Pet owners purchase indulgent grooming products for a pampering at-home experience.
Luxurious Pet Grooming Home Kits
Dog and cat owners continue to seek high-quality spa products for their pets to create luxurious grooming experiences at home. Even pet specialty retailers that offer in-store grooming are finding that pet owners are investing in take-home grooming products.
Among the qualities that are important to pet owners when it comes to grooming products, natural is at the top of the list, said Kim McCohan, chief happiness officer for Bend Pet Express, which has two locations in Bend, Ore.
“Pet parents are increasingly looking for products that not only make their pets look great, but are also good for them,” said Doug Gleason, president of TrueBlue Pet Products in Los Angeles. “So, when it comes to giving a bath, they want a shampoo that makes their dog look and smell good, and won’t dry out their skin.”
Many pet owners are looking for products that will solve specific problems—especially itching—said Laura Andrews, store manager at Pet Things, a Bentley’s Pet Stuff Co. in Douglasville, Ga.
“They want something that is high quality and spalike, but they often also want it to serve a function,” Andrews said.
Molly Smith, owner of Republic of Paws in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo., said that oftentimes conversations about using grooming products to solve a problem lead to education opportunities in her stores.
“We find that customers want to find spa products that will solve a problem, such as itching, but if there is an underlying cause, they’re not going to fix that,” Smith said. “But it does open the door for an education opportunity, and we like to capitalize on those moments.”
Grouping Grooming Products
When in hand of assorted spa products, space is a factor. The most important part is customer service. Finding products they’re looking for is a great way to drive product sales.
Grouping products by brand rather than by category can help leverage customers’ existing brand loyalty, said Elyse Horvath, founder of Natural Paws in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“For example, if the customer is already a fan of Natural Paws’ paw care sprays, they might be more excited to learn about other products like the EARoma thEARapy sprayable ear wash, even if they didn’t go to the store specifically for ear wash that day,” Horvath said.
Justin Pohl, vice president of Longview, Texas-based BioDerm Laboratories, maker of the Bio-Groom brand, agreed.
Illustrate the Spa Experience
Getting creative with your spa product displays is fun. Jill Taft, founder of BarkLogic, a brand of New York-based Logic Products, said that with pet owners already humanizing their cats and dogs, retailers create some great concepts.
“Displays that showcase pet humanization are fun and humorous and really drive the point home,” she said. “Get a bathtub and put it on a table and create a very clean-looking spa setting around it. Get a lifelike-looking collection of stuffed dogs for your display—Melissa & Doug make some very lifelike dogs that we use for trade shows, and people always comment on how real they look.”
Taft suggested putting a shower cap on one dog and a bathrobe on another, and then laying spa products throughout the display as though the dogs were enjoying a spa experience. Even making a bubble machine to create bubbles and blow them in the air, Taft added.
“I love to see stores incorporate real-world objects into their retail setup—stores that add character and texture to their setup by using furniture, props, plants, or other decorations that go with the theme of the store or cater to the clientele,” said Dallas Van Kempen, president of EQyss Pet Products in Vista, Calif.