How to start your online pet store

How to start your online pet store

Are you a pet aficionado? you can turn your love for pets into online pet business opportunities by learning how to start your online pet store.

One of the best things you can do is to take something you love so much and turn it into an online business you can do from home

You will literarily have a ride just starting and running your business.

I remember when I was younger, one day we came home to meet a litter of puppies that my uncle had brought to our home.

He had a female dog who had some beautiful puppies and he was looking to give out some because he did not want to keep them all.

We were introduced to them and asked to take care of the, of course we soon named them all.

I can’t tell you all the different adventures we had with those puppies till they grew up, but suffice it to say that that marked the beginning of our owning and caring for pets.

We will go on to also tend goats and chickens in our house, though I can’t say those ones were pets because we always ate or sold them when they became of age.

Caring for animals gives you a sense of responsibility as a young child that is hard to miss

Today I will be helping you to take your passion about pets and turn it into an online business that makes your money.

Simply put I will teach you how to sell pet supplies from home- Because I am crazy about home businesses.

I will teach you how to start your pet online store and how to ensure that you have a good business standing within 2 weeks of reading this post.

To make sure you can come back to this post as often as you want, bookmark it on your computer now.

If you are in a hurry, one week is all you need to set up your online pet store and be ready to make your first sales.

Are you ready for this? stay with me, lets first dig out how much this industry is worth

How much is the Pet Industry worth

The Pet industry in the US alone is worth about $109 billion(2021), while the global Pet care industry is projected to have a market value of about $358.6 Billion. I found some interesting statistics in this resource, you may want to check it out.

Take a look at the picture below and see the statistics

Source: petpedia.com

Now that we have sorted that there is money in this industry, the next thing is to now know how to actually make money in this business value chain

Please notes that this industry statistics involves the entire value chain of the pet industry.

What is in the Value chain of the Pet industry

Pet Food: This includes all kinds of food that pets eat. This could be pet snacks, wet foods, dry foods proteins etc.

Pet Living: This includes their blankets, clothing, bedding, toys, collars, leashes, muzzles, travel crates, towels, sofas and chairs

Pet Grooming: This includes spas, cleaning, shampoo, bathing accessories, nailcare, trimming accessories, moisturizers etc.

Pet health: this includes Vet visits, medications, and treatments, supplements.

Pet education: Pet Training and Pet care courses.

For the purposes of specificity we are only dealing with how to set up your online pet store.

This means you want to sell pet supplies online.

Are you ready? lets dive in

Steps to set up your online pet store.

1.Niche

As an online business owner, I am a fan of niching down your business so that you can attract your ideal customer.

If you read most of my How to start a business post, I often start with your niche.

This is because the pet industry is quite large, so trying to sell pet supplies for all pets is not reasonable

While the most popular pets are cats and dogs, there are other pets too, like birds, animals like hamsters, goldfish, etc.

So it is important that you narrow down to an ideal pet that you want to sell your pet supply in. This will help you to attract your ideal customer and also manage your marketing efforts.

If you are a proprietary maker of a specific pet accessory, So for example you developed your own brand of Dog food or maybe you developed a dog toy that you want to sell.

You may want to niche down further by focusing on that pet accessory.

2.What pet products will you sell?

Now that you have decided that you are going to set up your online pet store, you now want to find out what kind of pet products will you be selling?

Your store is a place that a pet owner or perhaps intending pet owner should be able to get all the supplies they need for their pet.

But you have to determine what products that are available at least when you are starting out.

This will enable you to know how to design your store to showcase the best products you have available.

In trying to pick the pet products you want to sell, you may want to know which of the pet products are most in-demand and which of them have the biggest margins in the industry.

These and more I will cover in the Pet business plan that I will unveil later. Stay with me as I go on to show you how to set up your online pet store.

Now that you have determined what products that you want to sell, it is time to determine who you are going to sell to.

This is what is called bio persona

3.Build a buyer persona

A buyer persona is a fictious representative of your ideal customer. It represents that one person taht will buy from you.

To build a persona, you have to do the following

Give your persona a name

Find out demographics like age, gender, location, income status,

You also want to know what their complaints are, where they spend money most in this industry.

Other aspects of persona you need to know is where can you find these people.

Where do they hang out online and how can you reach them?

A buyer persona is the best activity you can do for yourself as a business owner because it will save you a lot of Ad dollars.

I am talking from experience because until I built my buyer persona, I could not attract my ideal reader.

The only reason you are here reading my blog is that I have already identified and described who you are.

So to build your buyer persona, I will help you by creating a Printable Pet business plan that includes a section on how to create a bio persona for your business.

