Ultimate Guide To Starting A Pet Business Online [Secret Blueprint]

what sells best in a pet shop

The pet market has grown over 200% in the last decade. No doubt, so many online businesses target this industry. But there’s one major problem. Reportedly, only 10% of dropshipping stores turn out to be successful. So, what blueprint should you follow to position your online pet business among that 10%?

Dropshipping is one of many methods to start an online pet business. You can create new products if you have skills. Or, you can build an e-commerce site and sell pet accessories like any other online retail store. The key is identifying which products will work and which won’t.

A proper plan will make you mentally prepared for what’s to come. And I am here to build a fail-proof blueprint for your upcoming pet business. So, without further talking, let’s start our discussion.

Key Takeaways

  • 77% of pet owners prefer shopping for pet accessories online. An online pet business can be a manufacturing one, an E-commerce website, or a dropshipping store.
  • Almost 33% of online businesses registered in America practice dropshipping.
  • The overall cost of a pet business without investing in any inventory is $1800.
  • Online businesses that sell manufactured products directly to the customer is gaining popularity nowadays.

Do Online Pet Businesses Make Profit?

The retail pet shops never really contributed much to the boom of the pet industry post-2012. According to a survey, even in 2014, only 1%-2% of pet owners preferred offline pet shopping.

The rest of the 77% of buyers were more interested in online options. And the number of online pet shops has only increased ever since. So, no doubt you will be better off opening an online shop.

Here are some other valid reasons (apart from the stats) why online pet shops perform better.

1. It’s Way Cheaper To Start & Operate

Often entrepreneurs with great vision & creativity need more capital to start a physical store. But all the successful pet businesses I see today are online. Some of them don’t even have a physical outlet or big warehouses. In short, any brilliant mind can launch their own online pet business without much capital.

You don’t even have to rent a place or pay for staff/utilities. Everything can be managed from your home. That opens you up to a larger profit margin than typical pet stores.

2. No Need To Carry An Inventory

Since you don’t have a store or warehouse, it only makes sense to order bulk inventory. Instead, online pet shop owners order stock in small batches. They quickly forecast possible orders in the coming week and inform their supplier. It requires a lot of monitoring. But simultaneously, you are saving huge amounts of money that could have been gone due to managing inventory.

And, if you are in a Shopify or Drop-Shipping pet business, you can even cut the “monitoring” cost. You take care of the lead generation & the supplier will handle everything else.

3. You Can Reach A Bigger Customer Segment

Pet owners love online shopping. And, it’s true regardless of the type of pet anyone has. The majority of the current pet owners are either Gen-Z or Millennial. I guess that plays a huge part in the growth of online pet stores.

According to surveys, these two age groups consist of over 70% of online pet supplies consumers.

That means you can reach out to a bigger customer segment with less effort by going online.

4. More Comfortable For The Buyers

And last but not least, online businesses are way more flexible to run. As for the customers, they can shop their favorite items without leaving their couch. It can’t get more convenient than that. That’s why the online pet supplies market is projected to grow at a 6.1% rate yearly (only in the USA).

See also  Beginner's Guide To Selling Pet Accessories [Hidden Blueprint]

Not just that, the newer generation is showing interest in adopting multiple pets. You have a better chance of earning a high profit by engaging with such consumers.

How To Start An Online Pet Business From Scratch?

Almost every online business follows a similar pattern. Still, a pet business needs some extra steps in certain cases. Keep reading to find out exactly what you have to do and how.

1. Decide What You Want To Sell

No matter your online business model, this will always be the first step. You have to fix your mind on a specific product category. But make sure you have the opportunity to earn a decent margin after shipping & taxes.

Product CategoryAverage Profit Margin
Pet Toys50%
Pet Food10 % to12%
Grooming products30%-50%
Litter Boxes100% to 200%
Leash/collar200%

I highly recommend picking a unique product that solves a real pain point of your customers. Currently, trending products are slow feeders, water fountains, no-pull dog leashes, etc. All of these products solve a problem a pet owner faces every day. For example, the slow feeder monitors the dog’s food intake and dispenses food at a scheduled time. It allows busy pet owners to be stress-free at work.

 No doubt these feeders are selling at $69 to $79. The sellers are earning close to 95% profit through these food dispensers.

These are the kinds of products you need to include in your store. You can’t expect to earn the same amount selling pet food. The manufacturing cost for pet food is higher.

Plus, there are hundreds of pet food options in every grocery store. It will be hard to earn more profit by increasing price. Consider each of these elements and list the products that suit your niche and profit mark-up.

