Waiting room sales (part one) – an opportunity not to be missed

17th November 2023
Pet retail
Practice Management
Waiting room sales

Part one in our series of blog posts on making the most of the waiting room sales opportunity in your practice.

Waiting room sales presents a golden opportunity to generate additional revenue for your practice, but that’s merely part of the equation, there are numerous other advantages that a pet retail offering can bring to a veterinary practice. 

From fostering better client relationships to increasing pet health outcomes, a well-curated retail section can positively impact your practice and your clients.

Benefits for your practice

#1 Increased revenue

Let’s start with the most obvious, pet retail can represent a big opportunity to generate an additional revenue stream. According to Statista In 2021, expenditure on pets and related products reached an annual value of £9.66 billion with just 25% of that spent on veterinary services. By offering waiting room sales, you can entice clients to spend their extra money with you rather than at a pet store or online, providing a win-win situation for both parties.

#2 Competitive advantage

Setting up a retail section in your practice gives you a competitive edge over competitors who don’t provide the same convenience. This unique offering can attract new clients and encourage existing ones to visit your practice more frequently.

#3 Enhanced client experience

A well-curated pet retail section can greatly improve the overall client experience. Pet owners appreciate the convenience of purchasing necessary supplies, such as pet treats, toys and grooming products at the same location where they receive veterinary services. This integration transforms your practice from a place they reluctantly visit when their pet is unwell to the go-to destination for all their pet’s requirements.

Furthermore, with the average waiting time for appointments being 17 minutes, offering retail options can engage your clients and keep them occupied, thereby reducing the perception of wait times.

#4 Comprehensive care

A pet retail offering perfectly complements your professional veterinary services and treatments. By including preventive care products, such as flea and tick treatments or dental care products, a retail offering can promote a proactive approach to pet health. Encouraging your pet owners to take preventive measures to maintain their pets’ wellbeing.

Benefits for your clients and their pets

#1 Convenience

By having a retail section within your practice, a client can conveniently find all the essential pet supplies and products they need in one location. This eliminates the need for them to make additional trips to separate pet stores, saving them time and effort.

Additionally, a visit to the vet can be a stressful and anxious time for both your clients and their pets. Owners often welcome the opportunity to buy a special treat or toy as a reward for their pet whilst they’re in the practice.

#2 Expert recommendations

As a veterinary practice, you have the advantage of providing personalised recommendations based on knowledge of each pet’s health history and any ongoing medical conditions. Plus, the products you recommend are often superior to those sold elsewhere, as you’ve ensured their safety and efficacy.

What’s more, you can explain to the client how to use the product and answer any questions that they may have. It’s a level of expertise and advice they won’t get in most pet stores or online!

What’s the next step? Find out more in our blog post series:

Waiting room sales (part two) – choosing the right product range
Waiting room sales (part three) – the top product categories to stock
10 top tips to maximise waiting room sales (part four)

The article was originally posted in The Cube magazine, October 2023 issue. Click here to read the magazine.