Pets have always been our best friends, but now more than ever they can also be our business partners. The power of pets in our economy is strong and taking advantage of opportunities in pet culture can help build business. In the U.S., more than two in three households has a pet. That’s nearly 393 million nationwide! When it comes to our pets, there doesn’t always have to be an economic benefit that comes along with them, but you may be surprised how much they impact business.
One way businesses have embraced pet culture is by modifying products designed for people, and turning them into products for pets. When the company, Casper, noticed how much dogs loved their new mattresses, they adapted their design into a dog bed. Chaco and ROK Straps both made durable leashes and collars that match their human-product counterparts. For the especially fashionable pets, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, and Coach make high-fashion designs for pets.
A step further than creating products specifically for pets could be becoming a pet-friendly business where customers can comfortably bring their pets along. Nordstrom has been welcoming pups into their stores for over two decades as long as they are leashed. IKEA remains pet-friendly by reserving the in-store for people, but providing a spot to keep pets safe and comfy with astroturf, water, and a tie out. Other businesses like Tractor Supply Co. and Bass Pro Shops host events where pets can be adopted from local animal rescues or get free wellness checks, grooming demos, pet portraits, and more. A growing number of retailers are understanding that customers are willing to spend more time and money when it comes to their pets, welcoming pets to their stores as well as outdoor patios and drive thrus.
More than half of Millennials think it is essential to dine with their pet. Fido can now follow a shopping spree with a Starbucks Puppuccino, Dairy Queen Pup Cup, or In-N-Out Pup Patty. Catering to pets has become almost as important as catering to the customers themselves. Afterall, pets have been promoted from the Baby Boomers’ title of best friend to the Gen Z calling pets their children. Showing you value pets as much as they do could unlock a new contingent of loyal customers. When purchasing a product, most Americans consider the company’s values. And when companies support the topics that customers care about, people feel 92% more positive, 87% more trusting, and 88% more loyal towards that business.
In 2018, Americans spent $72 billion on their pets. Pet parents are willing to sacrifice and splurge for their fur babies. Showing that your business is pet-friendly may encourage more people to go out and visit your business, allowing them to spend the necessary time with their pets while getting their shopping done. Create policies, host pet-themed meetups, allow leashed pets inside, provide water, or create a space for pets to wait while owners run inside. If you can’t welcome pets into your business, partner with local rescues or encourage employees to volunteer. Pets are important parts of the customer’s life and can be important to the economy as well. Learn more about the power of pets and how your business can become pet-friendly with the infographic here.
Source: Hinsdale Humane Society