Four Keys to Holiday Success

The right approach to boosting a pet store’s holiday sales can pay off all year long by enhancing a retailer’s brand.


Most retailers are adept at utilizing strategic product placement and pricing to take advantage of holiday impulse buys, but what about other strategies that come into play during the season? How might an added personal touch or surprise gift position you for sales all year long? Consider these holiday-inspired business tactics that are worth implementing during not only the winter season, but throughout the year.

Add Value
Every customer interaction impacts shoppers’ opinion of your brand. How do you make that relationship stronger? Studies have shown that small treats or a surprise gift with purchase immediately increase customer satisfaction. A holiday-themed ribbon after a groom or a free cup of eggnog while a customer browses will spread holiday cheer, and they’re also valuable tactics to boost brand image. Build your loyal customer base by constantly looking for ways to add delight and positivity to the shopping experience at your store.

Offer Smart Discounts
Shoppers are always hunting for deals, and this is particularly true during the holiday buying season. While discounts are an important means of generating new business, retailers must be careful to strike a balance between enticing new customers and eating into profits with extreme price cuts. Consider offering a carefully considered deal with a website like Groupon. The site will amplify your reach without cutting into your marketing budget, and you’ll still be able to reap the rewards of drawing new customers into your store.

Stay Two Steps Ahead
For many retailers, it’s challenging enough to keep up with day-to-day business operations, but anticipating and planning for upcoming business cycles is a critical aspect of staying profitable. Rather than waiting for the seasons to change, retailers must be proactive about preparing for what’s around the corner. For example, each summer, smart retailers head to SuperZoo in Las Vegas, the most popular pet retail trade event in North America, to source buzz-generating holiday products for their stores.

Be Their Resource
Today’s customers are looking for convenience and ease in their shopping experience, and it’s particularly important for brick-and-mortar retailers to demonstrate their worth to customers who might otherwise just click “purchase” online. The holidays can be a stressful time, and they present retailers with a key opportunity to showcase your value to your customer base.

Create a “letter to Santa” with the top 10 pet products available at your store, compile a list of local daycare or boarding facilities to help with holiday travel (you could even work out a referral deal), or extend store hours for customer convenience. Your trust is the foundation of retail success, so build a positive buying and brand experience to keep your customers coming back for more.

The holidays are a unique opportunity to explore fresh strategies that can positively impact your bottom line. This holiday season, take time to explore methods to enhance your customers’ shopping experience, draw in new prospects and propel your business toward success in the coming year. And don’t forget to make plans to attend SuperZoo next August, where you’ll find even more products, education and inspiration for your business.

Doug Poindexter is president of the World Pet Association.

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