Keep your pet business afloat by offering the right products and services during the Covid crisis
The pet care industry had been aggressively growing for years. The restrictions and general consumer unease of the first few months of the Covid crisis hit a lot of small businesses hard, but it’s not the end for pet businesses. In fact, overall the pet care industry looks to be quite resilient.
Not every sector of pet care is recovering the same, but some areas have actually seen growth. There is light at the end of the tunnel, as long as you’re smart with your offerings right now. Here are some of the best and worst selling pet care products to help get your business through Covid.
Get back to basics
This spring and summer has brought a surge of adoptions and pet purchases. Many are finding that pets provide the comfort and sense of purpose that they lost in recent months. And with new pet ownership comes new pet purchases.
Food, in particular, has shown to be essentially recession-proof. Other basic care items like toys, particularly training toys, bedding, and habitats have all shown strong growth. Leashes and harnesses are also ideal sellers. Walking their dog has become a top way to keep a pet owner’s sanity intact.
A shocking amount of “alternative” pets have also been adopted recently. The specialty bedding, gear, food, and habitats for less traditional pets can be big sellers, but harder to find. Start to test the waters in your market by tracking sales and then, perhaps, increasing the offerings of these more specialty products.
Make their home life easier
At-home grooming has also seen an uptick. Flea and tick products, as well as brushes and razors, are showing growth. If you provide grooming services and they’ve taken a hit during this time, then consider increasing your supply of at-home grooming products to offer your customers. Pick-up and drop-off grooming options are also proving successful for more cautious owners.
Pet gates are in demand as countless work-from-home employees are facing the intrusion of their furry friends into their new “workplace.” Though loveable, pets tend to be distracting co-workers.
The increase of people working from home with their pets (new or old) is also leading to a wave of owners realizing that their pet needs training. Group training is harder to offer under restrictions, but this could be a great time to switch to one-on-one training methods or even in-house solutions.
It is less traditional to keep a dog on-site for several weeks for daily training. But it could provide an in-the-moment solution to safety concerns, while staying profitable.
Back off the luxury
What this may not be the time for is the more luxury-oriented pet care products that might have been selling well before the pandemic hit. Most of the large bankruptcies in the past six months have come from higher-end brands. Even wealthier consumers aren’t spending the same high dollar amounts on products anymore.
But that isn’t to say that people aren’t spending. Value retailers like Target and Walmart have recently seen some of their highest sales and stock values ever. The market for the more expensive and less utilitarian pet care products will likely rebound, but it’s probably best to pull back on those for now.
Don’t forget the “extra”
It’s still essential when moving toward the future, pandemic or not, to maintain a strong e-commerce platform. However, make sure that you still have something which makes your brick and mortar store appealing. Excellent customer service and an extremely knowledgeable staff, especially about more niche animals and products, can be your saving grace.
Online ordering is great when customers already know exactly what they need, but nothing can beat personalized suggestions from expert in-person service.
And if you haven’t already, take this time to research your local area and nail down the ideal product lineup and price point you need to reach your target market best.
For more advice on adjusting your inventory to meet changing demand in your target market, get in touch with us today!