Discoveries from the Road:
Our Road Crew Reveals the Top 4 Retail Trends from across the Country
You can learn a lot from traveling. Perhaps no one in the pet industry knows that better than the WPA Road Crew, a pair of WPA members who crisscross the country visiting pet retailers, popping in to say hello and picking up tips and trends along the way. Here, they reveal the top four trends they’ve discovered on the road:
Fiesta de Fido
You celebrate your birthday, why shouldn’t your pet get the same festive treatment on his or her special day? Many pet owners, particularly in the millennial generation, use their pet’s birthday or adoption day as cause to celebrate—and rightfully so! Retailers can tap into this trend by stocking up on party favors, special treats—customized “pup”cakes, perhaps?—and decorations. Consider hosting a “Pet Paw-ty” how-to seminar or creating a simple “Guide to Throwing the Perfect Pooch Party” with a list of must-buy supplies for a successful soiree.
Fashionable and Functional Fashion
What’s cuter than a cat in a raincoat? Or a bulldog in booties? Pet owners love to play dress-up with their dogs and cats—and they often like clothes and accessories that are not only fashionable, but also functional. Stock up on booties to protect paws during all- weather hikes, rainwear for pets who refuse to potty in inclement weather, costumes or holiday-themed shirts and sweaters for special occasions, and life vests for pets with active parents.
A Discerning Diet
Pets are an essential part of the family. Or at least that’s how a lot of today’s pet parents feel about their four-legged, furry or feathered friends. What that equates to is greater spending on quality products—particularly in the food or wellness category—that meet the standards they’d consume themselves. Cater to your discerning customers with specialty diets by stocking all-natural, organic, gluten-free or grain-free pet food.
Social Media Savvy
If you’re not online, you’re missing out on a huge market. Successful pet retailers have social media savvy, using Instagram and Facebook to promote their brand and expand their reach. Facebook Live has become an increasingly popular resource for retailers looking to engage new and loyal customers in product launches and in-store events or promotions.