4.Do a market research

In this aspect, you want to research the pet market to find out what gaps that are there are so you can build your own unique selling proposition from there.

Researching your pet market industry could mean finding out the following

  • The best selling pet products, what product do pet owners spend their money on?
  • The big players in your industry and what unique aspects are they missing out on, so you can capitalize on that aspect
  • You also want to know what makes a pet store profitable? and finally top 5 pets that in the Pet industry.

If you continue to read you will find out that already did all this work for you in the Pet Buisness Planner in this post.

Keep reading.

5.Organize your suppliers

As long as you want to run a store that sells pet supplies online, you will want to find out where you can get your supplies from.

This is important because your suppliers determine how much you will make from your business.

You will be marking up what they give to you to sell to others so you need to know how to get supplies for your products that make a good profit margin.

Your ability to purchase at wholesale prices will depend on the type of business model you are using for your pet supply business.

What type of business model can you use for your online pet store?

Dropshipping

This business model means that you do not keep inventory, rather you practice the JIT ( just in time) model.

You market goods you do not own and when you make a sale, you connect with your supplier to ask them to ship to your customers.

In this model, you don’t have to see or touch the product. You only need to manage the process of getting the goods to your customer.

This model has enabled a lot of people to start online stores with a small amount of money.

It has also eliminated a lot of issues that often gulped funds when setting up a store.

You do not have to pay for inventory, or store inventory you do not need to deal with logistics.

Inventory based

This model looks like how you usually set up stores, you buy inventory, store it and when you make sales you fulfill your order.

This means you have to take care of the logistics too.

Now before you choose a business model to use, you need to be aware of the pros and cons of each model to know how to make the choice.

The biggest pro for using dropshipping model is that you do not have to hold inventory. So you eliminate inventory costs and shipping hassles.

The biggest downfall is that you do not control the product, you are at the mercy of what the suppliers send to your customers.

The pro for the inventory model is that you control what is sent to our customer and you customize it by packaging with branded boxes etc.

The downfall is that you have to buy and keep inventory.

Now let’s move to your next step.

How to start your online pet store, a step by step guide from idea conception to store launch. Get your pet business rolling in 2 weeks. Grab Pet business plan pdf and industry research to go with it.

6.Pet Business plan

Now that you have done all the above mentioned it is time for you to create a pet business plan.

Your pet business plan is supposed to help you to create your business idea on paper before you go ahead to spend a cent on it.

It is in your Pet business plan that you answer this question? is a pet store profitable?

Your pet business plan will enable you to run the numbers and know when you will break even and also when you will start making a profit

I know that whenever people want to start an online business, they often jump over this aspect because they feel that it is not important or they usually don’t want to do it because they feel it is too much hassle.

Because I am committed to seeing that you do the business the right way, I have created a Pet business Plan Pdf start up pack that will help you to create a pet business plan in less than 2 hours.

Yes, in my Pet business plan you will find all the necessary guidelines and think points that will help you create your business plan easily.

The Pet business plan & start up pack contains the following information

  • Pet industry research and analysis( Includes, best Pet products to sell and where pet owners spend the most money)
  • Business plan template
  • Business launch template
  • Pre-made financial plan excel sheets
  • Content marketing guide
  • 14 activity execution steps for your business

If you will like, you can get the Pet Business Plan PDF and Start up Pack by tapping the button below

Now that you are through with creating your business plan, it is time to build your online store

7.Build your pet online Store

An online store helps you to showcase your products to the world, collect payments when you make a sale and also advertise and market your products.

To build your online store, you will need to either hire someone to help you build it or you build it yourself.

Before you go ahead to build a store, you need to do the following

Register your business with your local business authority.

This means choosing what business formation you had like to build our business on.

Some people like to run as an LLC, while for some they may just want to be a sole proprietor.

Whatever suits you, make sure you educate yourself on the pro’s and cons before going ahead.

Get a domain name

A domain name is the name your business will be known by online, it can be the same as your registered business name or different.

A domain name is what enables you to use a particular name online without anyone else laying claim to it.

For you to choose a domain name, you must check if it is available here

Once you have chosen a domain name, the next thing is t buy a hosting subscription.

A hosting company is the company that rents you a space online to store the files of your website and also serve it to those who are searching for it

Most hosting companies charge you on yealy basis to keep your business website online

If you are looking for a good and affordable hosting for your business website which of course is your online store. (Please not that they are one and the same, either website or online store.)

I recommend iPage- they cost just 37 dollars for the first year. Tap the picture below to sign up.

Ipage hosting

Once you have your hosting fixed the next thing is to actually build the website.

