What merchandising tricks can help
pet specialty retailers sell more small
LET’S MAKE A DEAL
Sometimes selling more small animal habitats at retail just takes a little marketing and promotional creativity,
industry participants report.
At Adventure Pets in Mandeville, La., the store offers pricing deals to customers who purchase a small
animal and a cage.
“We offer 15 percent off health care and a free visit to the vet,” said co-owner Stephen Creech. “It entices
people to spend money here.”
Selling more of these small animal habitats often comes down to educating and personalizing a customer’s
experience, both in-store and via social media.
“Retailers should be the local experts on all things pet,” said Jason Savitt, president of Prevue Pet Products
in Chicago. “Educate and guide your customers to purchase the appropriate home for their pet. For example,
Ware Pet Products in Phoenix offers its retail customers in-store education, video, marketing and more, and
it provides sale sheets to distributors to share with buyers as requested. The company has also updated and
launched a new website to help share information, features and benefits, and images to educate and engage
retail customers and pet owners alike.
SEEING IS BELIEVING
Displaying small animal habitats in high-traffic, highly visible locations is among the most effective ways for pet
specialty retailers to boost sales in the category, according to industry insiders.
At Adventure Pets in Mandeville, La., co-owner Stephen Creech displays animal habitats on the top shelves
throughout the store, so they are in full view of customers.
“I always like to have them out because they sell 10 times better when people can get a good visual on them,”
Jason Savitt, president of Prevue Pet Products in Chicago, said retailers should create a mini showroom with
“Replicate an environment in your store that highlights how a cage may look and feel in a customer’s home,”
he said. “In today’s market, people will spend a little more if they know their pet’s home will fit in with the décor of
their living space. Think of it like you are selling furniture.”
John Gerstenberger, vice president of product development and sourcing for Ware Pet Products in Phoenix,
encourages retailers to have at least one preassembled small animal habitat on display on the shelf, as this is a
tried-and-tested way to increase sales of these products.
“Not an easy task for many retailers due to space constraints, but most will tell you, their sales increase when
a customer is able to see how a cage is set up and they can touch it,” he said.
Sherry Emerson, owner of Pet World in Lawrence, Kan., said that customers often take inspiration from her
store’s cage displays.
“Our animals are kept in huge, open pens, which encourages new owners to take a similar approach,” she said.
“Learning the needs of a particular pet
owner, and incorporating those factors into
your recommendation, will only personalize
their experience more while providing a
valuable service.”—JASONSAVITT, presi-
dent of Prevue Pet Products in Chicago
“It comes down to talking to your customers
and letting them see what you have available. If
you notice someone looking at a cage, strike up a
conversation and get them talking about their pet.”
—STEPHEN CREECH, co-owner of Adventure Pets
in Mandeville, La.
“Smaller pets also appeal to smaller spaces
like urban areas; therefore, targeting millennials who live and work in more urban
areas with smaller spaces for a pet is a
vice president of product development and
sourcing for Ware Pet Products in Phoenix
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