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12 October 2022 • Resources

Complete guide to starting an online pet boutique: Tips, budget, and steps

Complete guide to starting an online pet boutique: Tips, budget, and steps

Perhaps, like millions of people, you are in love with animals and would like to launch a business in connection with them.

For that, ecommerce provides a welcoming space: by creating an online pet boutique, it’ll be possible for you to sell animal products to people in your own country and beyond.

Do you aim to create an online store that sells pet supplies? Although you may be passionate about dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and other creatures, you’ll have to be aware of many parameters before embarking on the adventure professionally. There are a few things to keep in mind and several steps to take.

In this article, we provide you with all the tips and tricks to help you succeed with your online pet store and make your dream a reality!

The essentials for opening a pet store

What are the prerequisites for opening an online pet boutique?

A pet boutique is a store specialized in all products that people might buy for their pets. This includes supplies like food, shelter, hygiene, toys, accessories, clothing, etc.

There are many different ranges and products for the well-being of our favorite animals to offer for sale with an online pet store.

When you want to open a pet boutique via an ecommerce website, you should know the animals concerned by these products inside and out to be able to highlight your catalog but also to be able to better reach the owners via your marketing strategy, your social networks, and your website as you start to build your brand.

Keeping up to date with the latest trends concerning businesses that sell pet supplies in terms of derivatives but also food products available will be obligations to allow you to succeed in your ecommerce adventure, just like with a physical business.

Design or original products, organic and grain-free products, innovative toys, etc. Your curiosity and creativity, in addition to your knowledge and professionalism, will help your pet store to stand out with your product catalog and the services you offer, allowing you to become a leader in this fast-growing market!

Which certifications do you need to open an online pet boutique?

Cats, dogs, rodents, reptiles... Although you won’t be selling animals directly on your website, you’ll still need to have specific knowledge in this field.

When you want to open a classic pet shop, several certifications may be required, depending on your country’s regulations. For instance, in France, the following certifications are mandatory:

  • a professional certification on the list established by the Ministry of Agriculture;
  • training given by a structure authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture to acquire all the skills related to the needs and the maintenance of pets; and
  • a certificate of competence or proof of knowledge, issued by the administrative authority before 2015.

As far as an online pet store is concerned, updating your knowledge of ecommerce and marketing will be necessary. To do this, with the WiziShop solution, you benefit from complete ecommerce training offered in your subscription to acquire all the key points necessary for the success of your online store. In addition to your knowledge in the world of animals, deepen your digital knowledge directly from your administration area and from your 15-day free trial period!

Create your online store - 15-day free trial

What is the budget required to open an online pet boutique?

When it comes to determining the cost to start an online boutique, everything depends on the business model of your ecommerce pet store. Two solutions are available to you. On the one hand, you can buy the stock of products that you’ll be able to send to your customers after placing an order on your ecommerce website.

On the other hand, you can create your online sales platform, take care of the available products, and let your supplier manage the logistics and the delivery directly to your customer. In the latter case, you only have to manage the smooth running of your ecommerce website and the marketing around your brand.

To open your online store dedicated to pets, there’s no need to pay thousands of dollars to create an optimal sales website.

By opting for the WiziShop ecommerce solution, you’ll have access to more than 400 ecommerce features, 50+ SEO optimizations, real-time support from expert Business Coaches, and free training, all for a price starting at just $27 per month!

Like any ecommerce business, your online pet store will require you to acquire digital tools such as a computer and a powerful smartphone in order to work on your content creation and follow the evolution and development of your sales.

To start your adventure, you’ll be able to rely on a minimal budget with an optimal quality of services!

How do you open a pet store? The key steps

When you want to start an ecommerce business, certain steps are essential before launching your website. Here is a step-by-step plan to help you increase your chances of success with opening your online pet boutique.

Find your target audience and meet consumer expectations

For this first step, it’s important to remember that your online pet store must address a specific audience. You’re entering the commercial field: your company will therefore seek customers interested in your products.

Who are the people in your target audience? Who is your persona? Which products are popular on social networks? What are the most innovative brands?

Obviously, you'll be targeting pet owners for the most part, but what will those pets be?

