I’ve got a little secret to ensure you always get customers in your shop. Like, no matter what. Yes, that’s right: whether you’re a brick and mortar, or a shop online, I can guarantee you results! And if I’m wrong, I’ll write you a check for $113,500,000,001—exactly a dollar more than Jeff Bezo’s net worth as of this blog post.
You really should get a shop cat. Or dog. I’m okay with a dog.
If your initial response is something along the lines of Ehhhhhhh, I should pause and make clear you should only consider doing so if you’re an experienced pet owner. Oh, and actually like animals.
For the love of!
The human-animal relationship is an astoundingly positive one, and I can personally attest to how happily surprised I feel when I walk into a store and there’s a shop cat or dog. I feel instantly at ease, because it’s clear to me this is a friendly, safe environment, and I always feel more inclined to make a purchase.
In a recent article in Entrepreneur, salon owner Liljana Ndreu talked about how after she made her salon dog-friendly and started bringing her dog, Caramel, to work, business increased. She noted, more importantly, “When people come here, they are stressed from the day, they are tired, but when they see Caramel, everything is okay.” Because while an animal’s presence can definitely encourage a customer to make a purchase, that personal relationship between shopkeeper and pet is still a strong, loving one—that is, genuine—and that points to the integrity of the business. Why bring your pet to work if you don’t love what you’re doing?
Your Resident Marketer
Okay, I’ll admit this part is what excites me most about this blog post, and it’s not because I get to talk about Instagram again. A lot of stores—Interwebs-based and physical IRL stores alike—maintain Instagram accounts simply to show off their stuff. It’s also a great way to build up your brand in general, and what better way to do that to also include an animal?
One business that comes to mind is the New York City’s Algonquin Hotel, with their cat, Hamlet. He’s actually the 12th resident feline in a tradition that dates back to the 1920s. Here’s a post from his Instagram:
On the dog side of things, there’s Bertie the pomeranian, who’s also located in New York City at The Hole art gallery.
Maybe you’re neither the type to stay at a hotel or purchase art straight from a gallery, but you gotta admit, knowing an animal may be hanging out on the premises certainly makes paying a visit more alluring.
It’s the same with ecommerce stores, too: online pet store Chewy showcases their team’s pets, giving a behind-the-scenes look and humanizing (in this case, dogizing) their brand.
By now, you probably have tried a number of different ways to make your brand stand out. Some scenarios may have worked for you, some may have failed miserably. I’m also not gonna tell you to go out and adopt a pet, but cats and dogs do have a way of drawing people into things. Maybe try bringing your dog into the shop sometime, or stage your designs next to your cat for social media because they’re just as beautiful as she is. It’s a cute and fun way to try something new, and rise above others in a unique way.