Owning a pet shop is not easy, and if you want to succeed you’ll need to come up with some clever ways to engage with your customers. What can you offer them that the big box stores can’t?
You might find that a little mom and pop charm is just what the doctor ordered! That’s why in this article, we’ll be giving you 10 awesome pet store event ideas to help inspire loyalty and curiosity in your local customer base.
Pet Costume Contest
While Halloween is obviously the ideal time, there are plenty of other times where you could host a pet costume contest as well. You can re-brand it as a “fashion contest” to make the theme applicable year round.
Offering a prize to the winner is the best way to go, as it will inspire the most effort. However, many people just like participating in community events and will be happy with even some small freebies or coupons.
As a bonus, an in store event like this makes great content for your social media account and helps push your brand out to those people’s friends! Set up a photo booth and post customer photos to your Instagram account, or ask them to post photos themselves and tag you for a discount or chance at a cool prize.
Host Cheap or Free Puppy Classes
Many people who get a puppy soon come to realize that training one is not as easy as it seems. If you’d like the chance to get more people in the door of your store, then consider offering a free puppy training day.
If you already offer dog training at your location, it could be a great way to up-sell pet parents on your full range of services. Of course, even if you don’t offer full training services, those customers will come to see you as an expert and come to your store when they need personal attention for their pet’s needs.
Pet Adoption Day Event
By hosting an adoption event you’re helping pets in needs to find their forever homes. You can also likely enjoy the future patronage of pet parents who have found their furbabies thanks to your store!
Make sure that you’re nearby to offer guidance on food and care for the animals being adopted, and make sure that pet parents know they can always come back to the shop if they need more help.
You’ll need to contact a local shelter to set this up but chances are they’ll be glad to have somewhere to get attention for their animals. Try going with a smaller shelter that gets ignored by the bigger pet stores.
Pictures With Santa
You’d be surprised just how many people love getting holiday photos with their pets! A lot of pet owners get a big kick out of having a picture with Santa for their fur babies.
Of course, you can also get a picture with the Easter bunny or set up many other kinds of holiday photo booths. Yet again, another chance to get great content for your Instagram feed that people will love, even if they don’t join your event in person!
Pet Shelter Food Drive
Charitable giving is not only good for your community, but it’s also good for your store. By hosting a pet shelter food drive at your pet shop you can not only get great publicity for your business but you can help feed kitties and pups in need.
You could allow people to bring in or purchase cans or bags to donate, or you could even offer to donate a can or bag for every one purchased that month.
You’d be surprised how many people will go out of their way to come to your shop to participate in such an event. Once they’re in the store, that’s your chance to wow them and show them why your store is better than the big boys.
Note: You should ask the shelter what supplies they need before collecting anything. Giving them things they can’t use is just a waste and some prefer monetary donations.
Host A Pet Wellness Clinic
This idea is similar to the adoption day event in that you’ll need to call around to find a partner willing to work with you. However, it should be doable. There are lots of mobile vaccination clinics looking for places to host their events.
If you have the space, your host could host an event that not only increases foot traffic to your store but also helps low-income individuals to afford vaccinations for their pets.
Pet Store Prize Wheel
Give your customers incentive to share about their experience at your store with a prize wheel! Visitors can spin the wheel and win a prize during their visit.
You should, of course, give away some really cool stuff like free pet gear. However, you can also make lesser prizes that are stickers, small treat bags, shirts, or hats.
Wear-able prizes give you free advertising, and you can even ask people to post a photo of the experience on their social media to be eligible for the spin.
People love their pets, and who wouldn’t love a personalized souvenir of their fur-baby? By hiring a photographer or a caricature artist to create pet portraits at your store, you could generate a lot of buzz bot locally and on social media!
The portraits can be serious or more comical in nature, but either way, it’s something that people will remember. You could even offer to order prints for them if you’d like to go the extra mile. (Places like Walmart make it easy to order and pick up prints, wall art, and even customized items like mugs!)
Expect to pay somewhere around $300 or so for a 2 hour event. If this doesn’t seem like a ton of time, don’t worry. You can always fill out the day with other events.
Free Sample Day
Sam’s Club gives out free samples every weekend because it works. They always sell a ton of whatever it is they’re giving away, and there’s no reason that pet stores can’t do the same.
You can set up little sample tables around the store to advertise your new products. Pet parents who bring their pets can offer Fido a sample right then and there, or you can hand out some little “doggy bags” for them to take home.
Host A Free Pet Health/CPR Course
Many people simply don’t know what to do if there’s an emergency involving their pet! You can easily learn pet first aid techniques and take a certified pet CPR course online. You can then host weekend classes that help pet parents to prepare for the worst.
Your class should, of course, focus on emergency first aid, such as removing objects clogging the pet’s airway. However, you should not neglect teaching pet parents to identify signs of a serious issue.
Knowing when your pet needs to go to the vet right now is important, and not everyone knows the signs. They’ll appreciate you giving them this guidance, and you could save their dog or cat’s life.