Top 5 Ways to BEAT Big-Box Pet Stores

  • 4 Min Read

How to Battle the Super-Convenience of Big-Box Stores and Monster-Dotcoms

Many of us make decisions based on convenience. What’s the easiest way of doing something, how can it get done quickly, and how little will I have to think about it? It can be difficult for people to make choices that require a bit more effort from them, so it has to be worth it—the pros have to outweigh the “con” of choosing a slightly less convenient path.
  The same can be said in the battle against huge online retailers and big-box stores. There’s no argument that they are convenient, but there are some things they just can’t do as well as independent local pet stores like you. So, how do you deliver your value in a package that’s worth opening? What is your advantage as a local pet retailer and how do you leverage it? Keep reading to find out.

5. Offer Deals That Customers Can’t Find Anywhere Else

In addition to convenience, people care about money. Specifically, saving it. While you can’t offer the lowest prices on everything, you can offer the lowest prices on the best things. As a local pet store, you can get access to exclusive programs that allow you to offer your customers deals that no one can compete with. This is the kind of value you bring to the table as a local pet store that none of the big players can match. August OffersWith premium brands that provide loyalty programs and special offers only to local stores, customers will not be able to find the same high-quality products for lower prices anywhere else. Talk about having a competitive advantage!

4. Flaunt Your Personal Touch

The mere fact that you aren’t a corporate presence makes you more approachable. The Shop Local sentiment is at an all-time high in an attempt to knit together communities and support our neighbors during tough times. Showing customers that you care about them, their pets, and your shared community sets you apart from the mega-corps and distant online retailers.   You can use your closeness to the community to position yourself as a local presence that cares. You and your staff can ask genuine questions about your customers and their pets and get to know them much better than a large chain store or internet presence ever could. This not only makes customers feel more welcomed but also gives you the opportunity to better serve them and provide them with the answers and solutions they need for their unique pet-care situations.

3. The Local Expert

As a local independent business, you probably started in pet retail because you have a passion for pets and caring for them in the best way possible. This kind of passion and intention undoubtedly comes with a lot of knowledge as well, and you should make a point of showing that. You can give your customers advice on the healthiest foods for their pets and the best-rated toys and treats, as well as provide them with insider knowledge on fun local activities like pet parades, pet-friendly hiking trails, and parks, and so much more.   When you show your value not only through the high-quality products you offer (at the best prices!) but also through your expertise, people will see you as a source for all things Pet instead of just another place to purchase some dog food. A great way of extending your knowledge to your customers is by sharing useful information with them regularly online through social media and blog posts (like the ones Astro Loyalty can provide you with). This ensures that your value doesn’t disappear the moment the customer leaves the store.

2. Beat Them at Their Own Game

Did someone order delivery? Sometimes, convenience is a good enough reason for someone to make a certain choice, and we can’t blame them. Maybe a pet parent is feeling under the weather and would rather order their pet’s food online to avoid the hassle of going into a store. If they order it from a big online retailer, it can take several days to a week or more to get to the customer. It’s time to beat them at their own game!   If it’s feasible for your store, offering same or next-day delivery can be a game-changer. When you expand the capabilities of your store to meet the need of people that prioritize convenience above all else, you cast a wider net and catch more interested customers. With the issue of convenience out of the way, the customer can rest easy knowing their pet will get the best possible care with no extra effort on their part.

1. Offer the Full Package

People can buy generic and often questionable dog food anywhere. They can click a few buttons and buy treats from a website that will never know their pet’s name. To make all that you have to offer more appealing than the convenience that comes with big-box stores and dotcoms, show your value.   No one else can offer premium brands at the same cost as you. Large retailers won’t bother getting to know their customers well enough to suggest personalized solutions to their problems. They won’t know about the fun pet events coming up in your town or take the time to thoroughly answer their customers’ questions about pet nutrition and the importance of interactive toys.   You can offer the best possible products at the best prices, all while sharing your expertise and your love for animals. If you want to offer your customers great deals and get access to a wide range of tools that will help your business flourish, sign up for a free trial as an Astro Loyalty member. {{cta(‘761740e8-3419-472a-a9ee-00b14f672aed’,’justifycenter’)}}

About The Author

Katherine Carbonaro Kat lives in a spooky house surrounded by farmland in Hillsborough, NC, and couldn't be happier! Her two beloved cats, MeNow and Mr. Bumbles were both bottle-fed and raised by her. Huxley, her faithful companion, is estimated to be around 16 years old but still enjoys his daily mile-long walks and occasional hikes, a testament to the power of proper nutrition. Long live Neighborhood Pet!