Updated: Oct 24, 2021
As a dog-mom to Violet (yes, I named my company after my dog), an Iowa State University graduate, and a niece to a dedicated vet tech/practice manager, I have a unique passion to help veterinarians and their practices.
We both know that the pandemic has had a huge impact on the veterinary industry. Yes, it has brought more patients to your practice, but it has also limited who can come through your doors and shop your retail space. How can you take advantage of these industry trends and grow your retail sales now and for years to come?
Refresh your space
Take this time where you may be seeing less foot traffic in your lobby to add a fresh coat of paint and a new way to display your products. When more people come in, this can bring new eyes to what you have to offer. I've pulled together some ideas on my Pinterest board to help jumpstart your creativity.
Expand your car-side service
Picking up and dropping off pets for their appointments have become part of the normal customer experience at practices all over the country. Just because these customers can’t come in to shop your retail space doesn’t mean you can’t bring your retail offering out to them. Set up an online store featuring the products you sell the most to start so you’re not sitting on unsold inventory. Offer free car-side delivery. This could be done when their pet has an appointment or on-demand.
Develop subscription boxes
Online retailers offer monthly subscriptions for pet parents. These retailers send a variety of toys, treats, and other products each month. By implementing these subscription boxes you’ll create recurring income with more predictive inventory practices. Plus, you can further set yourself apart from your online competitors by personalizing each box based on notes in your practice management system and using only veterinarian recommended products.
When implementing any of these improvements consider these elements to help attract and retain retail customers:
Price – You will never be able to compete with online retailers on price, but you should be within a reasonable range. A multi-pet discount would also attract that sub-set of pet owners.
Packaging – Make sure your brand is well represented on your packaging and add personalization whenever you can (i.e. add a gift tag, include a card with the names of who pulled the items together, etc.)
Promotion – Add promotional messages to your current client communications, outfit your team with materials to help them talk to clients, and use social media to build a community of pet parents.
Yes, this sounds like a lot of work for your team to implement one or all of these programs. I know they’re already stretched thin. That’s where Violet Clover Consulting can help. We can come in and implement these programs and develop the promotional plans for your team to take the lead on when it’s ready. That way your practice can keep moving day to day while you improve this part of your business.
Let’s set up some time to discuss what you want to achieve and how Violet Clover Consulting can help.