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Pet Biz Creatives

How to Get More Sales For Your eCommerce Pet Business

Erin

Co-Founder & Director

If you’re an eCommerce pet business, you’re already in the best position to future-proof your biz. Because the boom in eCommerce is only set to grow, as more and more customers turn to the ease and accessibility of online shopping to meet their (and their pet’s!) needs.

However, as an eCommerce pet business you may be wondering how you, as an independent biz, can get more sales…

What strategies are you missing to convert pet parents into paying customers? Is there something about your current website that could be improved or further developed, to help increase conversions?

In today’s blog, we share 7 highly effective ways for how you can get more sales for your eCommerce pet business. Because in today’s digital world, customers’ expectations are already sky high and even a few minor niggles can be enough to lose you sales.

cat lying on laptop

1. Optimise the customer experience

How customers interact with and navigate your website should be a top priority for any eCommerce business – whether you’re in the pet industry or any other industry. After all, this is the main place where you’re going to make those sales.

So if pet parents have a bad time interacting with your website? Chances are they won’t become paying customers.

These are the 3 key elements of a positive user experience, vital for any website:

  • Easy to navigate
  • Loads quickly
  • Appealing visuals and content

If you have these 3 elements in place, you’re more likely to attract and retain pet parents as customers.

You should also ensure your website design is responsive – which means it can adapt to different screen sizes, without ending up looking all funky and unprofessional.

Where possible, also look at how many “clicks” it takes for a customer to reach a specific product on your website. The fewer clicks they have to make to reach your product – i.e. the solution they’re seeking for their pet – the better.

Bonus tip: add a search bar to your website, so that prospective customers can instantly locate the specific product they need.

Extra bonus tip: ensure your layout and branding is consistent across your website. Because inconsistent branding and erratic design structures to a website = mistrust in your business + lost sales.

2. Create high-quality product descriptions

Time and time again, we see eCommerce pet businesses chuck up a product description on their website that they drafted in ten minutes and call it a day.

You need to take a step back and think about what information customers want and need to see about your product, in order to make an informed decision as to whether they want to purchase or not.

As standard, a high-quality product description should include the following overview:

  • Features: what makes it really awesome for pet parents and their furry buddies
  • Benefits: how this product will transform or benefit that furry buddy’s life
  • Intended use: any additional details on how pet parents should use the product

Don’t be over-the-top with your language or unnecessarily convoluted. Clear and concise language will perform much better for time-poor customers who want to scan your product description and easily understand what your product “brings to the table” in the most efficient & least mentally exhausting way possible.

Make your product description easy to understand, using bullet points to break up information if necessary.

Likewise, it’s essential to include high-quality images and video footage of your product. This will 1) help to reassure new customers that you’re a legit business and not some scam and 2) better illustrate the features and benefits you’ve listed in the product description itself.

Do not use blurry, pixelated images. Also, do not use images that are obvious “mock ups” of your product; a high-quality lifestyle image of the real thing in a pet parent’s home will help prospective buyers to visualise how your product will fit into their own life.

Dog typing on computer

3. Offer multiple payment options

Different customers will have different payment preferences. That’s why offering multiple payment options is essential for pet businesses, to help the accessibility of their products and to increase conversions.

For example, some payment options you could offer include:

Credit or debit card
PayPal
Apple Pay
Other payment methods, such as Klarna and AfterPay

You’ll also want to ensure the payment methods you offer are all secure and user-friendly. This will again help to increase conversions and minimise the volume of abandoned carts.

If you’d like to explore what payment options are available with Shopify, you can learn more here.

4. Promote customer reviews

Want to know one of the most powerful ways to convert prospective customers into full-fledged paying customers? User-generated content. Specifically, customer reviews.

(Even better if your customers submit photos, as well as their written testimonials.)

Most pet parents are savvy enough to know that a pet brand is always going to claim their product “is the absolute best” on their own website. Of course you will!

But what is more compelling is seeing hundreds, if not thousands, of positive reviews from pet parents just like them.

In short, positive reviews can increase customer trust and encourage others to make purchases.

Negative reviews, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect and actually plant seeds of doubt in prospective customers’ minds – ultimately leading to you losing out on their sale. But even if you do ever receive a negative review, this is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your customer care – responding with empathy, care and attentiveness; demonstrating to prospective customers that you’ll look after them, whether they get on with your product or not.

Most review apps offer you the ability to manage and monitor your reviews. Weighing up the pros and cons, it’s always going to be more beneficial to have a customer review system in place, so that your community members can publicly leave feedback on their purchases.

