There are a lot of flea and tick control products to choose from, and it is easy for customers to get
overwhelmed, said Laura Gustafson, store manager at H3 Pet Supply in Stratford, Conn.
“Nothing beats having a conversation with the customer about what exactly they’re looking for,”
she added. “With so many choices, the customer often needs some guidance.”
Mason Williams, pet specialty category and shopper marketing manager for Bayer Animal Health
in Shawnee, Kan., agreed.
“With so many products available in many places, pet owners can become confused or frustrated
when shopping,” Williams said. “Bayer Animal Health is partnering with retailers to share insights
and to create sets that help shoppers more easily choose products based on their needs.”
Display strategy can help cut down on shopper confusion, said Amy Cairy, marketing manager for
East Longmeadow, Mass.-based W.F. Young, maker of Absorbine products.
“Helping consumers understand the difference between the products and how they can find the
right one for their fur kid is key,” Cairy said. “Grouping products by delivery method of the product—
collars, sprays, shampoos, etc.—is a great way to help consumers start to navigate the aisles.”
Stephanie Boone, CEO of Austin, Texas-based Wondercide Natural Products,
recommended positioning a featured product or brand of flea and tick control products behind the
counter, displayed on the wall directly behind the register. This gives well-informed employees the
opportunity to educate consumers, she said.
“People naturally look there while they are checking out and tend to ask, ‘What is that?’” she
James Brandly, content writer and public relations manager for TropiClean in Wentzville, Mo., said
that flea and tick sales vary by region and by season. But for some retailers, it would be beneficial to
group products by brand with special seasonal call-outs, he said.
“Regardless of your location, floor displays and shelf displays are also wonderful merchandising
options that highlight specific solutions,” Brandly said. “Our floor display houses the complete protection for the home, yard and the pet, and it
educates pet parents on the importance of treating multiple locations.”
Mike McCutcheon, owner of H3 Pet Supply in Stratford, Conn., as well as an Amazon.com leading retailer in flea and tick products, said that
education is the whole draw of the independent retailer. Though McCutcheon does nearly 500 times the sales online as he does in-store for this
category, he said there is still that need for face-to-face interaction with customers who have questions.
“You don’t get that experience online,” he said. “We do a lot of hand-holding with the customer through the process of dealing with fleas or ticks.
They want to know how to get rid of them and what works best. There is a lot more education and a lot more conversation when you’re able to talk
face-to-face with someone.”
What helps you sell more flea
and tick control products?
“I have a display with all of my natural products on a shelving unit on one of my
walls. When people come in asking about flea and tick control, I take them over to
the display, where you’ll not only find the products to apply to your pet, but also
yard and kennel sprays or sprays for bedding and carpets. It’s all in one central
location set up in a nice cabinet that makes products easy to view and read the
labels.”—DeNIse stroNg, co-owner of Pawz On Main in Cottonwood, Ariz.
“These are products that people know they
need—especially once they’ve experienced a
problem—so it’s not a hard sell. Even so, I think
education is the most important factor. Like so
many other things, it comes down to a one-on-one conversation with the shoppers.”—Brook
BIckforD, owner of Gone to the Dogs Boutique &
Grooming in St. Pete Beach, Fla.
“Let’s be honest: Shopping online is
easier. But people come into the store
because they want help. They want to
ask questions and to know what to do.
That’s where the sales are made. It’s a
lot of work, but they want answers and
explanations to their concerns.”
—MIke MccutcheoN, owner of H3
Pet Supply in Stratford, Conn.
“We do a lot of hand-holding with the customer through the process of dealing with fleas
or ticks. They want to know how to get rid of them and what works best.”
—Mike McCutcheon of H3 Pet Supply
For more information, contact us
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flea & tick
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