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How to Strategically Merchandize Shampoo, Conditioner


February 13, 2018

By Jennifer Higgins

In order to help pets with their personal hygiene, there are plenty of pet primping products available to help deodorize, brighten, whiten, smooth, sooth, reduce shedding and much more. At the top of the product list—maybe neck in neck with scissors, clippers and brushes—are shampoos and conditioners. From tea cup Chihuahuas to Great Danes, if it has hair or fur, there’s a magic potion or two that cleans, conditions and even reduces its shedding. There is certainly no shortage of tangles that need taming and coats that need coddling.

Sophisticated, yet simply and colorfully packaged, Isle of Dogs’ line of six shampoos and after-shampoo treatments provide retailers and their customers with a variety of quality, performance-driven fur and coat cleaning products including Coature, CocoClean, Everyday Elements, Salon Elements and the Vanity Series. Each caters to the unique and evolving needs of groomers, breeders and pet parents alike, as well as their four-legged and furry companions.

“At Isle of Dogs, using the safest human-grade ingredients is a top priority, so all Coature products offer a full disclosure ingredient deck and strictly follow FDA regulations for the human haircare industry,” Isle of Dogs Associate Director of Marketing Sherri Klaus said. “This means we use the chemical name of the ingredient and do not hide behind the ‘fluff’ names others use that can sound more natural, but not always are. All of our products are also paraben free.”

When asked what advice she has for retailers in terms of Isle of Dogs’ instore or salon presentation and display, Klaus suggests, “Each line of Isle of Dogs products showcases beautifully as a collection. From CocoClean’s whimsical colors to the Coature Collections luxury spa-like vibe, consumers can easily identify the attributes of each product on display and how they can benefit their dog’s coat.”

“We offer selling solutions such as the Isle of Dogs exclusive Coatcheck tool that helps the customer determine what products are best suited for their dog, as well as brochures and sample sizes,” she revealed.

Carlos Chaves, owner and operator of both Alpha Grooming Pet Salon and Pawsitively Groomed in Burlingame, California, doesn’t hesitate in admitting that the only pet bathing and hygiene products he uses in his salon are from Isle of Dogs. Chaves has been in business for 10 years and has stuck with Isle of Dogs products since the beginning. He emphatically attests to the unmatched quality of the company’s shampoos and conditioners, saying that, “it changes the coat like nothing else.” Chaves is loyal to the product because it is “not soapbased but does contain essential vitamins for healthy skin and coat.” Among his favorites are the Red Berries and Champaign Deep Cleaning shampoo, which is sulfate- and paraben-free, as well as the Keratin enriched formulas.

Manufactured and bottled in the United States by Innovacyn, Inc., Vetericyn manufactures a wide array of products for animal (exotics and livestock included) hygiene, eye, ear and wound care. Though it was often associated more closely with wound/skin care, Vetericyn expanded its inventory to include shampoos—specifically, FoamCare pet shampoo.

“FoamCare is a pH balanced, hypoallergenic, spray-on, instant foaming shampoo that’s revolutionizing bath time,” said Geoff Hamby, Vetericyn Animal Wellness’s director of marketing. “FoamCare is specially formulated based on coat density. The easy on and easy off  conditioning shampoo saves time while leaving the animal’s skin healthy, conditioned and nourished.”

What makes Vetericyn’s FoamCare unique is its ability—when sprayed on the animal—to saturate the coat but be easily rinsed off, reducing the amount of time spent bathing and ensuring there is no soap left in the animal’s coat. If your customers are looking for something to help alleviate their pet’s skin issues, FoamCare Medicated shampoo “makes it simple to clean, heal and soothe the animal’s skin,” according to Hamby.

“It is intended to help treat dry, itchy skin, hot spots, dermatitis, and other skin ailments,” he said. “Our medicated formula is sulfate-free and contains anti-inflammatory and cell-proliferating ingredients for a deep, conditioning clean that helps restore their skin’s defenses.”

Because a portion of a retailer’s bottom line depends on in-store presentation, Vetericyn can provide “a great looking POP display kit for FoamCare,” Hamby says.

“It comes with three of each formula: fine coats, medium coats, thick coats and medicated,” he said. “Plus, we have informative collateral like brochures and shelf hangers to help educate the consumer.”

Shampoo Trends
As consumers become more and more aware of the link between the health of the planet and their own health— as well as that of their pets—using environmentally-friendly, plant-based, and/or non-toxic pet hygiene products has become essential. Pura Naturals Pet is just that. Julie Creed, vice president of Pura Naturals Pet, explains that the company’s bathing products “allow you to clean organically and won’t strip your pet’s coat of its natural oils. They’re chemical free and have no dyes or perfumes and no preservatives or additives.”

“Our shampoos have essential oils and are pH balanced to nourish your pet’s coat and skin,” she said. “Our shampoos and conditioners are ideal for canines with allergies or sensitive skin, [and we] are working on a variety of new organic Pura Naturals Pet products for 2018, including Flea & Tick Shampoo, as this has been a customer request. We’ll also launch a  2-In-1 Organic Avocado, Olive & Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo  &  Conditioner, and a new  Fragrance-Free Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo.”

Pura Naturals Pet is certified through USDA Eco-Cert, Leaping Bunny and Oeko-Tex.

“We believe in going the added steps, so our customers know our products are safe and from a trusted resource,” she said.

Creed also advises retailers to “create an experience, a destination to which pet shoppers love to come. Rotate your ‘What’s New’ section to a prominent location and have key categories as a ‘shop within a shop.’”

A Familiar Face
One of the most recognizable lines of pet shampoos, conditioners and fur/skin treatments sits proudly, in large numbers and wide selections, on pet store shelves. It’s TropiClean, wearing its signature lime green and accessorizing with other bright colors and exotic fragrances to entice and lure customers.

“Recently we introduced our natural Flea & Tick shampoo and conditioner and our new Lime & Coconut Shampoo and Lime & Cocoa Butter Conditioner,” said James Brandly, content writer and public relations manager for TropiClean Pet Products. “Our newest shampoos are offered to groomers that sign up for our Scent of the Month program. Our Scent of the Month shampoos are exclusively for groomers and retailers who sign up for our monthly shampoos. If interested, groomers can contact our sales team.”

As much as the pet product industry is prolific, it is also competitive. According to Brandly, consistently coming up with “signature” qualities and products that stand out among the competition is what drives TropiClean.

“We create quality products with a purpose,” Brandly said. “Each product cleans, soothes and has a specific call-out like hypo-allergenic and deshedding. Our products are made with wholesome natural ingredients, and each has a luxurious smell leaving your pet smelling great long after the bath.”

TropiClean’s bottles, which feature labels that display images of coconuts, mangos and kiwis, contain ingredients for detangling, eliminating itch, brightening, deep cleaning, hypoallergenic, moisturizing—the list seems endless. When it comes to best product presentation practices for retailers, Brandly has his own recommendation for store owners and managers.

“Group brands together,” he explained. “Pet parents are looking for a quality shampoo, and TropiClean’s beautiful packaging highlights key ingredients found within. By grouping brands together, you’re showcasing the entire brand, making it less confusing to pet parents seeking products.”

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