The continued growth of Pets at Home proves that even in the midst of economic uncertainty, the UK's love of animals never waivers.

With a 2.7% increase in like-for-like sales in the 16 weeks to July 21, the retailer’s success is also down to its customer-focused strategy both on- and offline.

Here’s how it’s been keeping pets (and their owners) very happy of late.

Multichannel experience

Pets at Home was an early adopter of click and collect, giving customers the chance to order on its ecommerce platform and pick up in any of its 400+ stores.

Recently, it has expanded this service, allowing customers free next-day collection if orders are placed before 8pm.

With an increase in retailers launching same-day delivery services, it remains to be seen whether Pets at Home will follow suit, but it'd certainly be another way to attract new customers.

Another success for Pets at Home has been its VIP club, and it's a great example of the brand’s customer-centric strategy.

A membership scheme that offers rewards like exclusive savings and personalised advice - its data also allows the retailer to understand customer behaviour.

With its new digital app, the scheme allows customers the opportunity to access features on a range of devices, as well as offering another place for pet lovers to explore content.

In-store services

One of the biggest drivers for Pets at Home has been its in-store offerings.

Capitalising on the nation’s tendency to pamper their pets, as well as the desire for a physical retail experience, it has launched a number of successful services.

The biggest is the Groom Room – a bespoke pet salon that’s now in 230 stores across the UK. 

Offering grooming, nail clipping and microchipping for pets, not only does it provide a useful service for pets, but its one-to-one service model enables the brand to build a greater connection with consumers.

If a customer has a positive experience in-store, they are much more likely to order online and return again in future.

Valuable content

Since launching its ecommerce platform in 2008, Pets at Home has successfully built on its online content. 

As well as a large product range, its ‘Pet Advice’ section is impressively comprehensive.

From keeping your dog healthy on holiday to creating a home for your pet tortoise – the range of articles online is vast.

Similarly, the Pet Report – a document full of expert insight on the role pets play in our lives – is a surprising bonus.

Including visual data and engaging videos, it serves as a voice of authority and, in turn, provides the consumer with something of real value.

Interactive campaign

In conjunction with the PetPals workshops, where children can learn how to look after animals, the retailer has just launched a DOOH campaign in cinemas across the country.

Designed to incentivise visits to Pets at Home, digital screens are located in 38 cinemas close to stores, allowing pet-lovers to feed animals for a chance to win vouchers. 

A clever example of geo-locational targeting, with screens deliberately placed in locations where families are spending time together, it demonstrates the brand’s focus on using innovative technology in its marketing.

In conclusion…

Pets at Home is a great example of a retailer that understands the omnichannel experience.

By connecting its online and offline services, it aims to provide a seamless service across all consumer touchpoints.

As convenience, price and personalisation become priorities for animal owners, it's unsuprisingly leading the pack for pet retailers.  

Nikki Gilliland

Published 11 August, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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