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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

December 9, 2011

Merchandising Holiday Product to Maximize Sales

By Julie Jacobs

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Online holiday shopping for pets
It’s that time of year to maximize your selling power. Change up your website and make it festive to put your consumer into the holiday spirit. Give web surfers a reason to stop and check out your site. Hopefully, they’ll become new loyal consumers year-round.

This time of year you have two target audiences: Dog owners looking for things for themselves, such as items to decorate their house and surround them with reminders of their best friend.  And things for their dogs, such as clothes to dress up their little holiday dogs, along with the toys and treats to reward them for enduring the multitude of holiday outfits they parade around in so perfectly.

At this time of year, the obvious product to feature on your website are holiday items: dog ornaments, Christmas stockings featuring dogs, Santa suits, festive sweaters, Santa hats, reindeer antlers…red and green anything! Your next best category would be toys, in particular, reindeers, Santas, stars, stockings, balls, throw toys, etc. These are quick, inexpensive gifts and great stocking stuffers—something all dogs will love. And, they are great items for the kids to give their fur-buddies, too.

Pet-themed gift items are a homerun during the holiday season. Consider fun cookie jars for both humans and their four-legged friends’ treats or dog dishes for Fido—not to mention wine glasses, coasters and dishes for his or her master. Other game-winning products include décor items for the home, such as photos, illustrations and picture frames, along with personal items: note cards, mouse pads, tee shirts, aprons, key chains carry bags, purse-like dog carriers…you get the idea. And don’t forget the bling; make sure to offer jewelry for humans and pets that will dazzle their friends.

Gift packs of cookies or treats also make great presents. There are a multitude of offerings featuring natural cookies in all sorts of holiday shapes. And don’t neglect gift baskets for both for pets and pet owners, such as baskets of toys, treats for the pup or a mixed basket of human and dog goodies with toys and treats for the dog and personal, home décor items and treats for the owners. A painting of a pet pooch is another lasting treasure. Contact an artist who will paint from a photograph and offer it through your shop.

Now is the time to reach out for multiple sales. You want your shoppers to shop for all their dog friends, so a wider selection would be helpful. You may also want to feature great gift-giving ideas on your website's homepage, either by categories or price points. Offer a cute gift card and gift wrapping—free is even better, as most sites have a small charge. Eliminating a charge, will tempt buyers to purchase more gifts. Offering free shipping is also a wonderful perk. And, of course, drop shipping would be helpful for those purchasing gifts requiring long-distance delivery to friends.
 
To draw shoppers back, also consider featuring a category each week offering specials to entice increased sales. Perhaps buy one and get a second at 50 percent off. Or purchase a holiday item and get a free gift—a small, inexpensive ornament, such as a dog key chain or something similar. But don’t give your profits away; holidays should be profit centers.

Happy Selling!

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Reader Comments
This column is fantastic. Bravo to you and the writer!!
steve, orlando, FL
Posted: 12/12/2011 5:03:12 PM
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