Learn how to sell pet products online. Let us learn how to find products, where to sell, and how to sell pet products. This step-by-step online business startup guide is the best place to learn everything from scratch.
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How not to fail selling pet products online?
Do you know that around 90% of the eCommerce startups fail? It is super easy to start an online storefront, and in most cases, anyone can start an online shop even under $100. Therefore, a lot of people start online businesses without a proper marketing plan. So, they don’t get any traffic to their online shops and don’t make any sales to coverup the costs. That is why so many new eCommerce startups fail.
But, in this guide, we will give you a step-by-step guide to handling marketing to sell pet products online. So, you can follow our tried and tested startup plan and build a successful online pet products store to start making money online.
How to sell pet products online?
Here is our step-by-step guide to start selling pet products. In this guide, we will go through each of these steps and discuss them in detail.
1. Find a good pet product niche
It is much easier and cheaper to handle marketing for niche online stores. Therefore, by selecting a winning niche to sell pet products, you can build a strong marketing strategy to make sales much faster. Read more about finding a good pet product niche …
2. Identify the target audience to sell pet products
Your target audience is who you are going to sell pet products. It is not just “pet owners”. You have to check demographics and make the right buyer persona for your products. Read more about identifying a target audience to sell pet products online…
3. Pick the right theme for your store
Decide the right tone for your business. Pick the right colors, marketing tone, and goals for your pet product business based on your niche and target audience. Learn more about selecting the right theme for your store…
4. Find pet product suppliers
Research and find out the best pet product suppliers to source products to your inventory. Explore different product sourcing options like dropshipping and print-on-demand services. Learn how to find pet product suppliers…
5. Find pet products to sell
Start building your inventory. Find out the winning products to sell in your store. And, there are a lot of legal and marketing aspects that you must consider before selecting the pet products to sell online. See where you can find pet products to sell…
6. Decide product prices
Pricing is a deliberate process. Overpricing or under-pricing can kill your business. Therefore, make sure to select the optimum price points to sell pet products online. Learn how to price your products.
7. Start building an online store
You can sell products in online marketplaces like eBay or Amazon. Also, you can build your own eCommerce store to sell pet products. Both of these options have different pros and cons. Find out where is the best place to sell pet products.
8. Launch your online marketing plan to sell
The final step is to craft and launch a strong marketing strategy for your online shop. There are different ways to find customers for your eCommerce shop. For example, Facebook and Instagram are the best places to find potential customers for an online pet product store. Learn how to create a marketing strategy to sell pet products.
Find a good pet product niche
First things first, why do we need a niche to sell pet products? Or, what is a niche in the first place? Let’s have a look.
A niche product is a product category that serves a specific customer base. When you target a specific customer base, it is much easier to create advertisements that resonate with their needs and expectations. Also, needless to say, when you have a specific customer demographics, you can run a highly targeted ad campaign for a small budget. There are many other marketing advantages of having a niche product as well. Read more about the benefits of selecting a good niche for eCommerce.
The steps to find a niche to sell pet products
- Decide a product type to sell. You can sell pet toys, treats, apparel, etc. Remember, pick only one product type. If you like to sell different product types, at least pick only dog or cat products.
- See what is trending on Amazon. You can find what sort of products are popular among the pet owners by searching through Amazon’s bestseller pet product listings.
- Make sure that they can trigger impulse buyers. As we mentioned earlier, we are going to sell pet products on Facebook and Instagram. So, you need to find niche products that can trigger impulse buyers. For example, people won’t usually buy 10kg of dog food pack through a Facebook advertisement of an unknown pet products shop. But, they might buy a cute $10 chew toy without thinking twice.
- Verify the size and price of the products. When you start, it is easier to sell small and low-cost products on your eCommerce store. Then, the delivery process will be easier and cheaper for you. So, pick products that can fit into an envelope or a shoebox. And, pick products that can be priced between $20 – $50.
- Check reviews. Whenever you pick a product, always remember to check online reviews for those products. See what the pet owners say about those products. Also, you can find customer pain points to create resonating ad copies to sell pet products online.
Apart from the steps given above, you can use other online data sources to niche your product range. For example, the below graphs from Statista shows what type of pets the Americans own and what type of pet products the dog owners purchased online within the last 12 months.
