Enjoy the Love with These 3 Key Tips
People may be spending less each year on Valentine’s Day gifts for a significant other, but research shows that pet owners are spending more each year on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets.
How much more?
According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. pet owners spent $593 million in 2017 on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets. And the trend is increasing. According to Finder, U.S. pet owners will spend nearly $648 million on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets in 2019.
What kind of gifts are pet owners buying?
If you visit the online stores of high-end retailers, you’ll find all kinds of luxury pet items, from mink dog hoodies and custom canopy beds to cat thrones modelled after Game of Thrones. (I kid you not.)
Given the hairball-causing price tags attached to such items (ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars), pet owners are unsurprisingly treating their pets to more affordable gifts, with a day at the groomer being a big one, and pet owners have plenty of pet-pampering options.
From discount grooming packages that include bathing, hair-trimming, and nail-clipping, many groomers offer pet spa packages that include pedicures and massage, while others include Reiki healing and even animal communication services.
The range of options reflects the overall daily challenges faced by pet grooming businesses to attract more pet owners and increase profitability.
According to the market research company IBISWorld, the pet grooming and boarding industry in the U.S. has grown by 5.3% over the last five years. In the same timeframe, the number of pet grooming and boarding businesses has grown 5.6%.
Said more simply, the pet grooming market (and the pet business market in general) is highly competitive and will only get more competitive.
To attract more pet owners to your pet business, here are 3 key tips:
1. Improve Your Website’s SEO
Important keyword phrases like “dog grooming services” certainly help to boost your online discovery by pet owners. Yet keywords are only part of a larger, more critical SEO strategy that includes configured ETags, compressed style sheets and more to improve how quickly your pet business website loads for users on desktops and mobile devices. Google ranks faster-loading websites higher on search engine results because people don’t enjoy slow-loading websites.
- According to the Aberdeen Group, a one-second delay in web page load time causes 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in customer conversions.
- According to Google, a two-second drop in web page load time increases the chance of a bounce by 32%.
(If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a “bounce” is a visitor who leaves a website after viewing only one page.)
2. Provide Online Booking
While people still book appointments by phone, the days of phone booking appear to be numbered. According to a 2018 survey of 200 people by GetApp:
- 4% of respondents were frustrated by the limitations and inconvenience of phone booking.
- 36% of respondents considered being put on hold to be a huge time-waster.
- 8% of respondents said they’d choose a service provider who offered online booking.
The easier you make it for pet owners to book an appointment online (particularly through mobile), the greater you increase the appeal and profit potential of your pet business.
3. Rethink the Look of Your Website
Just as how our choice of clothing affects how others perceive us, the design of your website affects how pet owners perceive your pet business.
- In 2017 studies published in the Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, researchers uncovered 20 distinct design elements that affect user engagement, including graphics, navigation, layout, interactivity, and website loading speed.
- In separate studies by Stanford University, 75% of people surveyed admitted to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website design.
If you believe your pet business missed out on Valentine’s Day spending by pet owners because your website’s SEO, booking system, and/or design have not been optimized, here’s the good news.
National Love Your Pet Day is right around the corner, and pet owners will once again be thinking about treating their pets to a trip to the groomer. In fact, the coming year is filled with pet holidays.
See LifeLearn’s Huge List of 2019 Pet Holidays
To easily prepare for the year ahead, LifeLearn now offers a new website service for pet service businesses called WebPS.
LifeLearn WebPS websites are custom-built to strengthen your online presence, reflect your brand, and improve your ranking in search engines to attract and convert more pet owners into customers.
WebPS features include:
- Modern, innovative, and user-friendly designs that instantly convey trust and credibility for your pet service business
- Online form submissions and booking requests for pet owners to easily and conveniently make appointments
- Complete search engine optimization, with the option of improving SEO and loading speed with SEO Extreme
- And a lot more
To see all WebPS features today…