Upselling and Cross-Selling with a New Dog Checklist

Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that some of the fun and excitement comes from buying your dog new toys, beds, and supplies that will make its life with you that much better. As a pet store owner, you’re also well-acquainted with this excitement. You’ve undoubtedly encountered many customers who have eagerly filled their shopping carts with anything and everything their new dog could need.

To help facilitate this trend, try designing a shopping list for new dog owners that points out all the supplies they could need. Not only will this checklist help your customers prepare for their new canine friend, but it will also give you a prime opportunity to upsell and cross-sell premium products, helping you earn a higher profit.

If you need some guidance on the simplest and most effective ways to create these opportunities for upselling and cross-selling, take note of the following tips and techniques. They will help you provide your clientele with the best products and earn you new business.

New Dog Checklist Must-Haves

While there are countless products a new pet owner can purchase, there’s always going to be a core list of fundamentals that they can’t afford to go without. It’s with these items that you’ll encounter the best opportunities to upsell and cross-sell more premium products, so it’ll be worth your time to include them on your checklist.

Some common necessities include, but are surely not limited to, the following products:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Breed-and-size-specific dog food
  • Collars and leashes (or a harness)
  • A car safety harness
  • A dog bed
  • A brush or comb (dependent on the dog’s breed and coat length)
  • A crate or plastic carrier
  • Various toys
  • A selection of natural treats and chews
  • Identification tags
  • Waste bags
  • Pet-friendly cleaning products
  • And much more

This is far from an extensive list, but it’s a good place to start. This can help your employees provide customers with a checklist of must-have items, and they can expand upon it with other additional products as your inventory changes and grows over time.

For example, you can include an exercise pen or playpen, baby gates to make sure the dog sticks to the space they’re provided with, blankets to add extra comfort to their beds or crates, and specialty wholesale treats and snacks.

These products may not be immediately necessary for a new pet owner to purchase, but they’re fun and useful resources that they can certainly benefit from. It’s worthwhile for you to recommend to them.

Upselling and Cross-Selling Strategies

The process of upselling a customer, or cross-selling a product they may not explicitly need, can be tricky. Many consumers have been conditioned to avoid these kinds of sales strategies. They’ll often stick to their original instinct instead of adopting whatever it is you or your salespeople offer as an alternative.

Despite some of the negativity surrounding these strategies, when your employees know how to properly engage with your customers, they can be a great tool in prioritizing the consumer’s unique needs and desires. In the case of a new dog owner, you can use these upselling and cross-selling techniques to show them products and resources that they may not have thought to pick up otherwise.

For example, if a customer is shopping for a leash, you could offer them a retractable leash as a premium alternative. This won’t only improve your store’s profits, but it will also provide your customer with a better, more versatile product that they and their pet can benefit from. This is what successful upselling looks like. When it’s done strategically, upselling can be a powerful source of additional revenue for your pet store.

Cross-selling takes this same mindset but just shifts its focus a bit. Instead of offering your customer a higher-quality version of the product they already have, cross-selling means adding an extra item to their shopping cart.

As another example, imagine a customer is purchasing dog treats. They’re going to need to have a place to store those treats, so instead of letting them just store the boxes of treats in a cabinet, offer the customer some nice glass or ceramic containers to hold the treats in. This may not be a necessary product for their new dog, but it is a fun and useful addition that can help delight your customer and up your profits.

If they’re resistant to the idea of buying a special container for treats, remind them of the benefits. When properly sealed, glass and ceramic containers help keep treats fresher for longer. They also look much nicer in the home than a cardboard box. Amazon attributes 35% of its revenue to cross-selling. You can duplicate that success at the store level to compete with online retailers.

You want your customers to walk into your store and walk out with their needs and desires happily satisfied. Offering new dog owners a helpful checklist of must-have items is not only a great way to delight your new and existing clientele, but also provide your store with a great opportunity to make higher profits with upselling and cross-selling strategies.