MILLENNIALS ARE THE BEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO PET STORES.
THIS IS HOW TO MAKE THEM FLOCK TO YOURS.
These are amazing times. The huge increase in pet friendly offices. The online pet phenoms like Grumpy cat that make the Kardashians look like amateurs. The huge number of pet sites like pupper doggo that provide people with a daily dose of feel good pet images. The never ending stream of people sharing images of their pets doing the most adorable things.
All thanks to millennials.
WHO ARE THESE MILLENNIALS ANYWAY?
The segment of the population born between 1982 and 2000. According the US Census results released in 2015, Millennials number 83.1 million—more than one quarter of the nation’s population and more than the 75.4 million baby boomer segment.
There are a lot of things that make them different, but the good news for you is they really love pets. According to a recent survey by consumer research firm Mintel, 51% of Americans in their thirties have cats, and 75% have dogs. Compare that to the national average –35% of the overall population have cats and 50% have dogs—and you can see why these 83.1 million consumers that really love pets will be the biggest influence on your sales growth for years to come
THEY LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THEIR PETS
Their life choices make pets a central part of their lives. They are delaying marriage and parenthood, so pets are becoming cherished companions. And they get pets earlier—at 21 on average compared to boomers at 29.
They also treat their pets differently. They do a lot of research before they buy, and they spend far more on their pets than any other segment. In 2016, the pet industry grew to over 60 billion dollars in the USA, a threefold increase since 1996, with 11 billion spent on “pet pampering.” Toys, costumes, strollers—these pets are truly are fur babies.
A recent report by Purina identified key differences in the way millennials look at pets:
PETS ARE FAMILY
Many millennials see pets as practice for future their future responsibilities. Love companionship at a time when their lives are still in flux.
PETS ARE PAMPERED
Millennials are very concerned about their pets comfort. So they spend more on things like toys, costumes, and vet visits, and avoid things like declawing and puppy mills.
PETS EAT BETTER
Millennials love food, and this translates into the kind of food they feed their pets, seeking natural ingredients. They seek authentic “real” food and are willing to pay for it.
THEIR PET IS PART OF THEIR IDENTITY
In the social media world they live in, a pet quickly becomes the co-star in their lives.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR STORE CATNIP FOR MILLENNIALS.
Once you understand why millennials love pets so much, you can craft your appeal to hit their hot buttons.
1) THEY ARE NOT PETS. THEY ARE FUR BABIES.
They care for their pets deeply and will pamper like children. The right food is vital to keep them healthy. Toys to make them feel good. Beds to make them comfortable. They will spend more on their pets than another segment, and we see this trend growing.
2) MAKE THEM A STAR
While you are caring for the pet, make sure you recognize that the pet is also their co-star in the social media world. Anything you can do to help them will help you. For example, you could give a small wrapped gift to the pet when they come to the store—rub the wrapping paper in a treat—and video the animal opening the present. Or have costumes on hand for the pets to try on and post online.
3) BARK UP THE RIGHT TREE
They live online, and so should you. You have a wonderful asset for social media that few other retailers have—pets. People love to see images of cats and dogs, so provide a regular stream of shareable material through your social media channels. It does not have to be complex, just cute. Kittens at feeding time. Puppies meeting a young child. Hold a Halloween party for your pets and award a prize for best costume. Share snippets of valuable information on organic food. Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. Simple and powerful platforms that you can rule.
4) BE READY
The millennials do their research online so when they come in your store they are ready to buy. Make sure you have financing options in place for your pet store customers.