The Importance of Pet Store Merchandising - GA Pet Food Partners

The Importance of Pet Store Merchandising

In recent times, the number of ways that pet owners can shop for their pet’s food is increasing. With this in mind, the role of pet store merchandising has never been more important to help to drive sales. This article looks at pet store merchandising and why it is crucial to gaining customers. In addition, the article will provide you with hints and tips about merchandising that you can use in your very own pet shop.

What is merchandising?

An excellent way to start the article is to define what merchandising is. Merchandising is defined as the presentation of goods in a retail store which educates the customers and creates a desire to purchase products. Merchandising is used to differentiate brands, increase the desire for the product, attract the customers and get a return in terms of sales (Niazi, Haider, & Hayat, 2015).

What is merchandising - Pet Store Merchandising

Since the sales process often starts with the eyes, merchandising involves presenting visually favourable products to try and encourage purchases.

Why is merchandising important for pet shops?

When it comes to pet store merchandising, this plays a vital role in enticing customers to purchase from your store. For example, most customers want to quickly find what they are looking to buy, if they have issues with this they may look to shop elsewhere. That is why pet store merchandising is essential to an easy shopping experience. A recent survey by PWC revealed that 65% of people in the UK believe the shopping experience helps people decide between buying options. In addition, a Walker report found that customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator. This is supported by the fact that 45.9% of businesses have prioritised improving their customer experience in the next five years (Kulbytė, 2021).

The basics of merchandising your pet shop are ensuring your shop is clean and tidy for pet shop owners. This will make it easier for pet owners to navigate your store and find the items they are looking for.

This section of the article will provide you with several tips on how you can merchandise your pet shop.

Pet Store Window Merchandising

As a customer approaches your pet shop, the first thing that they will see is your shop window. This presents a fantastic opportunity for you to give an excellent first impression and encourage anyone who passes your shop to become a customer. However, it is important to note that setting out a few of your pet products on a table may not be enough to catch a potential customer’s eye. Your pet shop window requires a lot of thought and detail regarding the colours and visuals used to attract the customer. For example, having a focal point, such as the latest products to arrive in your shop or products on offer. Props and good lighting can then support this to make the window shop more visually appealing.

Pet Show Window - Pet Store Merchandising

We all know the saying don’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s what we do. Your shop window is about communicating why a customer should enter your store.

Pet Store Layout

A decisive part of merchandising is the layout of your store. This directly impacts how and where you can set up your products to merchandise. It also influences the purchasing behaviour of the customer. As a pet shop owner, maximising the floor space is crucial as it allows you to stock more products and gives customers enough room to access merchandise easily. Moreover, having a good store layout encourages shoppers to discover different sections of your store; this is a great way to add more merchandise to different areas of your shop. For example, having pet food towards the back of your store forces customers through different aisles and past several other pet items on the way.

Consider your Product Selection

Another key component of merchandising is the selection of your products. Looking at your aisles and noting which products are displayed next to each other, should they be there? Or could they be more appealing to customers elsewhere? It is important to note that once you have decided on your store layout, the selection of products comes next. From a merchandising point of view, your number one priority with product selection is ensuring that you have no empty shelves. The more you can engage a customer with your products, the more likely they will purchase.

As you focus on the products you want in specific sections of your store, it’s a great idea to put products of a similar quality next to each other. For instance, if you have your own brand of pet food, you should place this on shelves next to competitors that have a similar composition. This way, your customer will be able to easily compare and make the right choice regarding the product that they want to buy. Unfortunately, a common error in pet shops is that own-brand products are merchandised together in their shop. As a result, customers may only buy one of your own brand products rather than several different products. Another consideration is lifestage and size, putting all your Small Breed products together rather than all of brand X. This allows the customer to head to the appropriate aisle and make an easy product comparison before purchase.

Connect with Product and Sample Displays

Another prime way to attract customers is by setting up product and sample displays. Product Displays present a fantastic opportunity to show off the latest products in your store, providing customers with offers or seasonal products. It is about giving your customers the experience that they want! Creating engaging and eye-catching merchandise certainly forms part of this. However, it is also important to switch things up. Static merchandising is one common error that shops make, and making sure to move merchandise around is key, even if there are no new products to display. This will lead to repeat customers encountering items they might have never seen before.

