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The Natural Dog Company

Merchandising tips for your dog treat and chew section

Posted by Page on

It's easy to display the variety of products you carry at your pet retail store in a way that stimulates interest from your customer and compels them to make a purchase! Retailers know that dog treats and chews often has the highest margins compared to other pet products - here are some merchandising tips and tricks to help you sell more dog treats!

Image courtesy of Bag of Bones Barkery, located in Hamilton Township, NJ. When Bag of Bones first introduced The Natural Dog Company treats, they designed this endcap in order to encourage customers to try the new line.


MERCHANDISING TIPS & TRICKS

  • Keep the Space CLEAN!
    One of the first impressions that a customer has of a store when they initially walk in - is it clean? We know that it’s a pet store, and there’s a ton of foot traffic and dogs passing through all the time. Dried urine stains (from male dogs “marking” their territory), clumps of dog hair, and dusty shelves containing product that doesn’t move… whenever you experience any downtime at your store, get some employees together and start cleaning! You want your customers to have a positive first impression of your store - you wouldn’t want any of your customers walking through the front doors and thinking, “Hmm, it’s kinda dirty in here.”
    • For treat buckets: importantly, keep an eye out for HIDE BEETLES (click on this link to view images)! Adult hide beetles and their larvae are ubiquitous in the environment (especially in warmer climates) and they are strongly attracted to dog chews because of the high protein content. 
      • Some telltale signs of hide beetles include light brown "shavings" coating the surface of the dog chew - this is a mixture of particles caused by the beetle borrowing into the product as well as beetle feces. 
      • While hide beetles aren't dangerous to dogs, their presence often disturbs customers. 
      • The risk of hide beetles increases the longer you keep inventory in storage, so if your warehouse tends to see hide beetle problems, purchase a smaller amount of inventory at a time so that you can turn it around quickly.
      • Hide beetle and their larvae are killed by freezing temperatures.
  • Reset endcaps and other displays
    Change your offerings of chews and treats regularly - stock your bestsellers, but have a section where you rotate between new and unique treats and chews. A “planogram reset” occurs when new products are introduced or a promotion begins. A simple change in the layout of merchandise, if done correctly, could increase sales as much as 7.8% within two weeks.
    • Many manufacturers are willing to send you free product to sample out to customers, which encourages them to test out the product at no extra cost to them. 

Bag of Bones Barkery, in Hamilton Township, NJ, designed this incredible endcap which led to an increase in Bixbi sales! This "interactive" display is very creative, because it features a dog treat made from human grade ingredients and the eye-catching signage even encourages customers to try the treat out themselves! 

  • Many pet stores have a policy where they update all of their endcaps on a monthly basis, especially to highlight promotions from their various vendors. A great way to build employee engagement is to run an endcap contest!
  • Depending on the season, you may want to make a themed endcap that tells a story. Here are some examples!
    • Spring/Summer - things that illustrate the idea of going outside and having fun with your dog!
      • Water toys
      • Chuckit launcher, Frisbees
      • Life jackets
      • Over the counter allergy supplements
      • Flea and tick prevention/shampoo
      • Camping stuff - waterproof beds
      • Bike towing equipment
      • A sign pointing to the freezer
    • Winter
      • Waterproof coats and jackets, booties
      • Harnesses for mushing
      • Balm for dry noses and feet
      • Dog shampoo specifically for dry, sensitive skin
      • A warm bed, blankets
      • Lots of treat-dispensing toys / chews to help keep active dogs occupied
      • Christmas themed productsPet safe ice melt
      • Rex Specs goggles - keep your mountain dog from going snow-blind!
  • Strategic Placement
    The majority of customers visiting your store are there to stock up on dog food. Keep all of the dog food in the very back of the store, so that your customer has to wander through the dog treats, dog toys, supplements, and grooming supply section before picking up their bag of food. The majority of customers do not shop with a physical checklist - in fact, as many as half of your shoppers will pick up products on impulse during their shopping trip.
    • Dog treats or single dog chews are a common impulse purchase, so keep these items right at the entrance or register! It’s also very helpful if your employees running the cash registers are trained to ask every customer a lighthearted question such as, “Do you need a treat for your dog?”

    • "Hey ma, look what I found!"
    • Have some inexpensive chews at “nose-level” for customer dogs - if customer notices that their dog is very interested in the treats, they may be more likely to buy one for them!
    • Be sure that you have good lighting throughout the entire store, especially for those sections that don’t get as much foot traffic. A dark, dusty aisle is not as appealing for a customer as a brightly lit, clean and organized aisle.
    • Don’t forget the importance of FACING!
      • We know - no one likes facing cat cans - however, the fact is that a neat, well-maintained shelf is much more appealing to customers, rather than shelves that have “holes”. If it’s not on the shelf, it can’t get purchased!

        Bag of Bones Barkery, in Hamilton Township, NJ, goes to great lengths to ensure that their cat cans and dog cans are neat, organized, and full.
  • Innovative = interesting
    Try to find some fun and creative ways to display your products! Having unique aesthetic and ambiance at your pet supply store will help encourage your customers to visit again and again. Shopping at a brick-and-mortar store is all about the experience and coming up with new methods of customer engagement in-store.

    Earthwise Pet Supply East Village, in San Diego, CA has an adorable dog chew section that their customers love!
    • Sprucing up your dog chew section doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and labor. Rather than displaying your dog chews in old cardboard boxes, head over to the thrift store to pick up some new fixtures for your shop! We've seen customers display dog chews in glass jars, galvanized buckets, rustic wicker baskets, wooden display racks, and more! 

We hope that you’ll find these merchandising tips interesting and useful! Do you have any displays at your pet supply store? Send us an e-mail, we’d love to give a shoutout to you on our social media pages!

E-mail us to request POP material for your store! Here’s what we have available:

  • tips & tricks