Make sure you display these reviews on the product pages of your website, so that new customers can easily see them before making their purchase.

If you’re on Shopify, we’d recommend the app Judge.Me, which can automatically send review requests to converted customers.

Cat lying on computer laptop

5. Capture email addresses

For a lot of pet parents, they’ll want to take their time reflecting on whether they want to purchase your product or not. The majority won’t make knee-jerk decisions, when it comes to their beloved furry companions’ health, happiness and safety.

That’s why capturing prospective customers’ email addresses is vital to ensuring you remain at the forefront of their mind.

Just because they may not instantly purchase from you, with some nurturing and regular communication from your pet brand, this may be enough to assuage any concerns or reservations they have about shopping with you.

So, how do you get customers to join your email list?

Typically, it will involve some kind of gift or “freebie”. Many of us don’t want to hand over our email addresses to yet another business, as most inboxes receive a mountain of emails every day.

In fact, 319.6 billion emails are sent and received daily around the world. That’s a heck lot of emails.

Which is also why ensuring your email marketing strategy is value-driven and purpose-led is essential, when it comes to nurturing pet parents to become converted customers. You want them to look forward to receiving your emails, with every promotional email or newsletter working to build that familiarity and connection with your brand.

But before you can do that nurturing, you need to first get that email address. So here’s some ideas for how you can initially capture that info from prospective customers:

  • Downloadable resource/PDF guide: how-to guides are always popular. Just make sure that the topic of your guide is relevant to your core product, e.g. “how to improve your senior dog’s mobility” if you sell a dog joint health supplement
  • Exclusive discount code for their first order with you: even better if you can put a time limit on the usage of this discount code, for added urgency
  • Host a giveaway or contest: whereby customers will have to enter their details in order to be eligible to enter the competition
  • Free gift: this can even be something small – like a roll of biodegradable poop bags – that they’ll receive free with their first order with you

Don’t forget to also use pop-ups to gather their email address. As annoying as pop-ups can be, statistics show just how effective they are in helping businesses to grow their email lists.

We’d recommend asking for the following details, when gathering email addresses:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address

And that’s it!

You can always send follow-up emails, asking for further information about an individual. In fact, we highly suggest gathering data about that person’s pet – for example, their pet’s name, age, breed – to help you personalise the email content you then send to each pet parent.

Systems like Klaviyo are specifically designed to help make your email marketing as effective as possible.

6. Implement retargeting ads

When it comes to the paid digital advertising side of things, retargeting ads can be a highly effective way for you to reconnect with customers who displayed initial interest in your products, but for whatever reason did not end up making a purchase.

As standard, retargeting ads use cookies to track website visitors and show them personalised ads on other websites they visit.

However, with updates from companies like Apple cracking down on how websites can track their visitors, we wouldn’t recommend solely relying on retargeting ads to increase your sales.

But retargeting ads can definitely still be useful in encouraging customers to return to your website and complete their purchase. So don’t miss them out of your paid digital marketing strategy!

Woman lying down on sofa with dog and laptop

7. Offer free shipping

Do you want to know one major barrier to prospective customers converting on your website? The price of shipping!

Seriously, that extra $4.99 shipping fee that appears at the checkout page can be enough to lose a pet parent’s order.

That’s why offering an incentive like free shipping can be an effective way to incentivise pet parents to purchase your products.

In fact, a lot of customers have come to be conditioned to expect free shipping when shopping online. If this isn’t possible for you, you could always consider offering a minimum spend to unlock free shipping.

This then has the added benefit of increasing the average order value of customers visiting your website. Bonus!

Man with cat on his lap typing on computer

So there you have it, 7 highly effective ways to help you get more sales for your eCommerce pet business.

There’s plenty to be working on, so we’d encourage you to make a priority list of your top 3 actions and then go from there:

  1. Do you need to focus on improving the customer experience on your website?
  2. Do you need to update your product descriptions & set aside time to take more high-quality product photos and videos?
  3. Do you need to look into setting up different payment options on your website?
  4. Do you need to install a review app, to begin collecting customer feedback?
  5. Do you need to install a pop-up or another way to collect email addresses? Additionally, do you also need to look into an email marketing management system like Klaviyo?
  6. Do you need to set up retargeting ads for customers who viewed your product but didn’t convert?
  7. Do you need to test offering free shipping on your website, or setting a minimum spend threshold to unlock free shipping?

If you’re still feeling unsure and overwhelmed as to what to tackle first, remember we’re always here to offer our support. Just book in for a call with us and we can help identify your top next steps, so you can enjoy more sales and financial freedom!

Here’s to making your eCommerce pet business as popular and profitable as possible.