Facebook… Twitter…FourSquare… You may think that you are not technologically savvy enough to be a part of social media. But the advantages of social media in the pet industry is measurable! I already have many customers who have loyal followers on Facebook and all I hear are success stories!
Check out this article by Direct Marketing News about the pet industry and the advantages of social media and do yourself a favor and grow your business with social media: http://www.dmnews.com/social-media-rises-in-pet-pushes/article/136931/
I was walking through a large chain store the other day (it rhymes with shwal-mart) and I was looking to buy a bike helmet. I wandered the expansive mess they call “sporting goods” and came upon copious amounts of head protection in every size, shape, and color. The only problem was they were all in boxes; boxes that were the Fort Knox of boxes. Impervious tape, twisty ties, and puzzling cardboard prevented me from trying them on and I eventually left empty handed.
I was frustrated because this should have been a relatively easy process if I were only able to touch, feel and try the product before I bought it. It made me think, why do small stores do so well with larger ticket items? That’s easy, it’s because they let the customer feel it, touch it, play with it, before they buy it. If it comes in a box, take it out. Your customers want to know that the backpack fits their dog before they make the leap of faith we call buying. Our Starter Agility kit is a perfect example. I once went to a store that had the tunnel set up near the entrance. This easy set up let the customers try it before they actually bought it! It was a huge success.
I hate having to sneak products out of the package and hope that security isn’t going to form tackle me in the isle for doing so. Me and your customers, are going to buy more often if they can actually touch and feel the product before they buy it.
What are you doing that sets you apart from other stores? How do you do things different from the store down the street? Ask yourself these questions and then watch my video about our new toys, the Invincibles. We like to be different by making toys that dogs actually want to play with… and then, of course, making funny videos about them for your viewing pleasure… Enjoy!
What do your customers mean to you? Besides the obvious answer of money, good question . For Indies, your customers should affect you on more than a monetary level. Most of these people tell you about their families, their pets, their problems. And your there to not only listen but get to know their needs that you can then fulfill with an object in your store. People want to be listened to, it makes them feel important.
For example, I went to a snowboard shop to fix a binding that was loose. They not only helped me fix the binding (free of charge), they asked me about my skill of riding, my preferences for terrain, and other personal things about my snowboarding lifestyle. I felt I was important enough to get to know, even if they don’t remember me next time. As they were listening, they suggested that I wear a helmet because I prefer to ride fast. They listened, they informed, they sold me a $90 helmet. I left a happy customer.
Next time a customer comes in, start asking questions. You might get a full 20 minute life story, but I guarantee people will like you more, and want to buy from you more often. Is this customer important enough to get to know? The answer every time should be, Yes.