Adding Touches to Improve Retail Sales

Posted by Positive Impressions on Jul 3rd 2019

Your clinic’s retail space is easy to overlook because it’s not at the center of health care services. However, it’s an important source of revenue, and it helps clients who are looking for recommended products. Making the right choices in what items you carry and how you present them can make a big impact on sales and customer satisfaction.

Why Do Clients Shop at Clinics?

The key to a successful retail space is understanding what makes it stand out from other pet care purchasing options:

- Easy access to recommended products, like food for animals with special dietary needs.
- Toys and care products are selected by medical professionals, so they can be relied on to be safe and effective.
- Quick, easy access to medications and advice for using them.
- Convenience: A visit may remind the client that they need something for their pet. Picking it up in the clinic saves them an extra trip.

In other words, shopping at a veterinary clinic is a boutique experience. Yes, even if your clients are buying hairball control cat food.

Industry-wide, average clinic retail sales average a return around 5%, which is about double that of big box general and pet-focused retailers. Even if your small storefront managed the same efficiency as these retail-focused suppliers, you still wouldn’t be able to compete on price. Instead, your clinic’s retail area should focus on products that aren’t readily available at local stores, and on advice and high quality products pet owners can trust.

What Do Clients Look For?

These are the most popular item categories in clinic retail:

- Prescription foods
- Grooming tools and shampoos
- Books on animal care
- Pet cleaning agents like spot removers and odor controllers
- Non-prescription medicines, especially anti-parasite treatments
- Pet carriers

Food and some grooming items are usually exclusive to clinics, but the rest of the items are available anywhere. This makes it important to focus on products you know will be effective and go beyond what is available at the local big box store. Your clients aren’t looking for cheap items. They’re looking for effective items.

Your own sales will vary depending on the types of pets you care for and the services you offer. For example, grooming items are always popular, but they’re especially enticing at clinics that offer grooming services. You may consider moving these products over to the grooming area so they can be sold together with services.

Stand Out From the “Big Box” Stores

Fancy packaging with small freebies are a special touch that goes against traditional advertising and makes your clients feel appreciated. These upgrades have practical, real world applications. For example, luxury brands use unique packaging to add to the thrill of a purchase, but even grocery stores customize disposable and reusable bags to advertise their businesses.

Using a nicer paper or plastic bag doesn’t add much to your bottom line, but it makes purchases feel like a better value. These bags are also more likely to be reused, helping remind clients of your practice. This type of subtle advertising also works for small items. Pens are a common way for businesses to spread their contact information, and collars are a good option for pet care businesses.

Want to Boost Your Clinic Business? We Can Help.

Positive Impressions, LLC has helped veterinary hospitals and clinics connect with patients and build relationships for over a decade. We’re known for our custom appointment reminders and memorial products, but that’s just a small part of what we offer. Want to improve your retail packaging? We have handled kraft paper bags, 12 x 15” and 9 x 12” plastic tote bags and prescription bags in a variety of designs. Looking for other promotional items? We can personalize collars and pens to give clients a permanent reminder of your business. We also offer custom printing for most of our paper products. Need help getting started? Visit our website for the newest products and latest specials.

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