SKIN & COAT:
When talking about educating customers about skin and coat treatments, industry insiders agreed that it’s important and
contributes to extra sales as well as improved
“Educating customers is important so they
feel comfortable in caring for their pets and
know that they are making the best decisions for
them,” said Lizz Cook, manager of Land of Paws
in Prairie Village, Kan.
Manufacturers agreed that when it comes to
educating customers, nothing replaces employee
“It’s the best advertising you can get for products and knowledge about the skin care products,” said Bobbi Panter, founder and president
of Bobbi Panter Pet Products in Chicago.
And first-hand knowledge is the very best,
industry professionals said.
“Most of us here are always excited to try
new things,” Cook said.
“We will usually try things
on our own pets first and
share our experience with
fellow co-workers and cus-
tomers. We also encourage
our customers to give us
feedback on the products
they are trying so we have
a larger opinion base.”
The sales advantage of consumer education
comes from making sure pet owners know about
the products that can help them and their pets.
“Eight out of 10 dogs will lick their paws for
many hours a day, and we have a great product
that will help to eliminate paw licking, but many
customers will not even know that a product in
front of their face can help them if they are not
told about it or do not catch the label in front of
them,” said Eric Bittman, CEO of Warren London in New City, N. Y. “If the store owner or employees ask questions and can show them some
great easy-to-do-at-home grooming products,
they can add many sales per day.”—SC
SKIN & COAT:
When customers visit a groomer or pet store, product displays are ef- fective tools in creating awareness
of the product within the store.
“Displays help to differentiate products
and call attention to the items you want the customer to see,” said
Steven Rosenfeld, president of The F.C. Sturtevant Co. in Windsor
“Made in the USA sections will attract a lot of buyers right
away,” said Adelia Ritchie, Ph.D., president of DERMagic Skin
Care for Animals Inc. in Kingston, Wash.
At Gone to the Dogs Boutique in St. Pete Beach, Fla., co-owner
Brook Bickford maintains a section dedicated to spa and treatment
that includes spa shampoos, dental products, supplements, brush-es, and treats that are good for skin and coat health.
Industry participants also recommended calling out natural
healthful ingredients, a counter display or product grouping, signage, video of the product and ingredients benefits and results.
“I love to see salons or stores with charts for needs and re-
sults: a listing of skin an/or coat needs and issues and the prod-
ucts recommended to best care for those needs,” said Lisa Jordan,
sales and marketing director for Espree Animal Products Inc. in
Grapevine, Texas. “A chart makes for simple, easy choosing by pet
parents to achieve the best results.”
For groomers, using the products and showing them to their
clients sell them best.
“Explain what they see on the dog and how it should be treat-
ed,” Ritchie said. “Many of our groomers also have self-wash sta-
tions with our products offered for sale.”
Domenico Ponti, co-founder of Dog Fashion Spa in Stamford,
Conn., said they ask the stores they work with to leave one jar
open, like at a Chanel counter, so customers can see the product,
test it, feel it and smell it.
More manufacturers report ensuring their product packaging
acts as a display.
The best-sellers at Land of Paws in Prairie Village, Kan., are
eye-catching products with interesting-shaped packaging or
bright colors, said Lizz Cook, manager.
Stores should stage the products in a creative way to display
the products they want to feature and increase sales in that category, said Marie Svet, principal of Organic Oscar in San Diego.—SC
HOW HAS THE PROFESSIONAL GROOMING SKIN AND COAT
TREATMENT CATEGORY CHANGED, AND TO WHAT DO YOU
ATTRIBUTE THESE CHANGES?
“When I started, there were few things
for all the skin conditions or things that
were eco-friendly and safe. Now products are more earth friendly, and the way
people use them has changed.”—
ELIZABETH MCNEILLY, owner and groomer at
Equus and Paws in Missoula, Mont.