How Independent Pet Stores Can Compete With Big Box Stores

lady and dog at pet store

How Your Independent Store Can Stack Up to the Competition

The household pet has become more than just an animal; they are now members of the family. And those members need just as much as the two-legged members when it comes to food, treats, toys, and other everyday essentials. So how can you get these pet owners to shop at your independent pet store over the big box chains?

It can be challenging for small pet stores to compete against big names, especially if you are not equipped with the right POS system that fits both your needs and the needs of your customers. However, with the right technology, you can give those big box stores a run for their money and discover the solutions that can keep you competitive and boost your customer retention.

Quality Products and Services for Pets

Every pet store has a selection of dog food, toys, and accessories. So you need to ask yourself, what can my independent pet store bring to the table that’s different?

Find a niche product or service that you can specialize in and become the local place to go for these items. You can start by looking for local small businesses that may want to venture into a new venue and become a vendor of their hand-crafted products to not only support local but be the only pet store in the area that offers it. Big box stores aren’t going to go out in search of the local mom and pops.

Or maybe you want to venture into the pet service industry and offer grooming, dental, or prescription offerings. Regardless of the path you choose to take, become a niche location for these products and services.

You’re probably asking yourself, “but how can a pet store POS system help me with this?” Well, you are going to need a solution that offers you a quality inventory management system to hold all of these new products and customizable services.

Having a pet store POS system that can handle hundreds of thousands of unique products has several crucial benefits for your business.

  1. Quick inventory management: Allow your software to host all of your products with the ability to make changes with the touch of a button.

  2. Customization: Services need to be customized based on customer needs by providing different pricing and offers based on pet size, behavior, and coat type.

  3. Reporting: You want the ability to pull reports on your inventory so you always know what you have in stock, when you need to reorder, and what products your customers prefer so you can ensure you never have a stockout.

Pet Store eCommerce

The ability to offer an online platform can keep you in line with big box stores. However, you not only need an online shop; you need the ability to make your customers’ experience as easy and fast as possible.

Recurring Pet Supply Orders

Being able to buy products like food, treats, or litter is a recurring cost. Make the purchasing process easier for your customers by offering an auto-ship option. 21% of pet care auto-ship and subscription purchases are pet food. There is no need to have them remember to log on and add the exact same dog food to their cart every other month. Simply allow your customers to set up recurring shipping and payment options and forget about it until it shows up at their door. As an independent pet store, this will also make your processes easier as you know what inventory is needed in months to come.

Veterinary Prescriptions

Ordering prescriptions from a vet’s office can get pricey, offering your customers the ability to shop around and purchase medication for their pets through your business. This, too, can be a recurring order; the difference between this and any other purchase is needing a vet’s sign-off, depending on the prescription type. Have a pet POS system that gets all the information needed upfront from the customer for a smooth and easy verification, transaction, and shipment.

Experienced Pet Store Staff

When shopping at big box chains, customers sometimes can’t get hold of an associate to help them through their pet supplies buying journey. Make sure you are positioning your customer service team correctly throughout the store to help customers not only at checkout but also in the aisle and service areas.

In order to build the best team for your independent pet store, you need to give them the right technology to make their shift run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Offer your staff a mobile POS option so they can have everything at their fingertips regardless of what aisle they are in, whether they are servicing a pet or checking customers out.

Pet Store Inventory Information at Your Fingertips

Worried you don’t have a big enough staff to manage all of these areas? No problem, a mobile solution also allows your team to multitask so they can get more done in less time. For example, there is no need to run to the back to check stock or find a manager to answer a product question. Instead, all the information they could need to help a customer and increase a basket’s size can be in the palm of their hand with a mobile pet store POS solution.

Make Your Independent Pet Store Stand Out With The Right Technology

When trying to survive as an independent pet store, you need to be able to compete with the big box chains. The way to do this is to build the best POS solution for your business so you can be competitive within the pet store industry, simplify your processes, and make the shopper experience better and more efficient.