Product and Sample Display - Pet Store Merchandising

If there is a product you feel could be getting more sales, move it towards the front of your shop, allowing it to be one of the first products the customer sees when visiting. Also, consider your ‘Hero Space’, this is the area where every brand wants to be but you must consider your margin and whether this product delivers your best return on investment. Suppose you have regular visitors who often purchase the same products. Make a note to ensure that you have the product in stock and move it next to a product you think they may be interested in; this could allow you to get another sale while also creating a personable experience for your customer.

Consider your Product Selection

Another key component of merchandising is the selection of your products. Looking at your aisles and noting which products are displayed next to each other, should they be there? Or could they be more appealing to customers elsewhere? It is important to note that once you have decided on your store layout, the selection of products comes next. From a merchandising point of view, your number one priority with product selection is ensuring that you have no empty shelves. The more you can engage a customer with your products, the more likely they will purchase.

As you focus on the products you want in specific sections of your store, it’s a great idea to put products of a similar quality next to each other. For instance, if you have your own brand of pet food, you should place this on shelves next to competitors that have a similar composition. This way, your customer will be able to easily compare and make the right choice regarding the product that they want to buy. Unfortunately, a common error in pet shops is that own-brand products are merchandised together in their shop. As a result, customers may only buy one of your own brand products rather than several different products. Another consideration is lifestage and size, putting all your Small Breed products together rather than all of brand X. This allows the customer to head to the appropriate aisle and make an easy product comparison before purchase.

Showcase Product Reviews

Customer reviews are a common theme for online shopping. However, when it comes to in-store shopping, customers cannot always see how other customers have found the product, leading to them going elsewhere if they see positive reviews. Reviews do not have to be online only. If you have a website, a fantastic merchandising method is taking reviews from different products and displaying them near your product, which could help the customer decide whether to purchase. Research suggests that consumers are more likely to buy from brands they trust. Building a sense of trust among your customers is one of the most basic steps to boosting sales.

Branding Consistency

Incorporating your brand identity throughout your shop is great for customers to recognise your brand when merchandising. However, you want to ensure that the customer doesn’t forget the store that they’re in. One of the most effective ways is decorating your store in your brand colours and imagery. For instance, if you have several signs, make sure that all of them have your brand logo and colours on them.

Summary

To summarise, pet store merchandising is decisive in driving sales. It all begins by enticing customers into your shop with methods such as having a pet show window. This is the first stage to impress potential customers and get them to look around your shop. Pet shop owners need to be wary about how they layout their store as it directly impacts how you can merchandise and the products you can select to be in your store. Another fantastic way of merchandising is by presenting your products on displays; this not only helps to catch the eye of the customer but is a great way to show the latest products that you have to offer. In addition, showcasing product reviews in your store is an immense method to convert a customer, as research suggests that customers are more likely to purchase based on recommendations.

References

Bedgood, L. (2021, July 13). 50 Statistics About Retail Marketing and Consumer Shopping Trends. Retrieved from V12data https://v12data.com/blog/50-statistics-about-retail-marketing-and-consumer-shopping-trends/

Cuddeford-Jones, M. (2012, May 24). Offering a bit more than a free sample. Retrieved from Marketing Week: https://www.marketingweek.com/offering-a-bit-more-than-a-free-sample/

Kulbytė , T. (2021, June 24th). KEY CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STATISTICS YOU NEED TO KNOW. Retrieved from Super Office: https://www.superoffice.com/blog/customer-experience-statistics/

Niazi, U., Haider, T., & Hayat, F. (2015, March 18th). Journal of Marketing and Consumer Research. Journal of Marketing and Consumer Research, 80-85. Retrieved from Modern Retail: https://modernretail.co.uk/visual-merchandising-the-ultimate-guide/#htoc-what-is-visual-merchandising

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Matthew Aiken, Marketing Executive

Matthew Aiken

Marketing Communications Expert

Matt graduated in 2017 with an undergraduate degree in Business & Management. Here he discovered that he had a passion and interest in Marketing. In his spare time, he enjoys anything fitness related and getting outdoors. He also has a French Bulldog called Harley and a Persian cat called Bonnie Blue.

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Article written by Matthew Aiken