How to start an online pet store?

Published On: May 15, 2018
Last Updated: March 19, 2024
How to start an online pet store?

Are you selling pet supplies, pet products, and pets grooming products physically? Are you planning to start an online pet store business? Then you’re taking your business in the right direction because many people love to purchase pet products and supplies online.

According to GMInsights, the pet care market value was US $280 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7% from 2023 to 2032.

Considering the above statistics, we can say that the online pet supply store market is going to observe tremendous growth in the next few years.

Moreover, building an online presence, such as a dedicated website, has become imperative for business success. It’s an effective method to win the customer’s trust and a crucial step in building a strong brand for your pet supply business.

To sell products online, including grooming supplies and food, creating a dedicated pet supply store website can be a smart move. A well-developed website can serve as the strong foundation of your online business, allowing customers to explore your product offerings and make purchases.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the essential steps you need to start a successful online pet supply store through your website.

Without further ado, let’s get started:

8 Steps to Start an Online Pet Store

Now, we will go through the step-by-step process to start an online pet store efficiently.

1. Decide Pet Products to Sell Online

Before you develop your website, which focuses on selling pet products online, you should figure out all the items you want to provide your customers.

Research the market to identify trends and demands. You can consider selling everyday supplies that are in demand or bringing something innovative and creating demand.

Keep in mind that specializing in a particular category, such as premium dog food, eco-friendly toys, or customized pet accessories, can help you attract a dedicated customer base.

These are things you can consider selling:

  • Essential Pet Supplies
    It is a good idea to start with pet essentials. It includes food bowls, houses, beds, cages, accessories, pet toys, animal feed, etc.
  • Sell Homemade Pet Food or Treats
    Pet owners prefer healthier options, so bringing innovative food products that are nutritious and natural will surely attract them.
  • Sell Pet Apparel
    It is a niche without too much competition. Sell cute handmade pet apparel. It also occupies less storage and huge space for creativity.
  • Sell Innovative Pet Products
    Create a new product in the market that pet lovers love. It could be anything: accessories, luxury products, or healthcare products. You can sell a pet GPS tracker, car seat, travel kit and more.
categories for an online pet store

The above image is an example of different categories of products you can sell for dogs in an online pet store.

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2. Find the Suppliers for Online Pet Store

Identifying the kind of items you want to sell on your online pet store and suppliers is highly essential other than the condition in which you are producing and selling stuff by yourself.

Moreover, it is imperative to choose more than one supplier for your online pet store to keep your business stable when a supplier breaks a bond with you or you are going through any other issues in your business.

Here are some types of suppliers to consider:

Manufacturers
You can work directly with manufacturers to produce your products. It gives you more control over the quality of the product, customization, and branding. However, it requires large investments.

Wholesale Suppliers
A wholesaler offers products in bulk at discounted prices, making it suitable for retailers looking to stock a variety of pet items.

Dropshipping Companies
If you prefer not to hold inventory, consider partnering with dropshipping companies. It is a form of online retail where you purchase items when you make a sale. It is great for novice or less experienced business owners as they can focus on marketing and selling the goods.

When choosing suppliers, you also need to decide whether to source locally or from overseas. Several businesses secure two suppliers, one local and the other overseas so that they have local backup in case there are any issues in sourcing products.

3. Create a Business Plan for Pet Store

For deciding the pet store business plan, you can consider the things given below:

  • What is your main goal behind starting an online pet supply store?
  • Define to whom you are selling: Marketplace, B2B, or B2C.
  • Conduct Market Analysis & Research.
  • Carry out SWOT Analysis.
  • Define your target audience.
  • Define the features & functionalities of your online pet supply store.

Also Read: A Detailed Guide on Creating a Business Plan

4. Decide about Financial Stuff

To start an online pet supply store, you will require a particular amount of investment based on the business plan. Here, if you possess enough funds in savings or retirement, then you can invest in the online pet store business.

However, if you don’t possess enough funds, then you can apply for a loan at the bank.

5. Decide Your Shipping Partner

Before you develop your online store and launch it, you need to choose a shipping partner that delivers your products safely to consumers.

Suppose you are starting your online pet store business in the USA, you have some wonderful options.

Firstly, you have a United States post office that offers flat-rate shipping. Besides this, you have other options like FedEx, XPO, Postmates, etc.

If you are delivering your products overseas, you shouldn’t forget to look after the duty fees & other charges. Here, it would help if you verified things with the U.S. Postal Service.

6. Build an Online Pet Store

Now, you need to build your online pet store that can process orders, manage inventory and provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

Begin by choosing an e-commerce platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce to build your website. These platforms offer templates specially designed for online stores, making them easier to build.

Ensure that your website is easy to navigate and responsive. Also, optimize your website for search engines to improve your store’s visibility in search results.

You can hire our dedicated e-commerce developers who help you create well-designed, user-friendly sites that can significantly impact your success.

Moreover, keep in mind to thoroughly test your website functionality before launching, which includes product searches, cart management, checkout process and more.

7. Integrate a Secure Payment Gateway

The next step to build your online pet supply store is to integrate a proper payment gateway to get paid for the products you sell from your store.

A simple yet effective option is to integrate PayPal, one of the most popular payment gateways worldwide.

Here, it’s highly imperative to include a payment gateway that has a better online presence and is trusted by users. Why? Because nobody likes to purchase from a platform that has an awkward name like John’s ABC cash.

Apart from this, you should integrate different payment gateways like debit/credit card, internet banking, and cryptocurrency because different users love to purchase through other options.

8. Launch & Market Your Online Pet Store

With your online pet store ready to launch, it’s time to announce your launch through multiple channels. Create strategic marketing efforts like sending out email newsletters, creating buzz on social platforms and more to gain visibility.

Use SEO techniques and create engaging content that resonates with pet owners. Collaborate with influencers to introduce your store to a broader audience.

Monitor website traffic conversion rates using analytic tools as they help you make data-driven decisions. It is recommended to hire a website marketing company as they have marketing professionals who can evaluate the effectiveness of different marketing strategies. They help you fine-tune your efforts and allocate resources wisely that works best for your online pet store.

Remember that launching your online pet store is just the beginning. The ongoing marketing efforts are crucial for your store’s growth and long-term success.

Wrapping it Up

In this blog, we conclude that starting an online pet store is not just about selling pet products; it requires consistent efforts, quality products and more.

Throughout this guide, we have walked you through the essential steps needed to build a successful online pet store.

If you also want to build an online pet store and embark on this ever-evolving pet industry, contact us.

Guru TechnoLabs is a reliable ecommerce development company with experience creating successful online stores. Our team of experts can bring your vision to life, ensuring that your online pet store is functional, visually appealing, secure, and user-friendly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pet owners often need to purchase food, treats, toys, essential pet care products, grooming products, and healthcare products. They confess that pet food and treats make up 40.5% of all pet product spending.

Operating a pet store business online would be highly profitable because people of every age love to spend on their pets. Moreover, various owners decrease their basic standard of living prior to reducing the standard of living of their pets.

The cost to start an online pet store starts from $10,000 and goes up to $30,000 or more. The difference in the cost depends on the platform, complexity, functionalities, developer experience & location, etc.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.