Find unique pet products to make your assortment a differentiator

October 4, 2022By Pet, Views

by Megan Moyer, corporate marketing manager, as seen on the IndiePet website.

It’s not always easy for independent retailers to find their niche in the community. Many aren’t sure how to begin to figure this out. A place to start is to review your product assortment.

Start by looking at your competitors, customers, and community. You can fairly easily assess your local competitors – likely it’s some combination of big box, dollar, and chain stores. While you may not be able to accommodate the variety or broad assortment within departments some carry, you can offer items they don’t or won’t stock. This is where you will be able to differentiate and stand apart.

On to customers. The easiest way to increase your sales is to get your current customers to spend more money in your store. Think about what your customers gravitate toward. Are there opportunities to add products to your assortment that are complementary? Do the brands your customers favor have line extensions that you haven’t added yet? Work with your distributor’s program managers to make sure you have the items that meet your customers’ needs as well as increase your sales.Cat house and bowl holder

Now think about the businesses in your community that you could cooperate with. For example, do you have a relationship with your local veterinarian? Are there certain brands they recommend for food, treatments, etc. that you could stock so the vet can direct their patients to your store? What about area farmers? Any items you could stock to meet their pet and/or livestock needs? Also consider local crafters and artisans — are there toys, treats, or practical items they make that you could carry in your store?

  • Leatherworks artisan — leashes, collars

  • Seamstress — bandanas, catnip toys, paw protectors

  • Miniatures artist — one-of-a-kind pieces for aquariums or other habitats

  • Woodworking artisan — you name it! Water and food bowl holders, pet houses, climbing towers, boxes to store toys

  • Products promoting local school teams

Stocking items made by people in the community fosters goodwill, helps the local economy, and can be something unique your store offers to stand out from competitors.

When you consider all of these angles, you can customize your product assortment to grow your sales. So decide what adjustments you’re going to make and then DO IT! What are you waiting for?