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How to turn customers into brand loyalists for your pet supply store

May 09, 2019

Building brand loyalty for your pet supply shop requires some psychological insight into what drives your customers to make their choices. When pet parents walk into your store, they’re looking for high-quality food and products for their four-legged family member, so they can live long, happy, healthy lives together.

Building on brand loyalty is all about building meaningful, positive connections with the customer. When you pull this off, pet parents will not only see you as their go-to trusted resource for their pet care needs, they’ll also feel pretty great about supporting your business.

Start building loyalty for your pet supply store by trying some of these ideas.

Create a store culture of friendliness

When it comes to building brand loyalty, the one thing you can’t skip is the feel-good factor. When people walk in the door, you want your team doing all they can to make the customer feel good about their decision to shop with you. As the saying goes, people never forget how you made them feel. That means everyone should be focused on stellar service and creating happy vibes. Luckily, everyone shares a love of animals, giving you an instant ice breaker that allows you to ease into discovering what the customer needs and how you can help.

Be generous with your expertise

As you converse with your customer, the problem they’re trying to solve with their four-legged friend will likely come up, whether it’s litter box issues, leash lunging or pet odors. Practice active listening — show empathy and summarize what they said so they feel assured they’re understood and someone is interested in helping them find a solution.

Then, take time to educate them on different options they may want to try. When the customer feels heard and helped — especially if it improves life with their animal companion — you’ve accomplished something. You’ve built a positive connection with your brand, which is a key element to loyalty.

Get the good vibes going with positive social media shares

People love their pets, and likes and shares will always make them feel seen and appreciated. Never miss opportunities to like and share the cuteness.

Be ready with in-store resources

Sharing tips, information and resources with your customers is a powerful way to build credibility. So be sure and hand these out like dog treats at a pet parade! Post useful content on your social media sites — along with a quick tip of your own. In-store, gather content that offers tips and info around diet, training and behavior concerns, and display them where they’ll help customers most in their decision making.

Drive higher sales with a loyalty program

Building a high-quality loyalty club at your store is a sure-fire way to reinforce your base of loyalists. Research from Accenture shows that customers who take part in loyalty programs generate 12-18% more revenue than customers who don’t. Members also give higher ratings. Whatever you choose, customers want to know what’s in it for them. Will they get points for free merchandise? Members-only pricing? Birthday treats? Exclusive sales? Access to helpful pet care content? Adopting a combination of these perks, along with a few delights and surprises sprinkled in, creates the right foundation for a great loyalty program.

Go the extra mile to create warm memories in your store

When people are in transition, it can be an emotional time. When your shop responds in the right way to big events — becoming an empty nester, moving to a new place, pet adoptions (especially ones occurring at your store) — you lay the groundwork for brand loyalty.

For example, as a pet supply shop, you likely play host to animal adoption events. When one of the pets goes to their forever home, that’s your cue to go the extra mile to make it special for the pet-parent. Set up an in-store photo booth for these magic moments and offer perks for new pet parents — like special deals, a “welcome to the family” packet or a swag bag.

Win hearts by telling your story, and stating your higher purpose

Customers are doing their homework before they buy. What they want to know is your story and what you stand for. According to a Nielsen study, some 66% of people surveyed said they’d spend more on brands dedicated to making a positive social and environmental impact. Of these, 56% said they wanted to see a commitment to social values. Think about how you make an impact on bigger causes, such as animal welfare, and show the customer how dollars spent at your store make a difference.

Leverage the power of word-of-mouth with refer-a-friend perks

Word-of-mouth is, hands down, your most powerful advertising tool. Some 84% of people trust referrals from someone they know and trust, according to Nielsen Research. So let your most devoted customers pick a new set of brand loyalists by launching a refer-a-friend campaign, complete with perks and benefits.

Now that you know how to get started in building brand loyalty, here’s one thing you can start doing today to build better connections with your customers.

NutriSource Pet Foods does more than make locally sourced, high-quality pet food trusted by pet parents. You can also access our expertise through our informative pet articles and social media posts, delivered right to your mailbox. Just visit to set up your free access to ready-to-publish pet content. Then, share it with your customers so you can do even more to help pet families live happy, healthy lives.