THE IMPORTANCE OF VARIETY
With all of the options that are out there, having the right product assortment is key to stimulating sales in the
outdoor accessories category.
Susan Strible, director of marketing for Bend, Ore.-based Ruffwear, said that giving thought to grouping like
items can be a successful strategy.
“Grouping products together by activity, such as camping or trail running, can guide customers to make
purchasing decisions as they look to complete their activity ‘kit,’” she said. “Ruffwear lifestyle photography supports
these outdoor activities and can ideally showcase the product collections while inspiring a sense of adventure.”
Irene Diaz, sales assistant for ZippyPaws in Chino, Calif., added that the assortment of products should always
reflect the objective a retailer is aiming to achieve.
“For instance, if the goal is to have owners want to go out with their dogs more, then the assortment should be
items that are compact and portable,” Diaz said.
Retailers could even create three categories for “outdoor adventures with dogs,” Diaz added. Basic items might
include waste bags, treats and collars. A travel grouping could include leashes, car seat covers and compact bowls.
Diaz also suggested having an outdoor toy grouping for keeping pups entertained while out of the house. Retailers
could use these groupings to come up with creative display ideas as well, she noted.
New products have recently been introduced to the market in the
outdoor adventure and walking category.
EzyDog has a new denim range. Bryant Baxter, marketing sales
coordinator of the Ponderay, Idaho-based company, said that this makes
the company’s most popular products now available in a “fashionable
look that’s fit for all dogs—male or female, from city to countryside.”
In addition, ZippyPaws in Chino, Calif., recently released its
Adventure Car Hammock, a car accessory to help keep backseats free
from dirt and pet hair.
“Soon to come will be our Adventure Car Front Seat Barrier and
Adventure Support Lift Harness,” added Irene Diaz, sales assistant
for the company. “The front seat barrier is great for keeping your pup
safe in the backseat, allowing you to drive without distraction. The lift
harness assists pups with mobility issues to get into the car, making it
easy on your pup and your back.”
“Letting customers know that they can try it
out, and if it doesn’t work the way they imagined,
they can bring it back. [It’s] the best way to sell
more of these products. Having the ability to take
things back can really make or break the customer service piece of an independent store. It’s
easy to bring something back, you can try items
on in the store before you buy it and have experts
like ourselves be able to tell you from experience
what to expect.”—KIMMCCOHAN,
chiefhappi-ness officer for Bend Pet Express, which has two
locations in Bend, Ore.
“Dog owners like to see their pets as independent beings. One idea is
that you could position your marketing strategy as if the dog is the one
in power. Asking a question like ‘Where will your dog take you today?’
Creating challenges or hashtags are also great ways to foster customer
engagement. These are some easy and accessible ways to reach large
audiences.”—IRENE DIAZ, sales assistant for ZippyPaws in Chino, Calif.
“Sometimes walking and adventures is a category that gets
thought of more often in terms of big dogs. But little dogs like being outside, too. They might not be able to keep up with as much
walking, but a lot of people actually like the idea of a stroller for
their little dog. Strollers are particularly popular in urban environments.”—GEORGE PARENTE, founder of Dogs & Cats Rule, which
has five locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
How can retailers be more successful with the
walking and adventure products category?
FOUFOUBRANDS presents Foufoudog
Bodyguard Protective All-Weather Dog
Pants. The product covers the essentials,
and it easily fastens with adjustable buckles.
It features a cutout for the dog to do its
business, while the rest of the suit covers
the chest, stomach and legs. It works to
protect fur from those snowballs that build in
dogs’ coats during snowy romps, and it also
prevents muddy undercarriages and legs.
It features reflective stripes down the legs.
PET SHOP BY FRINGE STUDIO offers
comfy pet mattresses. These
spacious mattresses offer plenty
of room to lounge and stretch.
The removable high-density
shredded memory foam insert
is designed for optimal joint
support. The cover is constructed out of
durable heavyweight 100 percent cotton, and it is
reversible for long-lasting use between cleanings. The cushion
cover is removable and machine washable and dryable. Beds are indi-
vidually vacuum seal packed. Available in large and medium.
TREATIBLES’ Ready Packs for cats
and dogs are convenient single doses
that can be administered to pets on
the fly. They come in a pocket-sized
convenient package for easy access
and transportation. The packs contain
10 single servings of the company’s
organic full-spectrum hemp oil in easy-
to-use applicators for controlled and
consistent dosing. Administered orally,
the oil addresses anxiety, helps main-
tain normal emotional balance and
instills calm, the company reports. It
can also be used topically to promote
the healing of scratches, bites, hot
spots and more.
treatibles.com PET SHOP BY FRINGE STUDIO presents Tassel Keychain & Collar Charm Sets. The faux suede tassel keychain with clip is for the owner, and the coordinating metal charm with jump ring is for a
pet’s collar or leash. The keychain is 4.75 in. long. Designs are available for both dog and cat lovers.