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? Then you’re taking your business in the right direction, because many people love to purchase pet products online.
According to GMInsights, the pet care market value was US $223 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2020 to 2026.
Considering the above statistics, we can say that the online pet store market is going to observe tremendous growth in the next few years.
Moreover, having an online business like a website or mobile app has become a need of an hour. It’s an effective method to win the customer’s trust and also helps to build a brand for your business.
To sell pet products such as grooming or their food supplies online, you can either create a pet supermarket application or a pet store website or both and integrate with each other. You can integrate both the website and the app with each other.
Here, we will give you a complete guideline on how to start an online store pet supply business.
Without further ado, let’s get started:
11 Proven Steps to Starting an Online Pet Store
Now, we will go through the step-by-step process given below to start an online pet store:
1. Decide Pet Products to Sell Online
Before you develop your website which focuses on selling pet products online, you should first figure out all those items which you want to provide to your customers. There are lots of items which you can consider for selling pet supplies:
Here’s a list of items you can sell in terms of pet’s living:
- Blankets and bedsheets
- Travel crates
- Sofas and chairs
- Shampoos & conditioners
- Hair removals and rollers
- Dematting tools
- Combs & Wipes
- Washing Devices
- Nail Cutters
- Dental care products.
- Health powders
- Nair care products
- Vet tablets
- Massage Oils
- Ear cleaning kits
“You can choose any niche (or more than one) from above and start your online pet store. Here’s a great example of refined categories for an online pet store:”
After you have listed down all the products you want to sell, you can build an eCommerce website/app for your pet store. But, before that, you need to carry out some essential steps given below.
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.
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 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 store.
4. Decide about Financial Stuff
To start an online pet 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 the loan at the bank.
Apart from this, you can reach out to the Small Business Administration for a loan at SBA.gov. For this, build an effective three-year sales forecast as you will require when you apply for the SBA loan.
5. Select a Catchy Domain Name
A domain name is one of the most essential elements for any online business. Here, you should choose one that’s quick to remember and sticks in the user’s mind easily.
Here, it would help if you only choose a domain related to pets as you are planning to start an online pet store.
However, when you search, you will find that most of the domain names are taken. Now, you need to become more creative.
Here, you have two options to find domain name:
- You can go niche-specific about the product you are selling and keep the domain name accordingly.
- Secondly, you can keep your domain name general, which defines that you are selling all the things related to pet stores.
Here, ensure that your domain name is unique and short. Also, it shouldn’t contain any awkward words. It should include a simple yet compelling word that easily shows up on the search engines.
The reason you need to register your domain name is that you become it’s sole owner.
Some of the leading websites which are successfully operating their pet store business are listed below:
6. Create a Fully-Functional Website of your Pet Store
If you belong to the tech field, then you can go through various platforms available in the market and create a website for your online pet store.
However, if you are not a technical person, then you can approach a professional website development company.
Here, the most important thing you should consider is whether the company has experience in building eCommerce websites.
If they don’t have one, then check whether they have experience in building any similar kind of websites.
Some of the best ways to identify an effective website development company are as follows:
- Check their reviews on leading B2B platforms like the Clutch, Goodfirms, etc.
- Check the overall portfolio of the company.
Apart from finding the best website development company for your pet store, one question might appear in your mind, and that is what will be the cost of building a pet store website?
To know more, checkout this guide on the cost of building a website.
When creating your website, you should ensure that your site has proper navigational links from one page to another.
Also, it must consist of highly-alluring images and a detailed description of all the products/services. Apart from this, it should be engaging, reliable, and secure.
7. Create an Mobile App for your Pet Store
A website is essential for every business to increase its online presence and sales, but your business reach to customers can double if you build an app for pet products as it is easy to use rather than browsing a website.
Moreover, various users love to purchase products from their smartphones as compared to the website. Therefore, with the pet supermarket application, you can provide a new experience to your customers compared to other online pet suppliers.
Here, if you are entering into the pet store business for the first time, then we recommend you develop an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and then update it accordingly.
Generally, the MVP version of an app only consists of the core features. To know more, refer to this guide on the importance of MVP for app development.
Now, one of the other questions that might appear in your mind before building an app is what is the cost of building a pet store app?
In general, the cost of building a pet store app depends on a wide number of factors such as the features, platforms, type of app, etc.
To know more, you can refer to ultimate guide on the mobile app development cost.
Lastly, if you are already doing a pet store business for years through your website and have plans to provide all the services to your target audience on smartphones, then it is best to develop a full-fledged pet store application.
For developing a fully-functional pet store application, we recommend you to approach a mobile app development company. They will understand your business needs and provide you a suitable per store app.
8. Select Hosting
The next step will be to look for a good web host. It is nothing but a server that hosts your site on the world wide web. Later, whenever a user enters your website, it instantly shows up.
Here, different types of hosting are available in the market; they are as follows:
- Shared Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Managed Hosting
It is recommended to choose hosting based on your budget and business requirements.
9. Integrate an Secure Payment Gateway
One of the most essential things after launching your online pet 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.
10. Create an Effective Marketing Plan
After launching your online pet store, your work is not over. You have to inform your audience that you have entered the pet industry and want to do business with them.
For this, you need to create a top-notch marketing plan. For marketing, you can choose to start with blogs, forums, and related sites for banners.
Apart from this, you can also carry out social media marketing of your online pet store regularly.
If you are not familiar with marketing, you can contact a digital marketing agency; they will create a proper marketing plan for your pet store and execute it effectively.
11. Decide your Shipping Partner
Last but not least, choosing the right shipping partner is important to deliver your products securely and safely to consumers.
Suppose you are starting your online pet store business in the USA, then you have a bunch of 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.
In case you are delivering your products overseas, then you shouldn’t forget to look after the duty fees & other charges. Here, it would help if you verified all the things with the U.S. Postal Service.
Lastly, you need to make sure that you have obtained all the necessary licenses and state tax permits prior to delivering the products to the consumers.
Wrapping it Up
Here, we conclude that to open an online pet store; you have to follow a lot of processes. It cannot be done by one person; you will need a professional team.
From this, we can say that there is a one-time-cost or activities required to build an online pet store. As soon as it is developed, then it just requires maintenance and marketing.
When compared against a physical store, the online store is better due to various benefits attached to it. This includes cost reduction, worldwide reach, brand awareness and building, quick management of products, etc.
If you are planning to launch an online pet store, we would be happy to assist you from start to finish. Don’t wait and share your project details with us and we will get back to you soon.
What are some latest online pet business statistics?
Here are several recent online pet business statistics:
- According to commonthreadco, the market value of pet products in the US in 2020 will be $30.9 million and a major portion of revenue is obtained from food.
- As per MarketWatch, 60% of millennials love to buy costumes, jackets, sweaters, etc. for their pets.
Is owning a pet store profitable?
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.
How much do pet store owners make?
There is not a fixed amount that pet store owners make. They generate revenue based on the total number of products they sell every month, subscriptions, etc.