In almost every sense of the word, pets are our companions. They follow us through life, they share in our joy, they comfort us in our sorrow and so they follow us through our day by day routines. After living in a house with pets, it’s often hard to assume going back to an existence without having a furry, feathered or scaled friend.
Unsurprisingly, this has led to a lot of us to view our pets as literal family members. In recent times, this trend has come to be referred to as “pet humanization.” The rise of social media has led to pet owners doing things like create Instagram and TikTok accounts for his or her pets, dress their pets in seasonal outfits or provide all manner of seemingly-luxury goods for the animals of their home. A 2019 Advantage Solutions market evaluation cited that 9 in 10 dog or cat owners consider their pets as members of the family, while almost half of dog owners thought it to be harder to be away from their dog for every week than from their spouse/partner for a similar period of time. The identical evaluation notes that 1 in 10 American pets have their very own social media account and that 65 percent of dog owners take more pictures of their pet than they do of their spouse/partner.
Pets are Family
To be blunt, we’re beyond the purpose of viewing our pets as easy animals anymore. They’re members of the family, just as much as a spouse or a toddler. And, if we wish to stay relevant within the expanding pet supply marketplace, we must fully embrace the thought of pets as family.
Consider starting with the staple of the pet retail industry: pet food. Based on Advantage Solutions, pet owners are increasingly more likely – to the tune of 75 percent of dog and cat owners – to pay more for healthier pet food that is perhaps more prone to extend the lifetime of their pet. Offering organic food options, in addition to selections with limited ingredient lists and added vitamins and minerals. Forty-seven percent of pet owners in Advantage’s evaluation denote looking for pet foods that mimic human foods, implying each the increasing ‘personhood’ of pets and a commensurately increasing desire for pet owners to know what goes into their pets’ food.
Nevertheless, this trend also extends into other items: clothing, toys and accessories. One major pet chain we visit recurrently has even begun to prominently carry pet accessories meant specifically for mountain climbing and camping, including floatation devices meant for pets while aboard canoes and boats. By including pets in our recreation activities, we’ve opened the door to supply the crucial items for pets to completely take part in those activities. And, in case your store is to stay relevant within the ever-increasing online marketplace, you should capitalize on the expanding trend of pet humanization.
As you adapt your store to higher address pet humanization, start offering your customers ways by which they’ll bring facets of “luxury” to their pets. For those who offer a basic steel food bowl, consider also stocking a deluxe model with an ornamental pedestal or other personalization elements. For those who offer basic pet clothing, offer a variety with popular culture characters, in order that a pet owner can project their likes and personalities onto their pet. For those who offer leashes and collars, add selections in various colours, patterns and materials. You could even wish to offer special deals that provide multiple options at discount – resembling buy two, get one free – that reinforce the thought of accessorizing for pets. Doing so gets your customers within the habit of adjusting collars and other cosmetic items, resulting in a greater likelihood of additional cosmetic purchases.
The bond between a pet and their owner can’t be denied. We comprehend it intimately, and that bond of friendship is what’s led a lot of us into the pet industry in the primary place. But as increasingly pet owners view their pets as members of the family, we’d like to treat those pets in the identical manner. The health, well-being and happiness of an individual’s pets means as much to that person as their very own, and we’d like to not only respect that relationship, but find the most effective ways to serve it. Doing so earns you not only long-term customers, but friends.
Amy P. Castro, MA, is a business, leadership and communication expert, creator and speaker who helps organizations develop leaders and construct amazing teams one person at a time. She works with pet industry professionals who wish to grow their loyal customer base by constructing a “Best in Show” team that may deliver a 5-Star Customer Experience. Amy can be the president of Starlight Outreach and Rescue, a nonprofit rescue within the Houston, Texas, area, and he or she has personally fostered greater than 1,000 shelter pets.