How to Start and Promote an Online Pet Business

Pet owners are usually so passionate about their pets that they never stop spoiling them. This is good news for those who run a pet business because it means that their sales will never go too low as pet owners will keep buying pet products from them.

If you also have a passion for pets and a little bit of business acumen, you can grab this opportunity and start a pet business. These days, creating a new business does not necessarily require hefty investments and high setup costs. You can simply choose to start your business online and later move on to retail or brick-and-mortar if the situation and budget allow. An online business does not even cause enormous overhead costs. It is convenient to launch it from the comfort of your home, using feature-rich and cost-effective software and tools.

Among so many pet business ideas, one is to sell pet products online. This means that you build an online store from where you make sales of pet products. You can also use your online store for selling pet supplies. If you have a passion for pets, then this would be the perfect business idea for you. But before you dive in, let’s talk about the things you need to start an online pet business.

Things You Need to Do to Start an Online Pet Business

Before starting any business, it is best to do some research and determine what you’ll need to make your business take off. For an online pet business, you would need the same basic things to start any other online business. If you follow the steps discussed below, you will be able to minimize the risks of business failure and establish a sustainable stream of income from your pet business as soon as possible.

1. Brainstorm Pet Business Ideas

You need to think about the products that you will sell from your online store. Merely knowing that you will sell pet products is not enough. Brainstorm different product ideas and list them down. Then filter out those that you think are too hard to get. Finalize your list and come up with a good product and marketing portfolio that will make up your online pet business.

2. Arrange for the Supplies

To sell pet products, you need to have a supplier who could provide you with the inventory. In the beginning, it is better to keep minimum stock with you. As your pet business grows and you start getting more orders, you can start ordering from your supplier in larger quantities. Many small online businesses run on the concept of dropshipping. Dropshipping means that you do not keep any inventory at all. You only buy the products as and when you get an order for them. However, dropping is usually done when you are selling a variety of products. If you plan to sell only a single category of pet products, you might want to go for small stock quantities to keep in-store with you instead. But if you are up for selling pet supplies in different varieties and from many other suppliers, then you can consider building your business on the dropshipping concept.

3. Set Your Product Prices

Before you start selling, you need to decide on the price for each product. Since you will be selling product supplies online, do some research on setting prices on an online store. You will need to know the cost of each item first and then set the price keeping a margin for yourself. Do not forget to calculate the shipping and postage costs, although these can be charged separately from customers upon delivery.

4. Build Your Online Store

Now that you have done your homework for your pet business, it is time for you to develop your online store. This is very simple to do if you choose to use a website builder, such as Strikingly. Strikingly enables you to build a site and edit it anytime you like, without having to write a single line of code. It is user-friendly, feature-rich, and equipped with all the essential tools needed to launch a simple but complete website.

Screenshot of Strikingly landing page

Image taken from Strikingly

The first thing you need to do to build a site in Strikingly is to sign up for a free Strikingly account. Once you create your account, the page will take you to the Strikingly website templates, where you can see hundreds of different web designs to choose from for your pet business website.

To build an online store in Strikingly, you can go for one of the following.

  • Choose one of the Strikingly store templates.
  • Choose a template from any other category you like, and then add a simple store section to your site.

Screenshot of Strikingly website templates

Image taken from Strikingly

To add a store section. Click on ‘Add New Section’ from the left panel in your site editor. Then select ‘Simple Store’. This section will be the place where you will upload your product photos and write down the product descriptions.

Screenshot of Strikingly editor to add new sections

Image taken from Strikingly

5. Upload Your Product Photos

Once your pet business store is ready, it is time to upload your product photographs. Remember, good product photography is the key to more sales. The clearer and appealing your product shots are, the more enticing they will be for your visitors to buy. If your visitors cannot feel what the product will look like after buying it, they will be doubtful about making a purchase.

When it comes to selling pet supplies, your customers will be very particular about the product descriptions. Make sure you describe each product precisely so that your customers are satisfied by knowing what it’s made of. This is also when you will key in the price for each product.

If you are building a simple store on a Strikingly website, you can choose to showcase some of your products on your site’s homepage. To do that, again select ‘Add New Section’ from your site editor. Then click on ‘Product Showcase’. Your showcased products will appear as shown in the picture below.

Screenshot showing Strikingly product showcase feature

Image taken from Strikingly

Don’t forget to select suitable payment gateways for your online store so you can accept credit card payments on your site.

6. Promote Your Online Store

Once your store is set up, your can officially launch your business. Now all you need to do is market your website. There are many different digital marketing strategies that you can use. We will talk about these below.

7. Provide Good Customer Support

To keep your pet business customers satisfied, you must resolve any queries they may have as soon as possible. The best means of providing customer support on a website is to give live chat support.

If you build your online store in Strikingly, you can add live chat to your site. You can use the live chat feature to keep in touch with your site visitors. Anytime someone browsing through your products has any questions, they can start a chat with you through this live chat feature. We at Strikingly also have this 24/7 live chat feature to answer any queries our users may have.

Screenshot of Strikingly live chat feature

Image taken from Strikingly

How to Promote Your Pet Business?

Among the different methods to promote an online store, content marketing is the most cost-effective. Content marketing means you write articles about your products and post them on your blog or other blogs as guest posts.

Promoting your site online doesn’t cost you much money these days. Some businesses are even able to promote websites at almost zero cost. The same applies to your pet business. Some of the low-cost ways to promote your online pet store are as follows.

1. Integrate Your Store With Your Social Media Profiles

This is particularly good if you talk about your online pet business in your social media pages as well. Your followers will see that your business has credibility when they find out that you have a full-fledged website for it too. You can easily insert social media icons on your website’s footer and make sure they are prominent enough for your site visitors to see.

2. Tell Your Friends and Peers About Your New Pet Business

Don’t forget to include your network in your marketing strategy. Tell your friends, colleagues, peers, family members, neighbors, and pretty much everyone you know about your passion for pets and your new online pet business. Even if they are not interested in buying from you, they might know someone who is.

3. Write Guest Posts on Different Blogs

This form of content marketing is a very effective means of promoting a website these days. When you write guest posts, make sure you insert links in them to your online store. It helps build your store’s authenticity and also generates more traffic to it.

If you build your store in Strikingly, you will get the added benefit of being promoted in the articles published in the Strikingly blog. We at Strikingly regularly post articles in our blog and mention our users’ websites to give an SEO boost to their business. We love to see our users grow and make money through the websites that they build in Strikingly.

4. Create a Youtube Channel to Represent Your Brand

This might sound like a bit of a stretch, but it’s worth it. Publishing videos on YouTube is completely free. If you can establish an excellent subscribership to your channel, it can be a free platform for you to market your pet business. Don’t forget to talk about your products in your videos.

The search rankings of your online store are the key to getting your store discovered by new customers. If you can take care of your site’s standing in the eyes of Google bots, more than half of your marketing can be considered done. It is, therefore, a good idea to learn how to optimize your site.

Running a pet business can be a fun practice. Even if you don’t make profits initially, you wouldn’t have anything to lose because you’re not investing too much money in building the business anyway. The online pet business is something that you can grow slowly and have a fulfilling journey all the way.