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Customer Profiles PETSMART

By zecosta17 Aug 02, 2015 890 Words

In this assignment we were proposed to visit two different stores of a company of our choice located in different areas, and observe what is its costumers’ profile and other relevant consumer behaviors. Before visiting the stores, we had to make a pre-analysis on what we were expecting to find, and then compare it to our empirical findings. The stores that I chose are PETSMART stores, the first one located in Manhattan and the second one in East Harlem. PETSMART started as a retail chain specialized in pet supplies. However, during the years they started to offer a whole range of services related directly with the pet’s care such as grooming, pets’ hotel, day camp with training for dogs, veterinary and pet adoption. They have more than 1,352 stores spread across the United States and abroad.

Pre-observation analysis
Before visiting the stores, I did my research on PET SMART’s website and read some online reviews in order to get an idea of which is the target audience of this company. Being located in an urban area such as New York, one should expect that the target audience for this products and services is composed by a wide variety of demographics. Of course, with a big majority of pet owners, but also pet lovers thinking of acquiring a pet. Considering the having a pet represents always some kind of expenses, especially if we are talking about cats and dogs, the average PET SMART’s customer should be someone from the upper lower class or from middle class. The age range is not completely defined, but by the way the company sells their services, almost like the pets are their children, I would say that the main target audience is between 18 to 55 years old. That also gives the perspective that the target customers are either young families with children, young families who opt out of parenthood and young single adults.

Observation 1
The first store that I visited was the PetSmart Manhattan, located more precisely on 632 Broadway. When you enter the store, you feel the warehouse kind of environment. There are innumerous shelves with all kinds of pet supplies, starting from toys, food, maintenance products and all sorts of apparel. This was on the first floor. If you go the upper floor, you can find the area were all the pet related services are provided, which can be convenient in case the owner wants to take their pets, for example, for grooming and shopping in the meantime. The actual observation of the customers did not differ that much from my expectations. I did see 3 or 4 older customers, but the big majority were young adults, young adults accompanied by children or middle-aged adults. Broadly speaking, most of the customers appeared to be either from the working class or middle class and there was not much of a difference in terms of gender. A small note about the customer demographics is that the majority of them were white Americans. What did varied however, was the buying behavior. The store allows the people to bring their animals on the shopping area, so it was possible for me to observe a lady with her son carrying the dog by the leash. In this case, it’s almost like the child “decided” what to buy, especially because they were in the toy’s area. Another interesting observation in terms of buying behavior is that you could find a fair amount of people with goal-oriented shopping. For example, a young lady aged 18-25 entered the store and went directly to the fish aisle, picking up all sorts of related equipment: bowl, water cleanser, decorations for the bowl, etc. This can indicate either a working professional with few time to spend on shopping or the fact that budget-oriented shopping was not a major concern in this case.

Observation 2
The second store that I visited is located in East Harlem, more specifically on 517 East 117th Street. The layout of the store was slightly different and store was a bit bigger, but in general the range of products and services offered was basically the same. The first difference I noticed from the Manhattan store was in terms of ethnicity. In this store, the customer population that I observed was composed in majority both by White-Americans and Hispanics. In general the age-cohort did not differ a lot from the first store, but what I did see was families shopping like, for example, a lady in her mid 50’s with a teenage girl and two younger boys. Another difference that I noticed was in terms of social classes. I would say that the range of customers on this shop starts from the upper lower class upwards. In fact, I observed a man aged 25-30 that spent about 20 minutes choosing between a wide variety of Fluor sticks for dogs and, at the same time, he was discussing with someone one the phone about the prices. Also, one lady aged 45-50 was discussing with the cashier something about the points that she had on the card not being credited. Of course, this observations happened at a particular time and the conclusions may be biased, but my impression was that you can find more price-sensitive customers at this store.

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