Dogs, cats, reptiles, rodents, birds, fish... It's up to you to know which niche to target!

In addition, these pet owners will certainly have specific characteristics: they’ll be waiting for specific products for their little creatures that they may not be able to get anywhere else but from your pet store.

Organic food products, environmentally friendly goods, original toys, new technologies for home accessories, respectful and responsible hygiene products, etc. Be on the lookout for the latest trends to attract as many new consumers as possible who are attentive and concerned about the well-being of their pets.

Choose the right legal structure

Your online retail business must be supported by a legal structure adapted to your situation. Just like with any certifications you may be required to obtain, the right legal structure for your business will be dictated by your specific country’s regulations.

Note that there are several elements that’ll likely affect the type of legal structure you’ll select for your business. For example, do you plan on having several business partners or going solo with your venture? How much revenue do you plan on earning? 

If you have any queries or concerns about the best structure for your business, it’s a good idea to consult with accountants and lawyers specializing in business law, especially when it comes to more advanced questions.

Franchises and leading brands: perform a market study

With the online pet boutique market, there are already dozens, if not hundreds, of different proposals. From large franchises to independent stores, scour the web and social networks to find the leading brands and successful products that they sell.

For market research, your goal will be to make the most of the bestsellers, but it’s also a good idea to use this information to help you find the suppliers who can offer you the best prices.

Thanks to the competitive intelligence, you’ll be able to draw inspiration from the best practices of the brands and businesses already established in the sector but also to know the weaknesses of this field in perpetual movement and thus to dissociate yourself from all your competitors thanks to this precise reading of the qualities and the defects of the market.

Establish a solid business plan

Online pet shops are no exception to the rule of the business plan: this commercial document will help you to optimize the management of your company.

The business plan allows you to put down all the ideas related to your future business but also all your ambitions for the future. This document, which belongs only to you, will allow you to draw the precise course related to your activity in order to stick to it and to trace your shortest path to success.

Beyond an immediate project, the business plan is also a document that’ll allow you to collect funds once your company is growing from sponsors or banks and thus take your business’s development even further in the long term. It’s therefore essential to take your time during this step to ensure a high-quality, well-structured business plan. 

Create a precise and original marketing strategy

The competition rages on in the online pet store industry. What will help you stand out from the crowd and sell more items from your product catalog is to establish a unique and original marketing and communication strategy, with content that belongs only to you.

Play on the emotion that a pet owner can feel when seeing striking pictures and cute videos featuring a cat, a dog, a little bird, etc.

But above all, highlight your online pet store’s quality products and all those pet supplies that are out of the ordinary through posts on social networks that can explain and introduce your new products to your potential future customers.

Also, optimize your actions on your website to help boost your SEO: choose the right keywords and create quality content to be able to rise to the top of the search engine results. This in turn can increase traffic to your online pet store and therefore lead to more product sales! To learn more about these levers, follow all our articles on our SEO blog.

Find your suppliers and the best pet products

It’s essential that your online pet store keeps all its promises: this will then pass by the recruitment of the best suppliers of your field and thus the sale of the most qualitative products of the market.

In addition, shoppers are always looking for promotions and discounted prices to help them save money without relying on the quality of the products they buy. It’s therefore up to you to negotiate the best prices with your suppliers but also to look for new brands that’ll attract your future customers.

Thanks to this, you’ll be able to position yourself as an expert in the field of pets, and you’ll become essential, because only you’ll have the eye to find the gems that small and large animals love!

Open your online store and start selling!

In this last step, it’s finally time to open your online store and start importing all those products into your catalog.

With WiziShop, everything will be easy to start selling without waiting! The ecommerce solution offers you templates that can be customized to build a homepage that suits your brand with the help of WiziBlocks: by clicking and dragging, you can add all the modules necessary to respect your brand’s graphic charter and to highlight all the products that you sell.

Moreover, WiziShop is a leader in terms of SEO: thanks to a technically sound base, you’ll be able to focus on the creation of your content and the improvement of your popularity to quickly rise in the top results of search engines like Google.

More than 400 features, personalized support in real time, free training: launch your online pet store without further delay, sell in your country and abroad, and enjoy a 15-day free trial by registering now!

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