At various times of the year, we are faced with seasonal sales. The question is, will discounts help or hinder your pet business.

Be it Black Friday, Cyber Monday or the End of Financial Year (EOFY), discounts are big business — or are they? Find out if your pet business should be offering discounts or ditching discounts altogether!

Do I or don’t I discount?

It doesn’t really matter whether your pet business is service or product based, as both propositions can offer discounts. Traditionally, we’ve been taught that offering discounts draws in customers and attracts clients.

Certainly, discounts don’t naturally go hand in hand with all pet businesses. For example, it’s not common to see vets discounting their services, nor is it widespread to see dog walkers advertising reduced rates. However, this doesn’t mean you couldn’t offer discounts during quiet times of the year.

Just imagine a dog walker offers discounts to senior pet owners. This is wonderful news for older pet parents, who may be finding it difficult to take their fur pal on daily walks. In fact, it could become the talk of the town at the local bowling club! So, in this instance, offering discounts could boost your reputation and grow your business.

Similarly, a vet could offer a reduced fee for a customer’s first annual pet check. This is a great way to attract new customers or re-engage clients you haven’t seen in a while.

So, given that discounting can attract new customers and generate positive word of mouth, when does offering a discount become bad for business?

The downside to discounts

Many sources claim discounting is bad news for business. Whether you agree or not, it pays to understand why. Here are a few of the arguments against offering discounts.

Customers come to expect a discounted rate

Without a doubt, if you offer discounts on a regular basis your customers or clients will come to expect it. In this instance, when you don’t discount, your customers may feel disappointed. This discontent may even turn them off your pet business or service completely, which is not a good outcome.

Discounting may devalue your offering

What is your reason for discounting? Yes, you can jump on the bandwagon and offer discounts that align with public holidays, such as a Boxing Day discount. However, offering constant discounts may encourage people to believe that your service or product isn’t worth the full price or rate.

So, before you discount, think carefully about your reasons and what message the discount might give new and existing clients.

It’s kind of lazy

In some ways (not all the time!) giving a discount is an effortless way to complete a sale or lock in a new client for your pet business. Certainly, it can be easier to give a discount than spend time convincing or educating someone about why they should choose you to walk their dog or purchase pet food from your shop rather than your competitor’s store.

The problem is when customers base their decision purely on price (and a discounted one at that!) they are less engaged. Giving a reduced rate won’t make a person more likely to use your service or visit your pet business in the future. This is because they haven’t ‘bought in’ to your offering.

Whereas, if a customer uses your service or buys your product because you have amazing customer service and they believe in your business, they are more likely to continue to use you or buy from you in the future.

So, rather than considering what discounts you can offer, why not stop and think about how you can better engage your customers. In the long run, this is likely to be much more beneficial for your pet business.

Do you discount? What is your experience?


Information sources:

  • Miksen, C. The advantages of offering discounts at your business. Jan, 2019. Accessed online via:
  • Why giving discounts is a bad idea. The Joy of Business. Accessed online via:

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Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure for the past 12 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals.

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