: The biggest group of pet owners in the U.S. is on your side — and willing to pay more to help you out. That’s right, Millennials are not only more likely to buy local than any other age group, they also are often willing to pay more to do so. The key? Catering to what they want and need, and the previously mentioned big three are a great starting point.

Creating Self-Reinforcing Sales Opportunities

As I point out to my coaching clients, it’s always best to consider how strategies play together. For example, client acquisition costs for a new service are often lower, as many of your existing clients already trust you enough to try it out. Likewise, having all of their records in a single place makes the pet parent’s life easier. Thus, all three core factors are ticked with one change to the business revenue streams.

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Setting Yourself Apart

While big-box retailers have been making this move for years, our 2020 research also shows that independents have been slower to join in. Of 230 U.S.-based pet retail websites we reviewed, only 33 percent offered pet supplies and services. Of those, fewer than half offered more than one service (like grooming and training.) This indicates a strong area of opportunity for setting your independent store apart from competitors.

So, are you still asking, “What now?” If so, then consider how you might make your customers’ lives easier by bringing a new area of expertise into your business. If you’re not sure how, ’cause offers a free 22-page workbook to help petpreneurs re-think their revenue streams at causedigitalmarketing.com/revenue.

Jane Harrell is President of 'cause Digital Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focusing on delivering real ROI for pet businesses of all breeds and pedigrees. Jane is also co-owner of WorkingWithDog.com, the marketing club for petpreneurs and small pet businesses. In 2013, Jane won the Rising Star Award from Women in the Pet Industry for her work with Petfinder.com. She’s a regular contributor to many pet-industry publications, focusing on topics that bring tangible results with less work. Jane's enjoying a busy COVID-19 quarantine living with her partner, their six animals and their foster son in Maine.

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