It's a common story: As consumers walk into any pet specialty retailer, they will generally see a very large dog section, a slightly smaller cat section, and an almost non-existent small animal section, if any exists at all. Unfortunately, it's common for many independent pet retailers to shy away from the lucrative category.
When asked why you're not selling any small animal supplies, you might just say you simply don't have the space or merchandising knowledge. Plus, you might argue that the market share is just not large enough to worry about it.
While we can't argue with those who don't have much square footage, there are certainly ways to work around that, and even the other roadblocks. There is certainly much to say about the power of the small animal owner within the market, and it may surprise you to learn how large the market has actually become.
Small Pets Are Worth More Than You Think
Retailers often underestimate the value of the small animal category. Recently, Supreme Petfoods and All Points Marketing worked together to research the actual value of the market. After doing research, the study found that the total minimum annual spend for households with one small pet and a cat/dog in the U.S. is $1.3 billion. That isn't a typo - that is a real share of the market that many pet specialty retailers are missing out on.
There are also seven million households that own small animals in the United States and 50% of those own a cat and/or a dog. So, if the market is that large, then why are so many retailers opting to miss out?
The Confusion Behind Small Animal Merchandising
One of the main reasons why you might be opting to miss out on a $1.3B share in the market is due to lack of understanding on how to merchandise their small animal section. We have noticed that many retailers aren't seeing the sales they would like to see, and because of that, they decide to give that shelf space to a category that is more self-explanatory (generally dog food). The question then becomes, instead of phasing out a category that is definitely capable of making money, why not re-merchandise the small animal category to correctly reflect the customer shopping journey?
We have seen that small animal section in independent pet stores hasn't been very well planned. This often causes consumer confusion and frustration. When consumers become frustrated, they no longer feel in the mood for shopping, and are more likely to leave the store empty-handed. Needless to say, this is bad for both you and the consumer, as you might lose out on a sale (and potentially many future sales), and the consumer misses out on finding the supplies they need for their pets.
You may have tried different merchandising techniques ranging from brand blocking, animal type, and good, better, best - but not haven't found any to be successful. You're not alone - A large number of pet specialty retailers are still in the dark about the best way to merchandise so that their small animal section is best optimized to prevent consumer frustration.
Next Steps to Selling Small Animal Supplies
Fortunately, Supreme Petfoods has wondered the exact same thing as many retailers - What is the best way to merchandise the small animal category so that it works for the retailer, and not against them? After months of both primary and secondary research including hidden video cameras and watching consumers interact with various small animal sections, they have come up with a solution that has been proven to increase sales not only in small animal, but also throughout the entire store - including dog.
Click the button below to start taking the next steps toward improving your small animal merchandising strategy. Our team of experts, partnered with Supreme Petfoods, will create a fully customized strategy for your pet store. As a thank you for requesting our assistance, you'll also receive a free whitepaper to download and view as you wait for us to get back to you with your request. It's that easy!
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About the Author
Ashley Hoffman – E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Manager joined the All Points family in April of 2015. Ashley brings a fresh outlook to the marketing industry as well as a constant desire for learning something new. She is dedicated to consistently improving her skills and efficiency in the marketing industry and using those skills to promote APM and all brands we represent. Ashley has grown up with many animals throughout her life and is currently the loving owner of two cats.1 Comments