One strategy for expanding your existing dog grooming business is building a retail section right in your grooming facility. Your customers are already utilizing your dog grooming services, so why not keep the dollars that your customer would spend elsewhere on treats, toys, brushes, oral/skin/ear care products, and other supplies in your store instead?
Good point of purchase marketing can do the selling for you if it’s set up in a purposeful and meaningful way. Point of purchase marketing is a strategy targeted at customers who are already in your store with the intent of making a purchase. Up to 70% of shoppers will make an unplanned purchase while shopping. Here are a few easy things that you can do from within your shop that will help boost sales.
1. Display Items Next to the Checkout Counter
Have a variety of inexpensive items (retailing for $1-4) on display right next to the checkout counter. If you’re operating a grooming, boarding, or training facility, your customer will most likely have their dog right next to them. Displaying bulk treats or chews, or a basket of fluffy tug toys, right at a dog’s eye level may encourage the dog to interact with the various products.
Curious dogs may try to grab a treat out of the bin, or steal a toy. It’s the equivalent of a child seeing candy displayed at their eye level and then begging their parents to make the purchase!
Why it works: Your customer is already at your shop to pay for grooming services. Since they’ve already made the decision to make a purchase, they will be more likely to spend money on additional products if it doesn't significantly add to the cost.
We recommend: selecting products that are a good fit for your clientele. For example, all dogs love treats and chews, but there is no one chew or treat that’s perfect for every dog. Think about the different types of dogs that frequent your store, and try to have at least one product that you could recommend. For example, your clientele may be comprised of: puppies, toy breeds, extremely powerful large dogs, seniors, picky dogs, dogs with allergies, and more.
2. Provide Samples or Demos of Products
Provide samples or demos of products. If you have the advantage of a lot of dog traffic going through your shop, why not take advantage of it!
Why it works: Allowing a customer to test out a product prior to purchase or, even better, giving your customer the opportunity to observe their dog use the product, can increase sales. Independent research conducted by Knowledge Networks-PDI demonstrated that after a product was demoed, sales continued to rise for about 20 weeks after the demo.
One thing to consider: Offering *too many* samples may have the opposite effect because customers can become overwhelmed if presented with an excessive amount of options. Click here to read about a study that demonstrated that customers who are offered too many choices are more likely to decide to withhold from making any purchase.
- Leave out a bowl of free treats for any customer dogs and have a couple of bags of the same brand of treats available for purchase within an arm’s reach. If our customer walks up to your cash register with their dog, offer their dog a treat! If your customer sees their dog enjoying the treat, AND sees the treats up for sale for only a few dollars extra added to their total, they may impulsively buy the bag of treats for their dog. Additionally, that dog may remember the treat, and will be much more excited to visit your grooming shop on their next visit, which will in turn make your customer feel good about leaving their dog with you to get groomed.
- If you have a store dog, let them demo products that you have for sale in your shop. For example, if you bring in a new kind of puzzle feeding toy and decide that you want to promote it, you may choose to have that toy displayed by the entrance, in addition to letting your store dog have their own toy to play with. If you have a new harness that you just recently started stocking, have your store dog wear it! When your customer sees your dog having fun with a toy, or looking good in a functional harness, they’ll start to imagine if their dog would enjoy it, too, and may be inspired to make a purchase.
Cross-selling is selling additional products to a customer who is already making a purchase. You can do this by displaying items that complement each other side-by-side.
For example, your puzzle toy feeders should be displayed next to treats that work well with that specific toy. Training treats, clickers, and treat pouches go together extremely well - you may even want to partner up with a local dog training school and have a stack of flyers promoting the upcoming beginning agility class next to your positive training tools.
Bully sticks can be displayed next to the toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other dental care products. If you have an I.D. Tag machine, it should be set up right next to all of your collars and leashes.
Why it works: Your customer has already made the decision to make a purchase. When another product that is relevant to a product that’s already in your customer’s basket provides value, there will be less of a psychological barrier for your customer to overcome to make that additional purchase.
4. Use Signage
Use signage and other displays to attract your customer’s attention, especially if it’s to direct them to sections of your store that don’t receive as much foot traffic.
Whenever you’re introducing new products, promoting a sale, or educating customers about the features and benefits of a certain product, create an attention-grabbing sign to go along with it. A study conducted by Ketchum Global Research discovered that around 68% of customers purchased a product after seeing a sign advertising that product.
- Use every inch of space that you can. Make use of your window space! At minimum, a customer should be able to glance at your front window and understand what you do, what type of pet supplies you sell, your store name, business hours, and contact information. You may consider curating a selection of some of your best-selling products or high-quality prints of “before and after” dog grooming photos and putting them in your window. Leave the lights up front turned on after your shop is closed for the night. Even while your business is closed, passersby can see what’s inside and return when your shop is open.
- Let customers know if you offer any type of loyalty program. Some grooming salons offer loyalty programs where customers keep track of a punch card. For every 10 self dog washes, you get an eleventh wash for free. Some dog food brands offer a frequent buyer program: A customer can purchase 12 bags of a certain brand of food and receive the 13th bag for free. If you offer any sort of loyalty program, make sure that your customers know about it by displaying a sign prominently at your store entrance or next to the register.
- Make sure your customers know about the different types of products you sell. You could keep all of your ear care products in one area, with a large sign that clearly says, “EAR CARE." all of your dental care products can be in another area labeled “DENTAL CARE”, and so on!
- Highlight any product features or benefits that your customer may not be aware of. For example, if you sell snuffle mats (which are growing in popularity among dog trainers and behavior enthusiasts), you need to have a little sign or shelf talker that describes the great benefits! Most people will look at it and assume that it’s simply a decorative shaggy rug. Use your creativity to think of a clever, yet concise way to communicate with your customer and encourage them to ask you questions!