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Pet Stores in the Mobile Space – Competition is Critical

2020 has been a wild ride so far, with plenty of takeaways for all. Our latest wisdom gleanings spring from our deep dive into what we love about our favorite, standout pet stores. Time and again we’ve found that when pet stores adapt to changing circumstances and use fresh avenues to reach customers in novel ways, everyone benefits. So let’s hone in on the importance of competing in the mobile space with pointers on how pet stores can best aim their efforts.

What People Want

Pet ownership continues to climb and this isn’t a passing trend, with younger, mobile-fluent generations taking firm hold of the pet parent label. Large retailers are always around, engaging customers on various mobile platforms. Small-scale retailers – and especially online pet businesses – need to step up their mobile game and increase their online presence if they want to compete.

One great thing about these smaller pet retailers is that they can specialize in a product line, hold to a higher quality standard, or deal only in fresh, local options. Today’s pet owners want these boutique options when looking for the absolute best food and supplies for their fur babies. So it’s high time that pet stores made it even easier for their ideal customers to find them.

Cat owner using her mobile phone.

Any petcare service you can imagine is available in an app or on a mobile-friendly website, in the palm of your customers’ hands. In the past, small-time retailers may have relied more heavily on face-to-face transactions to build trust and loyalty. But in today’s busy, modern world, convenience is king. If you can provide your customers with the quality they demand paired with the convenience they crave, you’ll hit your target. Pet owners, like everyone else, are on their phones all day, every day. It’s time to meet them where they are.

Making Tech Work

You know that your company’s online presence requires constant attention and maintenance. So if your website is in order and well-stocked with products, keyword-rich content, and company information, ask yourself – is it mobile-friendly? That can mean different things for different operating systems, but it should always include easy navigation, search, and purchasing features.

Creating a branded app that allows customers to use a dedicated account to purchase, track their history, and access other features of your business adds value for you and them. A customer’s impulse – ’I need to buy dog food’ – can then easily translate into a purchase, regardless of location or other variables. Their task done is your sale made.

A safe and secure mobile transaction utilizing tokenized payment methods and stored customer data allows for quick access and seamless ordering. Take the value-add a step further and implement a point-of-sale solution that offers clients the convenience of free pickup, local same-day delivery, and other shipping options. Getting your products into customers’ hands through a variety of methods enables you to extend your business’s reach without increasing labor costs.

Dog owner using her laptop to find services.

But here’s the rub – ”seamless” for the client might not be seamless for your business. Keeping track of online, mobile, and in-person orders while collating, updating, and managing data and inventories is a tall order. It’s time for a shift in mindset. No longer should there be a disconnect between in-store and online sales. Instead, view them as different branches of the same tree. It’s all connected, so make it easier on yourself and your customers – utilize a commerce platform and innovative point-of-sale solution to automatically synchronize sales. From mobile applications to website commerce and in-store buying, you’ll want everything to funnel into one system.

Once you’ve adopted a new operating system and worked through the transition you can better manage your business, reduce stress over quantity and stock, and allow yourself to focus on building, branding, and booming. Getting your feet wet now, while things are still evolving means that you can grow and change right along with the industry. And as things progress from this year into the next, mark our words: being able to adapt and offer remote access to your customer base will be more critical than ever.

Cautious Data Driving

In order for your pet store to deliver on goals of convenience, ideal inventory, and plenty of other must-haves, a certain amount of upfront consumer info is vital. Like other industries, petcare is currently undergoing a major evolution. More data is available than ever before, and this valuable information can help you better understand customers’ behavior and how that speaks to their needs and preferences. Providing just what your clients desire and demand will go far in emphasizing that the value in their data is a two-way street, and that everyone can benefit. In the end, they need to know that you’re in this for their best interests.

Protecting Your Path

Keeping customers and pets in mind with every decision enables your business to be successful by the standards of those who matter most – your patrons. Business transparency, department connectivity, data wealth, informed customer service, and the best possible customer experience are your goals. Data and robust technology are how you will get there.

Large scale online-only and brick-and-mortar retailers are already making full use of mobile commerce. They have created norms and set customers’ expectations. Now it’s your time to shine – take that tech and run! But as you dash toward growth and success remember that you could be exposing your business to additional risk. So whether your pet store already includes a digital shop or it’s something you are planning to build, be sure to drop a line to your trusted insurance professional. Added coverage could be in order to ensure that you can keep climbing without worry. As always, Zinc is here for you, with comprehensive protection at the ready.

This blog post does not provide insurance advice and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional insurance advice from a licensed representative. Never ignore professional insurance advice because of something you have read in this blog post. Contact your licensed representative if you have any questions about your insurance policy.