Dog and cat food sales are the primary destination product for your pet specialty stores, meaning that consumers visit with the intent to purchase their daily pet food. Unfortunately, food is also the lowest margin item in your store. The key to higher ticket totals and margins is to provide complete nutrition programs beyond the daily kibble. Adding supplements to your customer’s feeding regime is one easy way to improve both the pet’s health and your bottom line.
Pet specialty stores distinguish themselves by providing advice and high quality feed options that are not available in grocery and big box stores. Consumers know this, so those shopping at pet specialty stores are generally more knowledgeable and interested in tailored pet care. But don’t leave your customers to wander the aisle alone. Proactively ask questions to understand the needs of each customer and their pets. Engaging your customers will allow you to increase sales across all product categories, and establish your sales associates as a valuable resource. Ask:
- What food do you use?
- Conventional kibble or wet food?
- Limited ingredient?
- What type of pet?
- Body fat (overweight/underweight)?
- How are its allergies?
- Hot spots?
- Stinky ears?
- Do they lick their paws?
- How is its health?
- Skin and coat? Shedding? Dandruff?
- Urinary tract? Trouble urinating? Urinating in the house?
Create Nutrition Programs
While commercially available diets are designed to provide complete nutrition, each pet has unique dietary needs that may not be met by these general formulations. Additional nutritional needs may arise from different lifestyle, health, or the feeding philosophies. Once you understand your consumers, you can provide complete programs that meet their needs.
A. Food Type
While most pet parents rely on conventional kibble and wet food, premium shoppers gravitate toward limited-ingredient, grain-free, and raw diets. There are supplements for each of these!
Multivitamins are a great way to add nutrients that are cooked out of conventional foods and support raw feeders looking to avoid artificial vitamins and minerals found in more highly processed options.
kin+kind Healthy Skin & Coat is a multivitamin that appeals to a broad spectrum of feeding philosophies. It provides a low-cost method of introducing raw, natural foods to conventional feeders, while aligning with the limited-ingredient and natural feeding philosophies of more premium feeders.
B. Pet Type
Pets of different ages and body types have unique needs. Younger dogs are more active and may have been recently spayed or neutered and require additional immune support.
Now is the time to start them on nutrient-dense supplements like Raw Coconut Oil and multivitamins that boost a healthy immune system.
Older pets often suffer from aches and pains. Joint pain is the most common, so be sure to offer a natural support for pets on senior diets.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are also very common among older dogs. While UTIs should be treated with antibiotics, pet parents with aging pets should proactively support a healthy urinary tract before infections happen. kin+kind’s Healthy Immunity is made with vitamin C-rich berries to keep pets healthy before infection hits.
Hot spots, dandruff, and stinky ears can be treated topically. We would know: kin+kind’s natural and organic grooming line is designed for just such problems. But allergic reactions like skin irritation often start with pet diets, either due to food allergies or a dietary deficiency.
Pets with allergies are a major topic that we will be addressing in future posts. In relationship to supplements, look for products that add, and support the absorption of, nutrients to help maintain healthy skin and coat.
D. Health Issues
Pet parents commonly seek help for their pets’ dry skin, joint pain, and UTIs. But many aren’t aware that natural relief is available through nutritional supplements. So be sure to ask whether pets have any of the common health issues discussed above.