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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 01, 2011

Survey finds taking pets shopping important for some buyers

Pet care is one area that seems recession-proof for US brands and consumers. Despite cutbacks in nearly every other category, pets are still living high and sometimes higher on Excuse the pun. For example, don't want to leave Fido or Fluffy at home on your run of errands? You aren't alone, and a new survey finds that, especially for small business owners, being pet-friendly can increase loyalty. Should your business embrace a pet-friendly attitude?

by Kristina Knight

It used to be that children were the only small frys in local shops when picking up a pound of ground beef or a new supply of light bulbs. That is changing. New data from eBay Local finds that pets are climbing the shopping scale for some consumers. According to the report more than half of survey respondents (53%) 'like shopping' in pet-friendly stores, 31% recommend pet-friendly stores to their friends and 34% say they'll return to pet-friendly stores.

What's the draw? Well, Fluffy and Fido are part of the family, right? So why leave them home alone when shops are lifting the pet ban and inviting them in? Should your store have a pets-allowed policy?

The simple answer is it depends. There can be allergy issues for some consumers and there can also be dangers to the pet - for example, allowing a pet to browse a beauty salon could result in him downing a poisonous substance. If you're considering a pet policy, why not ask your clients if they would mind a few pets in the store from time to time. Getting a feel for how your customers might react will gauge whether this is a good decision to make.

In general, if you're friendly to pets and don't mind the occasional cleanup in Aisle 12, allowing pets can be a fun way to engage more clients.

Tags: eBay Local, ecommerce, retail, retail tips. retail trends

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