What Can Pet Retailers Expect for 2021?

by Lisa Fimberg on December 14, 2020

2020 has been a challenging year.  With the Covid pandemic lasting throughout the year, it has affected every person and business.  It really defined 2020 and will likely influence the start of 2021.

What will 2021 look like for pet retailers?

The outlook for 2021 will continue to be strong for pet retailers.   Having already implemented the necessary changes and guidelines to deal with the Covid pandemic, retailers are already in a position to set themselves up for a successful 2021.

In fact, the pet industry continues to be recession and pandemic proof with a projected $99 billion dollars spent in 2020 with a slight increase projected in 2021.  67% of Americans own at least one or more dog and cat, and this trend is expected to continue.

With a vaccine for Covid projected to be in place by the second quarter of 2021, consumers will feel even more comfortable shopping in stores.  If some of the social distancing guidelines are relaxed, even more customers can be in your store at the same time which can only improve your bottom line.

How to make 2021 a prosperous year

Many businesses have now transformed to a remote or work from home environment and more pet lovers are expected to bring even more pets into their homes.  Further, the puppies and kittens that were purchased during the pandemic will continue to need pet supplies, toys, and food.

Some tips to keep in mind for 2021 to increase sales:

Make every appointment count

With social distancing measures still in place, it is even more important that your customers have a great in-store experience.  If a potential customer has an appointment to meet a puppy, this is the ideal opportunity to make them a long-time consumer.  Employees need to be on top of their game and win the customer over.  Even better, if your store can offer a free toy or leash for their new puppy, you can not only win over a new customer, but they will most likely become a long-time loyal customer.

Pet product diversification

The more products your store can make available to your pet-loving customers, the better the customer experience.  It is important for retailers to update their inventory with the upcoming and emerging trends in the pet market.  For example, grooming products and dental care products are a rapidly growing sector of the pet industry.  Interactive toys are also very popular to both dogs and cats engaged when pet parents are away.

Being well stocked with a variety of items can increase sales and entice customers to buy them from your store (where they can see and feel them) and not on-line.

Puppy and Kitten display

When a customer has an appointment to purchase a puppy or kitten, a display dedicated to puppies and kitten can be a big win.  With some of the essentials, best sellers or favorite toys, blanket or beds, most new puppy or kitten owners cannot resist purchasing something for their new furry family member.

Keep your online store fully stocked

Those retailers that have an on-line presence will continue to prosper as the pandemic has led to more consumers online.  Your loyal customers might prefer to shop on-line. Therefore, it is important that their on-line experience is stellar as well.  Best selling items need to be in stock, deliveries timely and a fair return policy.

Consider a 2021 promotion

What better way to kick off the new year than by offering a 2021 promotion to your customers.  You can have an on-line and in-store sale with a favorable discount or even put an incentive program in place.  For example, if your customer spends more than $50, they can get a free dog or cat bowl (or $10 off their next purchase).   There is nothing more enticing than getting something for free or a good deal and this can help your store get a jump start on the new year.

With the right strategy and a great in-store experience, 2021 can be a very lucrative year for retailers. Happy customers love good deals and a good shopping experience.   And more today than ever, most consumers are happy to shop local and be loyal to their favorite brick and mortar store.

If you need help with getting more puppy and kitten sales, our lead management team can help.  Our team is well equipped and trained to get an interested puppy or kitten buyer into your store and on time!

Make sure to contact our Success Team to learn more about our lead management team as well as some of our other services:  successteam@thirdpartypet.com.

Click here for an infographic of the top pet products of 2021!

Lisa FimbergWhat Can Pet Retailers Expect for 2021?