Part four in our series of blog posts on making the most of the waiting room sales opportunity in your practice.
Whether you’re just starting out in retail, looking to refine your existing range, or expanding your offer into new innovative product areas, we have ten effective tips to help you maximise your veterinary waiting room sales.
#1 Consult your wholesaler for best-selling products and veterinary exclusives
With numerous product options available, it can be overwhelming to decide what to stock in your waiting room. Consult your veterinary wholesaler to gain insights into the best-selling categories and products.
Whenever possible, consider choosing veterinary-exclusive products that cannot be found in standard pet retailers to make your waiting room sales stand out from the competition.
Your NVS Group Territory Manager can recommend the best-selling pet retail products based on the available space and your existing range. Click here to contact your TM
#2 Optimise waiting room layout
Design your waiting room layout in a way that encourages clients to explore the retail area. Strategically position retail displays to make them easily visible and accessible, allowing clients to handle products, read information, and examine them closely before making a purchasing decision.
Regularly put yourself in the shoes of a client and walk into your practice entrance to assess your waiting room’s image, so you can ensure a positive first impression and identify areas for improvement.
#3 Product merchandising
Make your product display eye-catching and visually appealing. Consider using merchandising solutions such as counter displays, stands and other point-of-sale materials that are available through your wholesaler or suppliers.
Studies have shown that placing products at eye level can significantly boost retail sales, so use this prime space for your best sellers. Make pricing information easily visible to help clients make informed decisions and reduce uncertainty about product costs.
And finally, it might sound obvious, but a tidy and well-stocked waiting room display encourages browsing and increases the likelihood of sales. Ensure that popular products are consistently available, regularly check stock levels and replenish inventory to avoid empty shelves.
#4 Promotions and special offers
Promotions and special offers can be an effective way to capture your clients’ attention and boost sales. Take advantage of the regular promotions offered by your veterinary wholesaler or supplier and consider using limited-time discounts to create a sense of urgency, motivating pet owners to make immediate purchases.
#5 Provide product samples
Offering free samples of items, such as treats, in the waiting room allows clients (and their pets) to try the products before committing to a purchase. This demonstrates your confidence in the quality of your offerings and increases the likelihood of future sales.
#6 Clinic bundles or starter packs
Think beyond your waiting room display and leverage nurse-led clinics, such as puppy and kitten checks, weight, or dental checks, to offer bundles of products or starter packs tailored to the pet’s needs. This approach encourages clients to try new products and increases the average transaction value.
#7 Create a retail champion
Identify a member of your team who excels in sales or has previous retail experience and make them your ‘retail champion’ Alternatively, form a small team responsible for product sourcing, managing the display, and monitoring sales performance.
This retail champion or team can also ensure that the rest of the team is kept informed about new products, special promotions, and other relevant updates.
#8 Staff training and product knowledge
Involve all team members in the sales process and equip them with a good level of product knowledge. It’s not just an opportunity for your receptionist or front desk team, as each member of the team will have a different level of interaction with the client.
Encourage them to engage in friendly conversations, actively listen to clients’ needs, and recommend appropriate products. Share success stories and tips amongst the team to support those who may find the selling process more challenging.
#9 Use Staff Recommendations or “Staff Picks”
The client values your knowledge and expertise, and this extends to personalised product recommendations too. Highlight staff picks or staff recommendations in your product display or choose a staff pick of the week or month.
Clients are more likely to make a purchase when your team can speak from their own experiences with a product they’ve used for their own pets.
#10 Incorporate seasonal items
If you have sufficient space, dedicate a section to seasonal items that can be rotated regularly. Consider themes like spring, summer/travel, Christmas, and winter health.
This approach keeps your product display fresh and engaging. Providing clients with new and relevant products throughout the year enhances their shopping experience.
Find out more in our blog post series:
The article was originally posted in The Cube magazine, October 2023 issue. Click here to read the magazine.