If you’re in the pet services industry, you might notice an increasing trend toward mobile pet services.
That’s because young people love their animals. So they’re taking on more and more pets than previous generations. In fact, millennials make up the largest segment (35%) of all pet owners with 7 out of 10 millennials owning a pet. And the majority of these millennial pet owners consider their pets “fur babies,” even willing to take leave to care for a new pet, if their employer offered it. Guess you’d call that pet-ernity leave?
In addition to their deep feelings about their pets, millennials are also notorious for choosing convenience over brand loyalty or any other decision-making factor. So it’s easy to see why mobile pet services are taking over the industry.
What Are Mobile Pet Services?
Mobile pet services are basically housecalls for pets. Providers come to the pet’s home (or office) to cater to its needs in a familiar environment. While there are new types of pet services going mobile every day, the prime contenders are in the veterinary and grooming services industries.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the types of mobile pet services on offer.
Most mobile veterinary businesses have vans equipped with everything they need to perform these services. They may complete more complex diagnostics like x-rays and blood tests back at their office laboratory, but a mobile checkup can at least determine whether an x-ray is necessary and collect any samples for analysis. Here are some of the common services offered:
- Wellness and annual checkups
- Medication administration
- Diagnostics (i.e., ultrasounds or blood tests)
- Minor surgical procedures
- Laser therapy
- In-home euthanasia
- Routine dental cleanings
- Dental extractions
- Minor dental surgery
From simple baths and trims to herbal-infused hydro-surge baths and special occasion styling, common services offered by mobile pet groomers include:
- Nail trims
- Shampoo and baths
- Custom haircuts
- Paw pad trims
- Brush and fluffs
- Shave downs
- Flea and tick treatments
- Skin and coat moisturizing
- Pawdicures with nail polish and other doggy bling
Other Mobile Pet Services
While vet and grooming services dominate the current mobile pet market, other services are also becoming popular, such as:
- Transportation to and from appointments
- In-home dog training
- Recreational outings
Why Customers Love Mobile Pet Services
While convenience is the number-one factor for choosing mobile pet services, there are other reasons pet owners prefer in-home services.
First, many pets experience anxiety at the vet or groomer’s place of business. This anxiety can begin on the ride over, and many pet owners can’t stand subjecting their pets to this prolonged period of stress.
Another thing pet owners like about mobile pet services is that it keeps their pets safe from exposure to contagions from other pets at a provider’s office. Let’s just ignore the fact that other pets have been in the van and concentrate on the fact that at least you’re only dealing with one pet at a time.
That brings us to another reason why pet owners love mobile pet services. Getting one-on-one attention for their pets makes them feel special and important. Your focused attention reassures them you’re not missing anything or wasting their time by slipping out to attend to another client.
Should You Mobilize Your Pet Services?
Before you run out and buy a van, here are a few things to consider first:
- Feasibility – What parts of your business can you adapt to a mobile environment? What type of equipment can you transport and run on a power generator?
- Cost of Transportation – How much is the vehicle? And what would it cost to reconfigure your equipment to work in a mobile environment? If your town is really spread out, will there be enough business to justify the additional time and transportation costs?
- Customer Demographics – Will your customers be willing to pay extra for the convenience? While most studies say yes, millennial customers will pay extra for convenience, is your customer base part of that demographic? Are there enough millennials in your area? Do they have enough money to afford your services?
Mobile Baby Steps
While converting your business to a complete mobile service may not be immediately feasible, there are small steps you can take to make it more convenient for your customers to do business with you.
First, consider what services you can offer more conveniently. Could you prescribe medications after a video consultation and deliver them to a patient’s home? Maybe offer an initial in-home evaluation for a pet owner considering obedience school?
If it isn’t feasible for you to leave your place of business, take steps to make other parts of your business accessible by mobile such as online payments or appointment booking. Not sure where to start? Here’s a primer on how to accept credit card payments online.