How Do You Manage A Pet Shop?

2. Choose A Method For Selling

Next, you have to decide whether you want to buy inventory. You see, there are two models of online pet businesses. The first is buying products from a wholesaler and selling them yourself. Or, you manufacture a product or create a service and continue business as the original seller.

The second method is running an online e-commerce website without ever buying the product yourself. It’s called dropshipping.

As weird as it sounds, almost 33% of online businesses in the USA are reported to be built on a dropshipping model.

So, there’s no way we can question whether it works.

If you want to know how dropshipping will work for a pet business, check out my other article on this topic.

3. Register Your Business

Once you have decided on the type of business you can launch, register it ASAP. Of course, you will need a business name, trademark, business bank account, etc. There’s not much I can say regarding your company name & trademark. Spend a day or two researching catchy names on the internet. You can also hire a freelance graphic designer to help you with the business logo.

 It usually takes $100 and some documents to incorporate your business.

But if you don’t want to do that, you can always hire an agent to run errands. Registering your business is important to avoid future legal issues. You will still have to register the business, even if it’s a small Shopify or Etsy store.

Available Domain Name Ideas For Your Online Pet Shop (As Of Writing)

  • ExoticPetPamper.com
  • WildGroomingHaven.com
  • UniquePetSpa.com
  • ExoticFurCare.com
  • WildPetSalon.com
  • ExoticGroomingOasis.com
  • RarePetGrooming.com
  • ExoticCreatureCare.com
  • SafariGroomingServices.com
  • ExoticFurStudio.com

100 Pet Brand Name Ideas To Help You Start Brainstorming

  1. FurryFavorites
  2. FurryFeast
  3. FurryFiesta
  4. FurryFinesse
  5. FurryFlair
  6. FurryFlicker
  7. FurryFountain
  8. FurryFrost
  9. FurryFrosting
  10. FurryFusion
  11. Paws & Play
  12. PawsPalette
  13. PawsPalace
  14. PawsPandemonium
  15. PawsPandora
  16. PawsParade
  17. PawsPerfection
  18. PawsPinnacle
  19. PawsPlaza
  20. PawsPresto
  21. PawsPulse
  22. PetElite
  23. PetMingle
  24. PetNest
  25. PetPamper
  26. PetPandemonium
  27. PetPandora
  28. PetParade
  29. PetParlor
  30. PetPatch
  31. PetPavilion
  32. PetPebble
  33. PetPebbles
  34. PetPegasus
  1. PetPetal
  2. PetPinnacle
  3. PetPioneer
  4. PetPixie
  5. PetPlethora
  6. PetPolaris
  7. PetPond
  8. PetPorch
  9. PetPrairie
  10. PetPrestige
  11. PetPrism
  12. PetPulse
  13. PetPuzzle
  14. PetQuest
  15. PetRealm
  16. PetRendezvous
  17. PetResonance
  18. PetRhapsody
  19. PetRitz
  20. PetSavvy
  21. PetSerenade
  22. PetSilhouette
  23. PetSymphony
  24. PetTreasures
  25. PetTrove
  26. PetVista
  27. TailTales
  28. TailTemple
  29. TailTerra
  30. TailTide
  31. TailTorch
  32. TailTrendz
  33. TailTwirl
  1. TailTwist
  2. TailVoyage
  3. UrbanPaws
  4. UrbanTails
  5. WhiskerWagon
  6. WhiskerWaltz
  7. WhiskerWanderlust
  8. WhiskerWave
  9. WhiskerWhimsy
  10. WhiskerWhirl
  11. WhiskerWings
  12. WhiskerWish
  13. WhiskerWonders
  14. WhiskerWorld
  15. WhiskerWardrobe
  16. WhiskerZenith
  17. WhiskerZest
  18. WhiskerZone
  19. WhiskerZoo
  20. WhiskerZoom
  21. WhiskerZephyr
  22. WhiskerZeal
  23. WhiskerZen
  24. WhiskerZigzag
  25. WhiskerZillion
  26. WhiskerZing
  27. WhiskerZip
  28. WhiskerZodiac
  29. WhiskerZonal
  30. WhiskerZestful
  31. WhiskerZion
  32. WhiskerZippy
  33. WhiskerZone

4. Get A Supplier

Getting a supplier is fairly simple.

You can explore Alibaba.com or Pet Stores USA to find the products you want to sell.