Most websites are built on the WordPress platform because of their simplicity and versatility, so I recommend that you take my course on how to build a WordPress site.

In that course I taught how to build a website and also add your online store to it.

My way of teaching simplifies website building because it is taught from the perspective of a Newbie that knows nothing about website building.

That was where I was before I started blogging, if I could build my website by myself without knowing anything about website building, then you can do it too by following my instruction.

Tap the picture below to take the course

WordPress Site Building Course
Learn how to build a WordPress site the smart way.

If building with WordPress is not your thing, perhaps the next thing to consider is building with Shopify.

Shopify is a popular ecommerce shop platform that allows you to build your online store with their platform.

With Shopify, you don’t have to buy hosting, you are only going to buy a domain name and you are good to go.

This is because they provide you with hosting and are the ones who manage your hosting.

Now if you want to build your online pet store with Shopify, start by signing up with Shopify here

They give you a free 2 weeks to build your shop before you start making payment

Shopify costs 29 dollars per month.

In case you are wondering how to design your Shopify store by yourself, I created a course that teaches you how to build a Shopify store by yourself.

Tap the picture below to start the course.

Shopify unbundled course
Shopify Unbundled Course

8.Marketing your business

The greatest work you will do as a new person who wants to start selling pet supplies online is to market your business.

Marketing an online store takes a lot of planning and execution for you to see results.

So what are the ways you can market your online pet store? Here are the steps to follow

Create marketing plan

A marketing plan is a detailed route you need to follow for you to be able to create awareness about your business and also make sales.

A marketing plan outlines where your customers are found, of course draws from your bio persona

The best marketing channels to use to reach them and how best to get them to trust your brand.

In your marketing plan you want to detail how to coordinate al your marketing channels to deliver your customer sales.

Some things you need to use for your online marketing.

Social Media Pages

Social media is major driver of traffic and sales to businesses online so your first step after building your online store is to create social media pages for your business.

This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest for your business.

Even though it is good to set up all this pages, you must choose the ones that are bringing you traction and focus on building that one.

You may want to focus on Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest as these 3 platforms enable you to reach your audience.

Youtube and Tiktok are also good but if you are not able to deal with creating videos you can start marketing on them later.

Blogging

Blogging is a form of marketing your business that has a long term value for your business. Blogposts written today will keep bringing you traffic many years down the line.

I wrote one blogpost that is ranking on the first page of Google, 4 years later it is still bringing me traffic

You cannot get that type of traffic from Facebook and Instagram, you can only get it from Google and Pinterest.

Adding a blog to your online store is a smart strategy that brings long-term benefits.

A well-written and optimized blog post will take your online store to the front page of Google.

I offer blog writing services that are aimed at creating blog posts for your business that will rank on the first page of Google and bring you long term traffic

You can book my services here, tap the button below

Email list

Ever heard that the money is in your email list?

That is true, building a vibrant email list of loyal fans will help you to launch your business to a dedicated group of avid fans and also enable you to make sales easily.

Email lists helps you to store and build trust with your customers

Your email list is the best way to capture those who visit your business and covert them into paying customers.

Ads

You can also buy paid Ads On Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube to help attract your first time customers.

9.Launch your online pet store

So you have created all your marketing plans and you have even stated implementing them, but wait there is something missing.

You have not launched your online store, yes your family and few friend know that you started this new pet store but you want more people to know that you are in business right.

Your family can’t be the only ones who know that you are open

Launching your online store is your first step to attracting other customers that you have never met before.

Create a launch plan and choose a specific day for opening your business to the world.

You may be wondering how to launch a business online?

You are in luck, I added the launch template to my Pet Business Plan pdf, you can get yours by clicking the button below.

Starting your online pet store may have been a dream that you have had for a long time. I want to tell you that your dream is valid and can lead to tremendous business success but you have to be ready to put in the hard work.

To start a successful pet online store, you need to research your business industry, create a business plan and also build an online store to showcase your goods.

If you are done with reading this but you are not yet ready to start up, but you have a pet, check out my pet planner for caring for your pets.

It contains well-planned sheets to cater to your pet, from medical logs to pet exercise schedules to pet planning when you need a sitter.

We also included a feeding schedule and stickers to make your pet care joyous.

Grab a copy by clicking the button below, the price here is specially discounted for this post.

You will not get the same price in my online store.

They are printable planner sheets in PDF, nothing will be shipped.

  • Pet Planner

If you have more steps that I have missed, let me know by dropping your comments below

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Elizabeth is a passionate home business owner that helps others to achieve their life goals of running a successful home. business. I am particular about stay at home moms who wish to transition into a mompreneur.

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