And, when you look at the first graph, you can see that the dogs, cats, fish, and birds are the most common types of pets in the USA. So, you can decide whether to narrow down your product range to dogs, cats, cats and dogs, fish, or birds. Then, if you choose to sell dog products, you can use the second graph to see what sort of dog products are popular among the dog owners. Likewise, you should research and find more data and information to come up with a sensible niche idea to sell pet products online.
Identify the target audience to sell pet products
Who is going to buy pet products from you? Now it is the time to identify your target customers to sell pet products. In this step, you will learn how to search customer demographics and to create a buyer persona for your eCommerce store.
What is the perfect target audience for an online pet products store?
Once you pick the perfect target audience for your business, you can build your store and a marketing campaign to please the interests of those people. Therefore spend some time researching demographics data to select a target audience for your eCommerce store.
Below example shows how to select the perfect age group of your target audience
There are pet owners in different age groups. So, let’s find out what is the best age group to create a target audience for your business. Once you have decided on a specific age group to sell your products, you can The below survey data is from OppLoans. It shows how much the pet owners of different age groups spend on their pets each month.
- 18-24: $173.67/month
- 25-34: $141.50/month
- 35-44: $107.85/month
- 45-54: $102.99/month
- 55 and up: $80.43/month
- 14-17: $73/month
So, it is clear that millennials spend the most amount of money on their pets. Then comes the age group of 25 to 34 year-olds. So, you can select those two age groups to start your marketing strategy. Later on, you can expand the target audience based on the growth of your business.
Facebook audience insights is another great way to pick a target audience for your business
Do you know that you can also copy the target audience of your competitors to build the right customer base for your pet product business? And, you can use the Facebook audience insights tool to find the demographics of your competitor’s target audience. Here are the steps to use Facebook audience insights to find the demographics of your target customers.
- Search for your competitors on Facebook. For example, Pet Smart can be one of your competitors selling pet products. So, anyone who has liked their Facebook page is likely to buy pet products.
- Go to the Facebook audience insights, and start creating a new audience. You can learn more about the Facebook audience insights tool from here.
- Type in your competitor’s name under interests. Filter the audience using their interests to refine your target audience to sell pet products online. Type in the name of your competitors, like PetSmart, PetCo, Chewy, etc.
- Explore more information about your selected target audience. Facebook audience insights tool gives more data about your selected audience. For example, you can see the age groups, gender, location, interests, income levels, and other interests using this tool. All this information will come in handy when creating your marketing strategy to sell pet products online.
- Save your selected audience. Save the selected audience to use in the future. We have to use this audience segment when running Facebook ads for your business.
Likewise, refine and define your target audience to sell pet products online. The more you know about your audience, the better you can build a marketing campaign to resonate with their interests and needs. So, you can increase your chances of getting more sales.
Pick the right theme for your store
The theme of your business is how your customers see and feel your brand. Should it be friendly, playful, or authoritative? All that should depend on your selected niche and target audience. For example, if you have decided to sell pet toys and apparel you can make it friendly and playful. However, if you are planning to sell vet authorized diet dog food, you need to make it more trustworthy and series. The same goes for your selected target market and audience. For example, based on the gender and age of your target audience, you can make it looks masculine or feminine.
Select colors, fonts, and a tone for your business theme
Building a strong brand identity for your online store is a complete process. And, we have created a full guide for you to learn how to build a strong brand identity design for your business. There we have explained all these steps in detail. So, please have a look and try to understand that process properly. And, trust me, you will never regret that effort!
- Understand your customer’s language
- Define your value proposition
- Define three unique brand adjectives
- Choose a brand name and slogan
- Pick your business’s color pallet
- Define a font family
- Get your logo and website design done
- (Optional) create a brand style guide
Find pet product suppliers
There are three ways to find pet products to sell online. You can make what you sell, buy a stock of products before selling, or start dropshipping pet products. In this section, we will talk more about finding dropshipping suppliers to sell pet products.
Learn how to start dropshipping step-by-step
Dropshipping pet products from AliExpress marketplace
AliExpress is one of the most popular Chinese marketplaces that support dropshipping. There are hundreds of pet products sellers, their prices are low, and most of them support dropshipping. Also, since AliExpress is so popular among eCommerce business owners, there are some great dropshipping plugins like WooDropship to import and fulfill products from AliExpress from your site. Learn more about how to use AliExpress for dropshipping.
