Even during a crisis, like the health one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many pet shops remain open as they are considered essential businesses, loved by pet owners worldwide.
How could it be any different, with the number of pets in San Francisco being higher than the number of kids?
Even the pet shops that remain open have to adapt. However, adapting doesn’t mean losing sight of their initial objectives.
Quick question: what are the two most important objectives of any business?
I’ll tell you.
One: to build meaningful relationships with customers and two: to make money.
Growth, expansion and good reputation are underlying factors that are equally important.
So how do you ensure that your pet store business builds mutually beneficial relationships with its customers and partners and also makes money while at it?
Once again, I will tell you.
Through digital marketing.
It’s really that simple.
Many businesses are now thriving thanks to the internet and an offshoot of the worldwide web we call social media.
You are obviously aware of how extremely popular social media has become lately. It has now become a must-have, a lifestyle if you will. Let’s crunch some numbers real quick – just to put its popularity into perspective.
Social Media Usage in Numbers
So, according to Smart Insights, there were over 4.3 billion internet users worldwide in 2019. This represents upwards of nine percent year-on-year. When it comes to social media, there were over 3.5 billion users worldwide while the number of mobile phone users stood at a staggering 5.1 billion in 2019.
That’s not all. Social media penetration in the U.S. alone is at 70 percent as of 2019 with Facebook alone topping the social network charts in the U.S. with over 169 million mobile users by September 2019. Instagram follows closely with over 120 million users, which is quite impressive. The numbers pretty much speak for themselves.
With such promising statistics, how can you leverage these numbers to grow your pet business online to a level that you can, in turn, use your popularity when footfall to your physical store is at an all-time low or even during a crisis that requires customers to stay at home and do a lot of online shopping?
Digital marketing is your go-to solution!
So, let’s dig in and talk about how you can use digital marketing to position your pet store favorably and attract that much-needed traffic to your store.
There are quite a number of digital marketing ideas that you can use to keep your customers and prospects engaged and, in turn, buy from you. Here are some notable ones that are worth incorporating in your overall marketing plan.
Many small businesses downplay the importance of branding and what it can do to their businesses in the long run. Look at it this way, without branding, many successful businesses would not be where they are today.
Companies like Coca Cola, Microsoft, Apple, Tesla – all have one thing in common. They take branding very seriously.
Your pet store also needs to do the same. No matter how small you think you are, branding is an integral part of a successful business. Its benefits are immense and the return on investment is guaranteed.
With branding, you will be able to develop trust, attract new customers, inspire and motivate employees as well as build recognition.
- Online presence
Pet stores that only operate a brick and mortar store are missing out on a big opportunity to grow their business and boost their bottom line. Having an online presence cannot be stressed enough in this day and age.
With people spending most of their time online, it makes perfect sense to be where they are. Having an online presence is not negotiable. Your customers are searching the web for pet-related business but you are nowhere to be found. Can you imagine how much you are losing?
Most products/service searches happen on the web. Did you know that in 2019 alone, Google claimed over 90 percent of the search engine market share worldwide?
Wait, there’s more. Did you know that the average person conducts between 3 – 4 online searches per day?
Now you see why you need an online footprint, right?
- Content creation and sharing
Now that we’ve you’ve sorted out your online presence, what next? Well, your customers go to the internet looking for relevant and informative material that can help them solve their problems. This digital material comes in the form of content. There are so many reasons why content matters.
Having an online presence in itself is not enough. You need to create compelling content that will keep your customers and prospects coming back for more. Give them content that’s insightful. Content that will add value to their lives. Content that they can share with their friends as well. This is how you build a strong online presence.
Another great add-on to your digital marketing strategy is integration. This solution will particularly help you make the most of your email contact list.
SyncApps by Cazoomi has some interesting integrations designed exclusively for pet store businesses. Integrations such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Mailchimp and Salesforce to Constant Contact have helped pet store owners all over the world build and run successful businesses and at a minimal cost.
Why is integration so popular? Because it helps pet owners centralize all their marketing efforts in a single dashboard.
With a bird’s eye-view they get better insights and, in turn, run better and more cost-efficient campaigns.
- Social media advertising
This is a no-brainer really. Almost all businesses – big or small are advertising social media. It makes perfect sense to showcase your products and services on platforms where your audience spends most of their time.
Look at it this way, if you want to generate traffic to your online pet store, you not only need to be on social media but also advertise there as well.
According to a Pew Research study on social media use in 2018, 68 percent of American adults are active on Facebook. Your adverts are more likely to be seen by more people than the ones that follow you.
However, your social media advertising needs to be engaging for it to make sense. Create visually-appealing adverts and your social media strategy will definitely pay off. According to Lyfe Marketing, 46 percent of users act after viewing a video ad while 80 percent of consumers will remember a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days.
- Offers and Promos
These are good and effective ways of rewarding your loyal customers as well as attracting prospects. Take advantage of holidays such as the National Pet Day, which is observed every April 11th. On this day you can offer discounts on selected pets and pet products or even partner with a local veterinarian and offer free pet checkups and health tips.
- Pet-related events and activations
Such activities will go a long way in building a name for your pet store – both offline and online. You can also encourage those attending your activities to share their photos on social media as well. This way, those who didn’t get a chance to attend can get a glimpse of what they missed and they will make a point to attend the next activation.
So you see, a digital marketing plan can really work wonders for your pet store. The good thing about such activities is that they can be executed even with a minimal budget but the impact will be huge.