How Technology Can Drive a Holiday Profit Surge
Think you love your pets?
Unsurprisingly, it seems like a lot of people do as well. Almost 85 million households keep a furry sidekick at home. In 2018, the pet industry was worth $225 billion and it’s expected to grow to $281 billion by 2023!
But what’s behind this incredible industry-wide growth? Increasingly accessible and sophisticated retail point of sale (POS) technology that reduces the challenges of inventory management, lowers labor costs associated with employee scheduling and enables pet store retailers to give personalized customer service and secure more repeat customers.
These benefits become increasingly valuable during the holiday season, when 50% of dog owners and 39% of cat owners plan on purchasing gifts for their furry companions.
Turn Insights Into Action
We know the holidays are still a few months away, but it’s never too early to start preparing.
A great way to start is to take a look at data. Yes, it’s all about the numbers!
By using a POS with reporting capabilities, you’ll be able to gather information that will help you make better decisions for the future. Instead of guessing, you can actually take a look at past and current data to help you identify potential opportunities for the upcoming season.
By opting for a system that has retail analytics you’ll be able to discover:
• Best and worst selling products
• Busiest and slowest business hours
• Most profitable business days of the year
With those insights, pet store retailers can plan their employee scheduling to better support their customers and maximize the return on investment of their inventory.
Employee & Inventory Reporting
With employee analytics, you can find out who your best employees are, schedule them during your busy days or make sure you have enough staff when you need it. By understanding how your employees are selling, you can give actionable feedback, schedule them efficiently and plan your holiday schedule in advance.
Comprehensive inventory management and reporting enable pet store retailers to determine which products they need to stock up on to fulfill holiday demand, which products they should bundle together and which items they should discount.
Use the insights your POS provides to start planning your employee schedule, purchase orders, gift bundles, discounts and promotions before it gets too busy.
Real-Time Inventory Management
A POS is all about making your life easier for your animal supply company’s customers, sales associates, operational and managerial employees.
A key task that can quickly become a nightmare if not properly managed? Inventory.
As a pet store retailer, you need a system that can manage a wide variety of product SKUs (food, treats, toys and accessories) and services (like washing and nail trimming). Having a strong handle on your inventory is key to surviving the busy holiday months.
How Does a POS Help with Inventory Management?
• Import and migrate inventory data from other platforms
• Create purchase orders using integrated vendor catalogs
• Set automated inventory reorder points
• Add style, size and color variants
• Categorize items into custom groups
• Attribute serial numbers to products
• Create work orders, special orders, or layaways
While these benefits certainly help retail pet store owners and managers, it also has a huge impact on the level of personalization their customer service has.
For example, let’s say your customer’s dog eats only one type of dog food but you’re currently out of stock. You have the option of creating a special order and fulfilling that customer’s needs. Being able to create special orders for your customers is the type of great service that keeps them coming back to your store again and again.
Lightspeed customer Wouff, a Canadian retail pet store, knows a thing or two about using tech to deliver great customer service. Read their story here!
Know Your Customers Better
Without help, it’s tough to remember every detail about your customers.
Every person that comes into your pet store will have different needs, pet breeds and preferences. Manually keeping track of all of that (is Sparky the poodle with the sensitive stomach or the beagle with the spunky personality?) with written or mental notes simply isn’t scalable.
This is where a POS comes in handy.
With it, sales associates can track information like pet names, breeds, dietary restrictions or preferences and create customer profiles that their whole team can access. Having quick access to this database will help associates quickly get acquainted with their needs, preferences and purchase history, which helps them personalize their service.
With Personalization Comes Loyalty
Knowing your customers better can go a long way, especially with the growing millennial customer-base, a generation that tends to favor retailers that understand their needs. With 63% of millennials saying that big-box animal supply companies lack expertise, now’s the time to live up to their lofty (but achievable!) expectations and win their loyalty by offering a more personalized service.
A great way to do this is by creating a loyalty program, which takes your customers' purchase history and preferences, and enables you to send holiday-inspired offers and in-store promotions based on those preferences.
Tech-Adoption Leads to Long-Term Success
The retail pet stores are in a prime position to cash in during the holidays—if they’re prepared.
With the data that a cloud-based retail point of sale can provide, pet store retailers can reduce payroll costs with smarter scheduling, maximize their inventory’s return on investment and offer frictionless, personalized service to their customers.
Tess Bemporat is a content marketing specialist at Lightspeed, a leading POS for retailers and eCommerce merchants. A writer at heart, Tess enjoys creating content that’s educational and entertaining. When not writing, you can find Tess concert-hopping, binge-watching the latest Netflix show, or singing loudly at home. Find her on LinkedIn here.