To help independent retailers capture the loyalty of customers who might otherwise shop online or at big-box stores, Pet Store Pro (www.petstorepro.com), the FREE employee training program developed by the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), will add several new courses to its online curriculum in 2019.
Pet Store Pro was launched in 2008 to provide independent pet stores with a consistent, reliable way to teach business basics and pet care to entry-level employees. The program now offers 30 associate and management-level chapters and remains 100-percent free, thanks to continued full funding by PIDA’s distributor members. Course content is fact-based, brand-neutral and applies to any pet retailer, whether or not the store sells live pets.
Because offering exceptional, personalized service remains the best way for smaller pet stores to compete, Pet Store Pro is refining and expanding its business essentials catalog. Throughout 2019, Pet Store Pro will introduce updated versions of its full-length fundamental and advanced customer service and sales chapters for associates, and a brand new chapter on managing customer service and sales.
Pet Store Pro has also partnered with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) to provide essential training to prevent diseases from spreading between animals and people in stores and at home. The new Zoonotic Disease Prevention chapter is expected to launch in August 2019. Topics will include how to: recognize the symptoms of viruses and other microorganisms that can make people and other pets sick; take the necessary steps to prevent their spread; report and follow up when disease is suspected; and explain safe pet handling and hygiene to customers.
“Employee training is an element of responsible pet retail that helps owners ensure their customers receive consistent and reliable pet care information,” said PIDA president Celeste Powers. “Our industry’s independent retailers set themselves apart by offering this level of specialized service, and PIDA is proud to help by continuing to expand and improve Pet Store Pro.”
Since 2008, more than 33,000 pet store owners, managers and sales associates from more than 6,500 stores have used the online program to build their retail expertise.
About Pet Store Pro
Created by the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) and offered free to qualified retailers, Pet Store Pro is an online training tool for pet store owners, managers and sales associates. Training content for sales associates covers pet retail and cashier service basics, customer service and selling skills, merchandising techniques, customer loyalty programs, pet nutrition and in-store care for birds, dogs, cats, small animals, freshwater fish, saltwater fish, lizards, snakes and turtles and tortoises. Training for store managers teaches effective ways to lead and motivate, increase repeat customers, improve store performance and extend social media impact. Contact PIDA for more information: 3465 Box Hill Corporate Center Dr., Suite H, Abingdon, MD 21009, or visit www.petstorepro.com.