“I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs.” – James Herriott
Why open a Shopify store for pet supplies?
Whether or not James Herriott - with his love for all creatures, great and small - imagined it, he helped spawn the gigantic industry that the pet industry has become today.
Pet owners are leaving no stone unturned splurging on their pets, be it on food, clothing, accessories, or grooming.
According to data released by APPA, the American Pet Products Association, pet owners in the United States spent $123.6 billion on their furry companions with nearly $50 billion on pet foods and treats. Reportedly, 69 million U.S households own a dog as a pet, compared to 45 million that own a cat.
Across the continent, the story repeats itself. Pet food value sales in Europe increased 3.1% in 2021, reaching 27.7 billion Euros (US$28.89 billion), according to data recently released by FEDIAF, the European pet food association. Related services and products accounted for another 23.5 billion Euros (US$24.5 billion) in value sales, while pet food volume sales totaled 10.2 million tons. Both amounts represented increases over 2020 data.
All this sales data suggests one thing: when pets and their unconditional love tug at their human caretaker’s heartstrings, loosening purse strings is the equal and opposite response.
Is it any wonder that over the past 10 years, online sales of pet-related products have reached 4x growth?
The pet supply industry is booming and Shopify could be your way in.
Pet owners are treating their pets like extended family, and are thus increasing spending across-the-board on pet-related items – especially, premium pet foods. In fact, in 2016, about 14% of pet food launches in the USA were positioned as indulgent or premium!
For an entrepreneur like you, the above facts should give you more than enough impetus to start your very own eCommerce pet foods store and Shopify is one of the easiest ways to start.
How to start a Shopify pet store
Starting a Shopify pet store involves a lot of decision-making, much like a bricks and mortar pet store. But first, there are some certain aspects that are unique to an eCommerce store.
Firstly, the scope of your business is wider. You may find your business attracting customers from outside your geographic location.
Secondly, your business is open 24/7, there is no opening and closing of the shutters.
Thirdly, your investment is considerably less than a physical store. You can start small, really small, with optimum inventory, with only yourself as the sole employee and scale slowly.
But to get to that point you need to make a few key decisions.
- What will your niche be within the pet supplies market?
- Who will be your suppliers and what arrangements need to be made to help you maintain your stock levels?
- Are there any statutory issues such as the registrations, licenses, taxation formalities you need to consider?
- How much inventory should you keep in stock?
- Will you get professional help to create optimal pricing?
- How will you market and/or advertise your business?
When you’re ready, you can get started on Shopify. To do this:
- Go to Shopify and open an account.
- Choose your plan.
- Enter your business name (you can buy your business name domain later).
- Answer the onboarding survey.
Your online store is ready! You will be taken to your home page where you can start designing your Shopify pet supplies store. This means:
- You can start adding your products and services.
- Add your logo and other brand assets that you own.
- Pick and choose an existing theme, customize your content, layout and typography to reflect your brand.
- Add your custom domain.
- Add your store title and a description to help define how your store shows up on search engines.
- Explore automation templates.
To design your pet store, you can also look at using a no code page builder like GemPages. GemPages has an easy to use drag and drop editor that makes creating a high-converting pet supplies store really easy and fast. Install the app, now!
What are the top selling pet products online
Retailers – both offline and digital – have reported year on year growth in the following products catering to pets:
- CBD Oil, an extract from the Cannabis plant.
- Pretty Litter (it’s kitty litter made from silica).
- Dog Beds
- Toothpaste for Dogs
- Supplements and Vitamins
- Treats for Cats
- Dog Food
- Deworming meds for pets
- Ball dispensers.
- Water bottles for pets!
Examples of some of the best Shopify pet stores
In this section, we look at a few of the top pet stores on the Shopify platform. All these stores have many things in common: they feature clean looks, are simple to use, successfully leverage Shopify and its integrations, and provide highly personalized experiences to customers with a view to encouraging positive buying behavior, and repeat purchases.
