March 11, 2013

When marketing and selling to women, the store layout is just as important as anything else to keep them coming back.

Susan Bartholomew was in the fashion industry for 25 years before becoming the co-owner of Zoomies 9 years ago in New York City.

“When a woman buys any product they want their dog to feel special and want the dog to feel fashionable,” Bartholomew said. “They want to take care of their dog as they would their child. Also, it needs to be in tune with what’s going on with the fashion industry here in New York City.”

Bartholomew’s store is set up to feature different products at different heights, the product is always in tune with the season, as well as the colors that match the season and she also burns a fig fragrance to give off a pleasurable smell to the store.

“We want to give the consumer an experience when they walk in,” Bartholomew said. “We care about how it smells, we are known for our fig scent in the store. Sound is also very important. You want upbeat music that isn’t overwhelming. If it’s silent, you don’t want to be there. You want it to be very colorful and eye catching.

“Also it’s important how you merchandise, you want people to touch everything. If it’s flat on the wall as you walk by it, no one will stop to look at it. If it’s at different levels and all over, you want to touch it more. You also want to mix and match your store so all the merchandise is together and not sectioned off.”

She also suggests giving the customer a great experience when they come to the store. Not only with how it’s set up but also with customer service.

“You have to not only give invaluable customer service to the people but also the pets,” Bartholomew said. “You have to also show and really feel the same admiration and love for the person and the dog. You want to learn about the dog just as much as you do about the person; customer service is key. Let people shop but in two seconds of them walking in you should at least say, ‘hi.’ Along with customer service give people quality products, be consistent and a wonderful experience.”

The store focuses on its image from not only the inside, but also outside.

“We want you and your animals to feel good,” Bartholomew said. “It’s a very alive place. We have key lighting on the inside to really light up the place and make it feel alive. Even from the outside we have two big benches and two Christmas trees. It’s a happy place that makes you feel happy. Even if people are in a lousy mood they are happy when they come in.”

Bartholomew also stressed that selling isn’t everything.

“We love when people just come in off the street or it’s the same people that come in every day,” Bartholomew said. “We don’t care if you come in and don’t buy anything. The only thing we ask of our customers is to tell someone about us.”

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