You can find proud pet owners and their furry friends virtually everywhere you look these days. But can they find you? It turns out that one of the best ways to meet pet parents online is to show up on popular social networks.
With 78% of U.S. consumers saying they’ve discovered products on Facebook—the most popular social media platform of all—you know you’re barking up the right tree by marketing through Facebook Live!
Successful pet businesses are already using this helpful tool to reach new and large audiences, share expertise, engage customers, and promote their pet products and services.
Whether have a brick and mortar business with a local following or a small online retailer looking to grow, Facebook Live can help you stand out by providing a fun, informative, and interactive at-home shopping experience. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Give personalized recommendations
Veterinary telemedicine is teaching us that live video can improve profitability, and that pet owners are hungry for personalized, professional, real-time assistance—especially when it comes to their pets’ well-being.
But you don’t have to be a veterinary expert to make live video sell. It’s likely you (or your team) are already an expert on pet products, and are already quite comfortable making recommendations to visitors about the best pet food, grooming tools, or toys.
Facebook Live’s real-time, two-way chat capabilities allow you to talk about each product, engage in conversation, and answer questions on the spot. Whether you’re asking viewers how their pets are doing, asking viewers what their pets are doing, or telling them about a new grain-free, homemade dog biscuit, your customers will absolutely love that you take time to care about them and their precious pets.
2. Promote a cause or adoptions
Everyone has a heart for local animal rescues, animal shelters, and pet food drives for pets in need. Promoting a cause on your live video sale shows your audience that you care. Hosting a live video with adoption animals (or any animals, for that matter) makes the video infinitely more entertaining. We all know that people love pet content – just scroll Facebook and count the number of funny cat videos for proof.
3. Turn live videos into a sales tool
Bring your in-store experience and expertise by selling to pet lovers anywhere! Use Comment Selling, a form of social commerce, to allow customers to cart & checkout items by commenting for them. Social commerce tools like CommentSold facilitate invoicing and payment, that way your viewers can shop directly from your live video. Not only will this add a profitable revenue stream to your business, but comment purchases on your live video stream will organically increase your reach and engagement on Facebook.
4. Sell more than pet food and supplies
By using your live video sales to promote the services you offer—say, for example, grooming, training, or nutrition classes—you will drive foot traffic to your store. If you offer gift cards, promote these too. There’s always a holiday or event coming up and a pet shop gift card is one gift that’s thoughtful and unique!
5. Include a Q&A
Offering a question and answer period on your live sale can initiate some interesting discussions and reinforce your trust with your audience. To ensure a lively Q&A, allow enough time in your show (while keeping your show to a set time limit) and have a few prepared questions to get the conversation started. You may even have on a guest-host, such as a local vet. Have fun with this!
6. Promote local pick up at your storefront
Offering a pick up option from your brick and mortar storefront will help drive foot traffic to your store and create an added opportunity to upsell and strengthen relationships with customers.
Buy Online Pick Up In-Store options (aka, BOPIS) gives you the convenience and flexibility you need to sell online and in-store and save on shipping costs for large or heavy items.
BOPIS gets customers in the door to make additional impulse buys and provides more opportunities to have meaningful and memorable face-to-face interactions. Store associates can enhance the customer experience by providing excellent service, upselling with related product suggestions, and notifying customers of current sales. Altogether, this welcoming experience can easily win customer loyalty and give you a leg up on your competitors (pun definitely intended).
As online shopping continues to accelerate, pet supply stores can use social media to reach target customers, make pet parents feel better informed, simplify sales, and create excitement with an entertaining twist like live video. This is something you don’t see big box stores or online mega brands offering these days. Your customers can appreciate and attest to that too.