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7 Ideas to Make Your Pet Shop Merchandise Stand Out

September 24, 2019

Making your pet shop wares more fun and engaging is a sure way to inspire sales. The following are ideas to make your displays and pet merch more attention-grabbing.

Create real-life effects with dog mannequins

Borrow a page from your favorite clothing retailer and use canine mannequins. When it’s easier for pet parents to visualize how their dog might fill out that pet sweater, winter coat or Halloween costume, they’re more likely to buy.

Turn the aisles into a casual doggie fashion show

There’s nothing quite like a live model to move merchandise. For busy shopping days, recruit some pet parents of friendly, well-behaved dogs to come work for you for an hour or two as demo models for canine apparel. With Halloween and Christmas around the corner, the spectacle of cuteness will make shopping fun for customers, while also eliminating some of the guesswork.

Build displays with a focus

Here’s a variation of the tried-and-tried endcap. (Though, don’t forget to lease endcaps to manufacturers for a revenue boost.) Devote a space to curate themed displays year-round. Themes can tackle different topics for pet parents, including: training and behavior, safety, and health and nutrition. These should also take on fun topics, like pet pampering and playtime. When populating the display space with the right products, do include one-off items you don’t typically carry. Make it engaging with samples, hand-outs and QR codes that give customers access to expert advice and information that will help them get the most out of their purchase. This is not only a smart way to help pet parents discover new solutions and new products, but you’ll also prove your expertise and value. Once pet parents catch on to the fact there’s always something new and captivating happening at your shop, visits to your store become a can’t-miss event they’ll look forward to every time.

Get seasonal

Holiday displays are a big winner for big-box retailers. Seasonal merchandise is effective because of the built-in scarcity marketing tactic. “Buy now” and “limited edition” tell customers there’s a limited window of time to make a decision, and that creates a sense of urgency that often prompts people to buy.

Post product reviews from real customers

When it comes to online purchases, a glowing customer review always lends a turbo boost to sales. People find statements from other customers as inherently trustworthy. So why not adapt this concept to a brick-and-mortar setting? Ask people to write reviews and then display these near the products. Set up and direct customers to an online survey, asking them to rate their favorite products, while penning a few sentences. They can talk about which features they love, how it made a difference in the lives of their pet, and why they would buy again. Then, print and display a selected few of these rave reviews near the products. Don’t forget to include the customer’s name — doing so makes the review more credible.

Offer tempting tie-ins and promotions

Retailers know that selling low-priced, easy-to-grab items near the cash register is an easy way to boost sales. For a variation of that idea, borrow from the online retail playbook with suggested add-ons and position these “upsells” around your top-selling products. For example, to accompany the purchase of a treat, recommend a treat puzzle or a fun toy. Even better, tell your favorite brands you’d love to enter a special promotional partnership with them. (“Free scoop with every purchase of kitty litter!” “Free treat with every purchase of a bag of NutriSource Dog Food.”) Any time you can tempt customers to buy a bit extra is always a win; it builds loyalty and if they love the product, they’ll be back for more!

Go for a clean but colorful effect

Going for an uncluttered look makes it easy for pet parents to locate what they need. Yes, often times, less is more. Open space defines products and makes them more eye-catching. Still, don’t be shy about introducing a fun design element to your display. Use the shape and color of your products to guide themes and pleasing patterns. For example, arranging leashes by color and setting that off with a clean display is a sure way to draw in the eye!

Remember: Always track and measure

Whenever you test out new ways to display your merchandise, make sure you’re measuring how customers respond. Once you’ve created that dynamic, eye-catching leash display, create a side-by-side comparison on a spreadsheet tracking sales, before and after the fact. Don’t forget to use other tools at your disposal. Ask employees to be your eyes and ears on the sales floor, and share their observations. Keep a close eye on how traffic moves through the retail areas — are there “dead zones” that need a reconfiguration? Is another area too condensed? Pull the security footage from a busy weekend afternoon, and get a bird’s eye view at how people find their way around your shop. Accessing data and using it can uncover a lot of useful insights!

Now that you have some inspired ideas to make your merchandise more eye-popping and engaging, start experimenting! If you discover a spike in sales, you’ll know you’re on to something great!

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