Sourcing pet products from wholesale suppliers
Apart from AliExpress, there are some other popular wholesale supplier directories that you can use to find pet product suppliers. For example, check SaleHoo, Worldwide Brands, and Wholesale central to find suitable wholesale pet product suppliers.
Find pet products to sell
At this stage, you should have already selected a niche to sell pet products. And, there can be thousands of different products to sell in the niche that you have selected. So, how can you pick the products to sell on your eCommerce store? Let’s have a look.
Where to find pet products to sell online?
There are different places to find winning products to sell online. Needless to say, Amazon is the largest online marketplace. So, there are millions of people who are using this particular marketplace. So, Amazon’s bestseller listings usually provide some great insights into your potential buyer’s interests and needs. Also, AliExpress is another popular online marketplaces where many drop shippers source their products. So, the most purchased and highest rated products on AliExpress shows what people tend to purchase online as well.
Also, there are a number of product research tools and services that you can use to find products to sell online. For example, if you are planning to use Shopify to build your online store, you can use Oberlo to research and source products. Similarly, you can use some other product research tools like Spocket, Importify, etc. to find the best pet products to add on your online store.
But, before you go ahead and start picking products, make sure that it fits into the size and price requirements of our niche selection criteria, which we have discussed at the very beginning. Selecting too large or too pricy products may make your life more complicated at the beginning. However, once you have enough experience, you can start expanding your product listings with expensive and large products.
Decide product prices
Selecting the optimum prices for your product listings is one of the most important tasks of creating a product listing. While overpricing can make you lose most of your potential sales, underpricing can make you lose a lot of your potential profits. Therefore, selecting the right price point is extremely important, and make sure to learn how to price products that you are selling online. Otherwise, you will be making this fatal mistake as a new entrepreneur.
Pricing as a marketing tool
There are different pricing strategies that are focused on covering up the product costs and keeping an adequate profit margin. We have explained all these strategies in the above-linked article. So, in this section let’s discuss different ways to use pricing as a marketing tool.
- Psychological pricing really works. Have you ever seen that sellers price their products like $29.99 instead of $30? There is a reason behind that. Actually people like to buy things for a lesser price. So, when they see a price tag like the above, they unintentionally compare that with the next price point.
- Keep it simple, and go below. If you test two price tags, $24.36 and $24.99 for the same product, you will see that the second price tag will do better. That is because it is much more simple than the first one, and it stays below a key price stage. But, the first one looks complicated and just above a key price stage.
- Do psychological pricing only for low-price products. Do not ever mark prices like 8999.99 instead of 9000. For the luxury or high-ticket products, it is much better to keep it at the price stages.
- End the price with an odd number. We cannot say any particular reason for this strategy. But, we have experienced that the prices ending with odd numbers like 1,3,5,7,9 sell better than the prices ending with an even number.
- Use free plus shipping only when it makes sense. You might have already experienced this particular pricing and marketing strategy in many online dropshipping stores. There the seller offers the products for free, and the buyer can order the product by paying only the shipping cost. The main reason behind this strategy is to bring in new customers to your pet product store. However, if you run this strategy, make sure to come up with proper reasoning like “stock clearance”. Otherwise, it will look like a scam.
- Use bundle pricing. Bundle pricing strategies like “buy one, get one free” works well for online businesses as well. However, if you are smart enough you can even use this pricing strategy to make cross-selling opportunities. For example, you can offer 10% on a dog toy for every dog bed purchase on your pet product store.
Start building an online store
Now let us talk where to sell pet products online. Should you start an online store, or can you sell pet products in popular online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay? Let us have a look.
Selling pet products on Amazon and eBay
Selling pet products on Amazon and eBay gives you a great opportunity to open up the doors of your pet products business to millions of potential customers. And, it is the cheapest way to start selling as well. For example, you can start selling on eBay for free, and you can piggyback the popularity of those platforms to sell pet products.
However, if you are dropshipping from AliExpress, selling on eBay or Amazon might not be a good idea. If you are planning to dropship on eBay, you need to source the products from wholesale suppliers and have a dropshipping agreement with them. Otherwise, you will get banned from the platform. And, if you are dropshipping on Amazon, you have to use the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to deliver your pet products to the customers.
