Retail for kitties can be a little confusing. As business owners, we want to carry merchandise that will not only move, but benefit the felines we service as well.
Adding basic grooming tools that owners can successfully use at home with a little guidance can help your bottom line and also give you peace of mind that you did everything possible for the kitties you service.
While many owners become overwhelmed at the pet store or online and choose the wrong tools for at–home grooming and quickly become frustrated, using a two–prong approach to your retail will not only help increase your profits, but will aid owners in the care of their beloved feline family members as well.
Education is Key
Many cat owners do not brush their kitty’s coat or trim nails at home because they get frustrated when the cat does not cooperate. With a little education, we can help these owners at least understand why things go wrong when they try to brush kitty and, in some cases, help the owners with their daily maintenance or get these kitties on a shorter grooming schedule.
When we sell grooming tools to our feline grooming clients, they need the educational support to help them understand how and why to use the tools they have purchased. By having an email sequence prepared that educates and teaches the client how to properly use the newly–purchased tools, you are potentially improving that feline’s quality of life through better coat and nail care.
The first grooming tool I carry for my feline clients is a medium handled comb. I like handled combs for clients because it is easier for them to hold, control and use. Another benefit of a handled comb is if the cat goes to bite the comb, the owner’s hand is further away. A medium comb is a good choice for the majority of cat coats. Keep in mind that most owners will probably use the comb on a dirty coat when they are trying to extend the previous professional groom.
My email sequence for brushing starts with common mistakes cat parents make with brushing. I cover using the wrong tools and why the cat bites the comb or brush. Then I move into brushing too long or when the cat is not comfortable. Using the comparison of a first–grader doing flashcards helps many owners understand why brushing goes wrong. Brushing, like flashcards, needs to be quick and to the point or chaos and lack of productivity break out.
Brushing sequence emails continue with a simple and quick strategy on a daily brushing routine. Adding videos and diagrams to this email can be very helpful. Later in my sequence I talk about what owners will feel and see when grease and dead coat start to accumulate on the kitty. I explain why regular professional grooming is important, and what to look for to know it is time to schedule the next grooming appointment. Keep each email brief and to the point. Space the emails out over a few weeks to help keep the owners interested and engaged with the content in your email sequence.
I also sell scissor–style nail clippers. My email sequence for nail trimming includes using the correct tools and why cats are “afraid” of the nail clippers. This sequence discusses what to do when the owner cuts the nail too short and why having properly–trimmed nails is important for the feline’s health and the family’s wellbeing.
I have found that by warning and preparing the owner that a nail cut too short will bleed, things tend to go better when the owner attempts their first nail trim. The knowledge that some blood may appear helps owners understand the seriousness of nail trims. My next few emails have videos, pictures and diagrams on how to properly trim the feline nail.
Some owners choose to be well prepared for a nail–trimming session, while other owners decide to schedule a two– to four–week nail trim appointment for kitty instead.
How It Benefits You
Many of you may be thinking that if you educate and empower owners to brush their cat’s coat and trim their nails, you will lose money in the long run. In my experience, the exact opposite is true. Through email sequences owners learn why a well–maintained coat and properly–trimmed nails help keep the feline healthy, more active and promote family harmony. Information, without a sales slant, has encouraged a shorter, more regular grooming schedule for these feline families.
In my email sequences, I provide information and close with a brief “we’re here to help if needed.” The clients who read the emails and try to use the tools they purchased will ask questions. You can always follow up at the next appointment by asking how their new tool is working for them. Over the years, I have found education leads to more frequent professional grooming sessions for cats.
Other Retail Items
I also like to have colorful seasonal nail caps and toys available for sale in my retail section. Having colored nail caps at your check–in area and seasonal toys at your check–out area are quick and easy add–ons for your feline clients. Some owners enjoy including their kitty in holiday and seasonal celebrations and will be eager to see what new seasonal toy or festive nail caps you have for kitty at this visit.
Feline retail can be tricky for grooming businesses. Carrying items that will move and benefit the kitty at the same time can be a confusing maze. Using a two–prong approach for the sale of grooming tools and a well–planned–out email sequence not only helps the cat owner and promotes family harmony, but also benefits and promotes a long, healthy life for the kitty. And, in my experience, selling basic grooming tools with an email sequence has produced the unanticipated result of shortening the length between scheduled maintenance grooming for these kitties which has increased my bottom line in an unexpected way. ✂️