If you need hand drawn digital Illustrations of your pets for a gallery worthy frame, then you need to head to The Pawtrait!
At The Pawtrait studio, they specialize in creating custom portraits of pets! Pet lovers themselves, each pet portrait is digitally hand drawn with passion and dedication by the team, making your pet portrait a truly unique masterpiece.
It's as easy as 1,2,3. Simply send them your pet photo, they will get a drawing right away, and your portrait will be delivered to your door! You have a choice from a range of products such as framed pawtraits, to mugs, and phone cases.
Customer and pet satisfaction is guaranteed and plenty of testimonials from their happy customers are there for reference.
The Pawtrait is a trusted and committed brand dedicated to helping pet owners showcase their beloved furry friends.
Pet in Pack
For those folks who love to travel into the wild blue yonder, with a pet in tow, Pet in Pack makes your road trips cleaner and safer, with rear seat protectors.
Pet in Pack seat covers are soft to the touch, and provide a luxurious, nappable experience for pets and humans alike. The hammock is durable and secure, capable of handling frequent movements and scratches with ease.
PetInPack claim their seat covers are as soft as sleeping on the clouds assuring further their seat covers protect against dirt, sand, snow, shoe prints, and other accidents. As it doesn't require any special tools and is easy to install.
Natural Pet Supplements
At Natural Pet Supplements, you will find safe and effective herbal medicines for dogs and cats.
The entire range of supplements are made with premium human grade herb concentrations, high strength and low dose. Herbal Medicine has been in existence since time immemorial and today, it is backed by modern science.
All Herbs are premium quality and tested for purity. Only premium ingredients are used, and are tested for safety, effectiveness and used in developing nutritional supplements for Dogs and Cats.
SG Smart Paw
SG SmartPaw is a Singaporean pet supplies store. They sell a wide range of pet technology products.
Also available are popular pet brands for all kinds of pet care needs.
A key area of focus at SG SmartPaw is to bring in innovative and premium pet technology products in order to help simplify looking after your pet.
SG SmartPaw believes in quality service and pet products of the highest quality to ensure building a good relationship with customers, and at the same time, to keep pets socially engaged and mentally happy.
SG SmartPaw’s mission is to simplify pets and their owners' lives with the help of pet technology.
Shopify pet store themes you should consider
We stated earlier that GemPages has an extensive library of templates and pre-made elements for you to choose from. Well, here are a couple of Shopify pet store templates or themes you could consider.
Top Shopify pet stores: tips and tricks
An online pet supplies store must have in place certain key elements in order to be successful.
As we have stated earlier, the critical thing is to get customers to visit your online store, engage them in a convincing manner with your story, to then trust you enough to place an order.
With this in mind, here are a few tips to keep in mind, to have a successful online Shopify pet store.
- Your online store must have a simple, clutter free user interface. The less clutter, the better.
- The products being featured must provide all information that is needed to enable the customer to make a decision. Navigation must be easy, simple and seamless. Placing orders, making payment, and the delivery process must be straightforward and clear.
- Once an order is placed, make sure there is an easy way for the customer to get in touch with Customer Support, should it be required. Offer all options to get in touch – via phone, email, and/or chat.
- A picture tells a thousand words. Make sure your online store is visually appealing and create good quality product images.
- Use the power of social media to reach and engage with your core audience
- Publish blogs, YouTube videos, and Instagram pictures to remain fresh and relevant to your audience.
- Consider reaching out to influencers to recommend your products. The trust factor is built on such endorsements and it’s easy to do with Shopify’s Collabs app.
- Use reviews and testimonials to build trust and confidence.
These are some of the most important tips and tricks that you should consider in order for your online pet store to be a success. This list is merely illustrative, and not exhaustive.
However, keep in mind that your approach to making your website standout should be to differentiate yourself from the competition and to showcase your store’s unique value proposition.