One drawback of selling on those platforms is the lack of flexibility to customize your processes. Also, if you are selling only on the online marketplaces, it is really hard to build a brand authority for your business. For example, when you sell in online marketplaces, you have to follow their standard store and listing templates. Therefore, while you are selling pet products in online marketplaces, start working on creating your own online store as wel.
Starting an online store to sell pet products online
Starting an online eCommerce store is a lot cheaper and easier now than it was a few years ago. Now there are low-cost hosting services, CMS platforms, and website templates that anyone can use to build an amazing online shop without needing any specialized website building knowledge. However, you still need some basic programming knowledge to set up a few things and at least to understand the tutorials. Therefore if you can spend around $50 you can hire a freelancer to create an eCommerce website for you.
The best platform to start an online store
There are different CMS (Content Management System) platforms that you can use to start an online store. However, here we are going to discuss the two most popular CMS platforms. You can also search on Google for more options as well.
- WordPress + WooCommerce
The most flexible and agile online store building platform. Not so beginner-friendly. But, this is the best, fully customizable, and open-source platform to start an online store. You can start an online store with WordPress for around $7 per month (including the domain name, hosting, and SSL certificate). However, it is better if you could afford more and select a dedicated hosting for your eCommerce site. Then, you can achieve a higher site speed, which is crucial to reduce the customer bounce rate.
Shopify is the most popular and all-around platform to start an online store. They offer a large number of subsidiary services like Orbelo (to easily import products to your store) and Printful (for on-demand printing/ order fulfillment service). Shopify’s basic package will cost you $29 per month + transaction fees.
Learn how to start an online store using our complete blueprint
Launch your online marketing plan to sell
Last but not least, now we are going to talk about creating the best marketing strategy to sell pet products online. As we have mentioned in the very beginning, not having a strong marketing plan is the most common reason for failures. So, in this section we will see different ways to reach your potential customers.
Selling pet products on Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are the best platforms to launch your marketing campaigns. Let us see some popular online pet product sellers who are crushing it on social media.
The owners of @itsdougthepug running a successful pet products business thanks to their amazing Instagram content creation strategy. As you can see they are selling pet products targeting 2.9 million followers on Instagram. This is exactly what you have to do. First, you have to build an audience to gather your potential customers on some sort of platform. And, Instagram and Facebook are the perfect places to build an engaging customer base. Once you have an engaging customer base like @itsdoughthepub, you easily start selling the pet products without any hassles.
Learn how to build a strong Facebook marketing strategy for your business
Creating educational content to sell pet products online
As we have discussed earlier, Facebook and Instagram are the best platforms to build an audience by creating funny content. However, you can also create educational content to reach and engage with the potential customers to sell pet products.
First, have a look at this video from PetSmart.
So, how creating such content can help you with selling pet products? Needless to say, the target customers of your business are the pet owners. So, as pet owners, they are also the consumers of educational content related to taking care of their pets. Therefore, by creating videos and blog posts to educate your potential customers, you can build a niche audience at your reach. Then you can subtly push your promotions to this audience and start selling pet products.
Content marketing is a proven way to reach your potential customers. And, there are so many creative ways to create content for pet owners. Especially, if you own a pet, you can regularly create content, including photos and videos to keep your audience engaged in your content.
Running Facebook ads to sell pet products
Whatever the method you use in your marketing strategy, at first you need to get into the radar of your customers to make it grow. So, the best and fastest way to initiate your marketing strategy is through a paid ad campaign. And, when it comes to running ads, Facebook is the best place to get started. Learn how to start a Facebook ad campaign.
However, there are a few things that you need to know before running a Facebook ad campaign to sell pet products. If you don’t set up your campaign right, it might be just a waste of your time and money. So, here is why Facebook ads don’t work sometimes. Go through that article and make sure not to do any silly mistakes with your ad budget.
You are all set to sell pet products online
Now you know the basic setup to start an online pet products store. So, go ahead and start by selecting a niche to sell pet products. Also, start working on your audience building strategies while you are working through the initial phases of starting your business. This is a doable business, and we were running a small yet successful pet toy business for years now. So, you can do it too. Explore more opportunities and be creative with every step. Do ten times better than your top competitor at the beginning. And, that is the best way to build customer’s trust when selling pet products online.