How Planning a Strategy for Global Pet Expo 2017 Gets Results
Each year, Global Pet Expo, co-produced by the American Pet Products Association and the Pet Industry Distributors Association, grows by leaps and bounds. The show has become so expansive that it’s impossible to see everything. Walking the show aisle by aisle will not only leave you physically exhausted, but it also it won’t get you the best results. Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of the show.
Visit the new product showcase first. This is a quick and effective way to see what’s new from established companies and new ones, as well. Take notes about what’s interesting to you and then map those companies on your roadmap for the show.
Visit the new exhibitors section. This usually is located adjacent to the New Product Showcase, so after you finish visiting the showcase, you can quickly walk these aisles filled with the newcomers. This is an efficient way to quickly identify the new products that might be of interest.
Develop a strategy. Your plan for Global Pet Expo should reflect the strategy you’ve developed for your store. If your strategy is to focus on natural and organic products, then focus on brands that offer these products and skip the booths that don’t. If products made in the USA are important, then focus on the companies that produce in the USA, and so on. If you’re an independent pet retailer, then focus on the brands that will help you create a differentiated product assortment. It’s not important to see everything. It’s a better use of your limited time to meet with the brands that move you closer to the unique vision you have for your store.
Know the brands you’re buying from. The world of retail is changing dramatically, and independent pet retailers need to develop strategies for success. Much of this boils down to the brands that they buy from. Do these brands have a distribution policy that protects the independent pet retailer or do they sell other channels like food, drug and mass? Do these brands have minimum advertised pricing (MAP) policies in place to protect the independent’s margins? Do these brands sell at aggressive discounts on Amazon making it difficult for the Independent to compete? Do these brands produce in the USA? Do they make their products from materials that are safe for your dog and the planet? The brands that you buy from should reflect the values that you express in your store. Develop a checklist of what you need to be successful and seek out those brands that align with your needs.
Plan ahead. Having a successful show requires some work before you get there. Make sure you go to the show with a clearly defined purpose, a list of what you’re looking for and a checklist of what you need from your vendor partners. By doing your homework before the show, you can be more efficient with your time when you get to the show.
Don’t forget the sizzle. All retailers feature core products that form the backbone of their business. Your day-in, day-out sales come from these core products. But don’t forget to add a little sizzle to go along with your steak. Fun, eye-catching products are needed to keep the retail experience exciting. It’s important for the consumer to see freshness in your store. By freshening up a portion of the assortment you can capture opportunistic additional sales.
Hopefully these strategies will help you make the most of Global Pet Expo 2017. I’ll see you there!
Adam Baker is the founder of Denver-based SodaPup, a USA-made, natural rubber dog toy brand. SodaPup can be found at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla., in booth #3672.