Is finding new clients for your pet-related business looking like a daunting task? Because of this, are you always on the lookout for new clients? The problem here is that you might not be tapping into the network of your existing clients. Ignore existing clients at your peril.
Why do you need loyalty programs for the pet industry?
The pet care market is expected to grow to $325.74 billion in 2028. It is a highly competitive industry, and advertising on social media or using any other channel is not going to be feasible for most brands, at least not on a regular basis, unless there are cash reserves. A loyalty program has the power to acquire customers in a cost-effective manner and turns your existing customers into brand ambassadors.
Pet owners love their pets and will not shy away from providing the best care. If they are convinced that you sell the best pet care products, they are going to buy from you. Do remember that pet-related products such as food, accessories, and care products, are things that the pet owners will buy regularly.
By incorporating a loyalty program, you can ensure that they stay with you.
How does the loyalty program help the pet industry?
Let us look at how having a loyalty program in place helps the pet retailers.
- Gets you repeat customers:
You can easily sell pet food to someone who has bought from you earlier, isn’t it? Finding a new customer who has never heard of you is going to be difficult. Alternatively, someone who has already walked into your store, in-person or physically, has had time to gauge your service levels and the products you offer. Convincing them to buy from you regularly is going to be incredibly easy, assuming that you have given them good service. Adding a loyalty program on top of good service will be the cherry on top.
- Customers will spend more:
When it comes to taking care of their pets, pet owners will not shy away from spending on what is necessary, but they certainly will not be frivolous with their spending. You need to give them the right kind of incentive to spend more at your store. This is where having a structured loyalty program will help.
Certain pets require more care and attention. When part of a loyalty program, they can expect a better deal in the form of discounts, rewards, and cashback. All that the pet owners need to do is shop frequently from you
- Increases sales and revenue:
Loyalty programs help you get more customers and retain your existing ones. This will result in increased sales and revenue. They also act as an effective marketing and customer retention tool.
- Promotes your business:
If you want to grow your pet store exponentially, including a loyalty program is an important step to take. A loyalty program can be fully customized based on what your business requires. This way, you can take advantage of all the features available in the tool and ensure that it aligns with your business.
- Greater engagement:
According to a report by Deloitte, 70% of customers engage more frequently with brands whose loyalty program they participate in. If you offer personalized and differentiated loyalty programs, your customers are more likely to stay with you, even if it is just to seek the thrill of it. Pet stores need to find more ways to engage their customers. The strategies don’t have to cost a bomb. Think from the perspective of pet owners, and what is important to them or their pets.
How to build an efficient loyalty program for the pet industry?
Let us look at how you can build a workable loyalty program for your pet store.
- Include gamification:
Gamification in the form of leaderboards, badges, streaks, milestones etc., increases engagement. Even customers who are not frequent users of any loyalty program will become a part of it because of the gamification aspect. If you could gamify it with pet-related themes, it becomes even more easy to grab their attention.
- Interesting rewards:
You might be limited by what you can offer as a reward since you are a pet product retailer. One thing that you can do is tie up with brands that are not in your niche, but can somehow be a gift to a pet parent or the pet itself.
For example, you can tie up with a spa that offers services for pets. For loyal customers, you can gift them a room for a day in a pet-friendly resort or hotel. Tie up with local veterinarians. Are there pet training academies? Have a partnership with them too.
According to a survey, 54% of loyalty programs offer benefits that are non transactional, that is something pet stores can keep in mind when brainstorming ideas for incentives.
- Targeted communication:
For your loyalty program to be successful, you need to segment customers into different groups based on their shared characteristics. A one-size-fits-all rewards program will never be a success. Therefore, you need to offer a wide selection of rewards based on what you think your customers will like.
Choosing rewards should not be based on guesswork or a hunch. Do proper research. Find out what your competitors are offering. Talk to your existing customers and ask them directly what they would appreciate as a gift for their loyalty.
- Offer incentives for feedback and referrals:
While we have been talking about offering gifts or rewards for loyalty, you should also encourage your customers to provide feedback and referrals. Gathering feedback directly from your customers will be a goldmine of information that can be used directly in the business strategy. An easy way to get new customers is to ask your existing customers to refer more customers your way, and that’s where providing incentives work.
- Build a community:
Pet lovers are always looking for information to give the right care for their pets. Since there is a lot of unverified information floating around on the internet, finding a trustable source itself is a task. Why don’t you take up that task by collaborating with vets? You could create a community on a social media site or on your pet website or store itself.
The community can be used to gather feedback, share promotions, inform customers about new products, etc. It will act as a powerful tool to pet lovers, and can be your go-to inbound lead generation channel.
Spreading the word about your pet store is easier said than done as it is a specific niche, and that entails you to come up with interesting strategies. Tapping into the network of your existing customers is a no-brainer as you can expect them to be acquainted with other pet owners like themselves.
Creating a referral program or a loyalty program can help you retain your existing customers and get more referrals from them. Your existing customers will also get benefited in the form of incentives that could range from anywhere between a spa day for their pets to discounts on merchandise. If you want to setup a referral or loyalty program for your pet store, get in touch with the 99minds team.