If not, search the internet for some reliable pet accessory suppliers. Remember to check their business license and reviews from other sellers before making a deal.

The supplier will ask for your business details as well. Make sure you have opened a business bank account and mailing address by then.

But if you have chosen to design your product, you can skip this step. Instead, focus on getting the raw materials of your product in bulk. If you aim to start a treat bakery, buy the ingredients you need along with packaging tools. Start working on your product until you find a recipe that will sell well.

Drop shopping online e-commerce business concept example, easy five steps scheme, modern vector illustration collection - choosing supplier product, listing items online, selling and delivering.

5. Build A Website

There are two parts to building a website. If you plan to set up a website with many listed products, you must hire a professional. Such website are called “E-commerce” sites. You can enlist 100 to 1000 products into such websites. It will take up the majority of your budget. You will get the estimated cost range later in this article. For now, let’s talk about the process.

See also  How Can I Expand My Pet Care Business? [Practical Examples]

Your website has to be extremely fast and well-organized. Don’t compromise with it. But first you need to buy a domain name (your company name) and hosting services. It would be a problem if you find out the domain name for your business is already taken. So, check the domain availability before finalizing the registration.

Since the business is based online, decorate the website like you would have the store. Give multiple images of the product. Taking real photos is better than searching in the stock gallery. It increases your brand’s credibility ten times.

Make sure each product has a detailed feature and review section. Also, it’s better if your website is able to detect a customer’s preference based on the products they click on. It enables you to categorize each customer into a different category and advertise accordingly.

Once someone likes a product and check out, you must offer him an easy payment gateway. The more payment options you provide, the higher your chances of gaining more sales daily.

According to a study, 87% of online shoppers said that they would leave their carts unchecked if the process takes long.

6. Run Marketing Campaigns

Planning marketing campaigns is the second most crucial task after selecting a product mix. You see, both of these important tasks can’t be outsourced. You can’t rely on another party to do that for yourself. Maybe that’s why the success of an online store depends entirely on how well you manage these tasks.

Anyway, the budget for marketing campaigns can be from $5 to $1000.

It basically depends on the business size and the type of customers you want to target. Since yours is a new and small business, you should spend more time and money on marketing. Otherwise, how else are you going to get noticed online?

Luckily, Facebook lets you run some very targeted ads. In fact, you can specify the gender, age, location, interest, etc, of the viewer. The more you spend, the more people you can reach out.

Another important policy is to collect your customer’s email address. That gives you the opportunity to build a stronger connection with the buyer over time. You can use tools like mailchip to provide you with the email list of visitors who showed interest in your website.

The email list is valuable contact information for high-potential leads. Instead of running ads for random Facebook users, you can shift your focus to these newly found visitors. They have a much higher chance of converting.

pros of owning a pet shop

7. Pack & Ship Goods

By this time, you will start receiving orders. Make sure you have all the packaging essentials already stacked up. Now, one issue with online businesses is returned packages. Either the buyers don’t like the products you sent or never receive them. You have to be prepared for both cases.

Describe your business’s refund policy clearly on the website. Plan a whole system for collecting returned products and how you can sabotage them. If it’s a Dropshipping business, there’s not much you can do.

The manufacturers are doing all the work in a remote factory. Just because you are correctly doing your part will not ensure success in such a business model. Your partners need to be as careful as you.

8. Offer Excellent Customer Support

An online business’s customer support looks different from a physical store’s. Nobody expects you to chat with the buyers as they pay. Instead, once someone asks questions about a product, make sure you reply immediately and with care.

Don’t just send answer templates. Try to understand what type of product the customer is looking for and help them as much as you can.

If they complain about your price, calmly explain why you are charging more. You can hire business page moderators if you are not good at communication. They will answer questions on your behalf.

Don’t limit customer support to your website only. Try to help and engage with potential customers on different platforms. If you have a pet supplement business, help pet owners who are struggling with a sick or weak pet.

See also  How To Set Up A Profitable Pet Retail Store? [Case Studies]

9. Consider Upscaling

If everything goes right, you will be able to recover your initial investment within 5-6 months. It would be best if you considered using that money to upscale your business. Follow the latest trends and see what’s selling best on Amazon or Etsy. Want a readymade list of hot pet products right now? Check out this article, where I have ranked the best-selling products on both Amazon & Etsy.

If you are a manufacturer, try adding complementary products to expand your category. For example, if you are selling pet treats, introduce a healthier version of it. But don’t switch to a new niche just because the profit margin looks lucrative.

