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Have Your Team Play Fetch, Plus More Fun Ways to Boost Sales of Dog Toys in Your Store

These six ideas will increase your visibility online and in your community while boosting sales of dog toys.

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TO GO WITH this issue’s focus on dog toys, our team at ‘cause Digital Marketing brainstormed fun ways to boost sales of these products. Here are six ideas that go beyond a simple discount to increase awareness of your business and attract customers to your online and brick-and-mortar stores.

1. Get silly with it. Shoot a video series featuring your team members playing with different toys — just like dogs would — that you’d like to promote. Weird? Yes. Memorable? More like unforgettable. And potentially viral! Share on your digital channels with a link to purchase and also play the videos in-store to catch customer attention.

2. Create a regular product feature. Select a toy of the week to promote with info, photos and even video about its play purpose: enrichment, keeping chewers busy, slowing down eating, etc. Include a discount code/mention so you know when the promo works.

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3. Collect for rescue pups. Set up a virtual and in-store box, then fill it with playful products customers can purchase for donation to a local shelter or rescue and receive a thank-you discount on a toy for their pup. Offer this during a month when the organization can host an adoption event at your business. That way, customers can meet — in person and via your digital channels — some of the dogs who will get their donations. You may even help make a match!

4. Invite in a rep. Ask your favorite brands if they have interactive displays or new toys they’d like to bring to your business on a Saturday. Be sure to capture the fun with images and video to drive additional ICYMI sales after the event. Bonus: This also can double as staff training on the products.

5. Hold a competition. Do you carry puzzle toys? Boost in-store visits by challenging your canine customers to a race! Invite them to complete a featured puzzle, then capture the action on video to post with their time on your digital channels. Watch as the pet parents try to outdo each other, prompting increased and even repeat visits. At the end of the month, the dog with the best time gets “The (Your Store Name) Genius Prize,” which comes with a new puzzle toy to master, supplements that support cognitive health, and bragging rights.

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6. Frame the pups. Order a promotional photo frame or make your own, with a fun saying like “I Got a New Toy!” and your store logo along the top. Have as many pups as possible pose after their purchase, then mix the images into your daily social media postings.

While we brainstormed these ideas for dogs, many of these will work with other pets, too.

We’re pretty sure you have a team member who would have fun taking on the role of cat playing with a laser toy.

Jane Harrell is President of causedigitalmarketing.com, 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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FEATURED VIDEO

P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

At P.L.A.Y. — Pet Lifestyle & You — toy design is definitely a team effort! Watch PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita and P.L.A.Y.’s Director of Sales Lisa Hisamune as they talk about the toy design process, the fine-tuning that makes each toy so special and why every P.L.A.Y. collection is made with independent retailers top of mind.

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