It will defeat the entire purpose of choosing a “niche.” Instead, find something that’s rising in demand within your own sub-niche.

How Much Will It Cost To Set Up An Online Pet Business?

There’s no action plan until you know how much it costs. Budget is the crucial element that dictates what type of online business you would start. Considering all the business models I have mentioned here, here is my cost estimation. I have intentionally excluded inventory.

It’s because most entrepreneurs today prefer pet businesses that don’t require high inventory costs. Apart from this one cost factor, the rest of it is the same for any online pet business you start. Nonetheless, take a look.

StepsAverage CostMaximum Cost
Registration Fees$132$500
Website Domain & Hosting Charges$50$200
Hiring Professional Website Designer$1500-5000$10,000
Running Ads$100$1000
Email Campaign$20$50
Total Cost Without Inventory$1802$11,750

As you can see, you can start up your own business within a $ 2,000 budget.

Of course, there are ways to cut the cost further. For example, if you are tech-savvy, you wouldn’t need a professional to design your website. You can also choose to don’t spend any money on Facebook ads. There are other ways of promoting your business without any cost.

For example, many people prefer engaging in real pet communities and being involved with potential customers. That’s the most targeted method of advertising your company. And it works. That means you will be able to shrink the capital requirement up to $200- $300. That’s a big save.

But if you are not choosing a drop-shipping or Shopify business, you will have to spend some money on inventory. Since you are starting out, try collecting only a few varieties of products. Look for something that’s trending right now. As your business flourishes, you can expand the product category.

Best-Selling Item Ideas for an Online Pet Shop

Best Selling Item Ideas For An Online Pet Shop

Starting an online pet shop is an exciting venture, especially given the increasing number of pet owners worldwide. Here are some best-selling item ideas for an online pet shop based on current trends and popular demands:

Pet Food & Treats

  • Organic and natural pet foods
  • Grain-free options
  • Special diet foods (e.g., for diabetic or senior pets)
  • Gourmet treats and chews
  • Subscription-based meal plans

Toys

  • Interactive toys (e.g., puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys)
  • Durable chew toys
  • Plush toys with squeakers
  • Laser pointers and feather wands for cats
  • Water toys for dogs

Pet Clothing & Accessories

  • Seasonal outfits (e.g., Halloween costumes, Christmas sweaters)
  • Protective gear (e.g., raincoats, booties)
  • Bandanas and bow ties
  • Personalized collars and ID tags

Health & Wellness Products

  • Supplements (e.g., joint support, skin & coat formulas)
  • Flea and tick preventatives
  • Dental care products
  • Grooming tools (e.g., brushes, nail clippers)

Tech Gadgets

  • Pet cameras with treat dispensers
  • GPS trackers for collars
  • Automatic feeders and water fountains
  • Interactive pet apps and games

Beds & Furniture

  • Orthopedic beds for older pets
  • Heated beds for cats
  • Elevated dog beds
  • Cat trees and scratching posts

Travel & Mobility

  • Carriers and travel bags
  • Car seat covers and harnesses
  • Strollers for pets
  • Ramps and steps for senior pets

Training & Behavior

  • Clickers and treat pouches
  • Anti-bark collars and devices
  • Puppy training pads
  • Litter boxes and accessories for cats

Eco-friendly Products

  • Biodegradable waste bags
  • Recycled toys and accessories
  • Sustainable grooming products

Personalized Items

  • Custom pet portraits
  • Personalized food bowls and mats
  • Custom-made pet jewelry

Subscription Boxes

  • Monthly boxes filled with toys, treats, and grooming products tailored to the pet’s size and preferences.

Books & Educational Materials

  • Training guides
  • Pet care books
  • Breed-specific literature

Aquatic Supplies

  • Aquariums and kits
  • Decorative items for tanks
  • Fish food and water treatments

Exotic Pet Supplies

  • Habitats for reptiles and amphibians
  • Food for exotic pets (e.g., crickets, worms)
  • Specialized equipment (e.g., heat lamps)

Gifts for Pet Owners

  • Pet-themed apparel and accessories
  • Mugs, calendars, and stationery with pet motifs
  • Gift cards for the store
Global Pet Industry Statistics & Trends Infographic

Before You Leave!

Honestly speaking, you have cracked the business code 80% if you know which product will work. Some businesses do everything right except understand which products their customers will appreciate. But don’t worry. I have a complete analysis of which pet products sell best and how much you can earn from them. Check it out.

Article link: Is selling pet supplies profitable?

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.

Disclaimer

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