How to start an online pet supply store: The story of India’s most-loved brand Heads Up For Tails

If you've been thinking about starting an online pet supply store, this story is for you.

“Pets have more love and compassion in them than most humans.”
- Robert Wagner

Being a pet parent is a full-time job. 

You’re always on the lookout for quality products. Be it food, toys or day-to-day pet supplies, you’re always seeking the best for your family. 

The one brand that has made a name for itself in not just providing pet parents with quality products, but experiences that led to lifetime stories, is Heads Up For Tails. 

Born out of love for pets, Rashmi Narang and Samarth Narang founded one of India’s most-loved pet supplies brand of today, Heads Up For Tails. Known to create and curate innovative products and services that bring joy to pets and their families, the brand’s mission is to help every home experience the joys of raising pets as family. 

If their vision itself made you go ‘aww’, you’re not alone! 

As pet lovers ourselves, Shopify is glad to be a part of the pet supply brand’s journey to becoming a household name by going online with us. 

“The whole tech space seemed extremely daunting when we decided to take our brand online. Then came along Shopify. Shopify enabled us to run the eCommerce side of things very easily without having to invest and develop a big technology team. It’s so simple as a platform that we could do everything ourselves. It made everything so easy!”
Rashmi Narang 
Co-Founder, Heads Up For Tails  

Want to start an online pet supply store like Heads Up For Tails? Get started with a free trial on Shopify

The story behind Heads Up For Tails, an online pet supply store

Started back in 2008, the story of founding Heads Up for Tails comes from Rashmi’s experience with a beautiful labrador named Sara. 

On Sara’s first birthday, Rashmi wanted to get her something special. Something that was exclusively crafted for her. But on probing the markets, all she found were pet beds that looked nothing more than tablecloths stitched together or toys that didn’t really look safe enough to be given to her. This led to her empathizing with many other pet parents.  

Today, no matter which pet you’d go looking for supplies for, the problem was the same and Sara became the inspiration for Rashmi to take it upon herself to solve this issue. 

“To us, pets are family and family deserves nothing but the best. When I went out to find a gift for Sara for her first birthday, all I found were beds that looked like tablecloths and toys so dirty that I wouldn’t ever want her to chew on them. That’s when the realisation dawned on me that I may not be the only one. There were so many other pet parents like me who struggled to find the right pet supplies, and that’s where our journey began.” 
Rashmi Narang 

With a single-focus goal of giving parents access to great quality merchandise, Heads Up For Tails crafted their brand values that went on to win many hearts across India and built trust in their customers - innovation, joy, impact, commitment and courage. 

Today, the pet supply brand online and with their in-store experiences is known for pushing the boundaries in order to make raising a pet an exceptional experience for families. Each of their product ranges is designed, layered and tested for not just functionality, but being able to deliver an experience. An experience that improves with time, as the brand pushes itself to understand the changing needs of pet parents and pets, and innovate to fulfil them.

Heads Up For Tails soon became a household name for most of us. Someone we could trust when it came to quality pet supplies. The brand today has grown to over 30 stores across India, helping pet parents really experience the magic of the special bond they’re fostering.

Selling pet supplies online: Starting an online store with Shopify

As the brand grew, Heads Up For Tails noticed an increase in demand for their products from locations they didn’t yet have a store in. Expanding their brick and mortar side meant careful analysing of the market demand and growth, which could take time in being able to reach out to those pet parents who were desperately seeking for quality products.

That’s when the brand decided to go online to be able to connect the dots and make their products available to everyone who couldn’t walk into their stores just yet. Heads Up For Tails chose Shopify as their eCommerce platform and we couldn’t be any happier to still be a part of the brand’s journey. 

how to start an online pet supply store

With the ability to start an online store easily, Shopify gave Heads Up For Tail more time to focus on innovation and delivering happiness to pet families. The easy-to-get started with store builder, with a plethora of plug and play apps to make use of, enabled the brand to go online in no time.

As of today, Heads Up For Tail’s entire in-store product range is available on their online store. Food, collars and leashes, cat essentials, grooming products, harness, treats - you name it, and you’ll find it on their store with so many variations that you and your pet are going to be spoilt for choice! 

start an online pet supply store on shopify

If you haven’t already, visit their store here to buy pet supplies for your loved one.  

In fact, Heads Up For Tails has also gone beyond just selling pet supplies online to make a positive impact in society. They have launched the Heads Up For Tails Foundation to reconnect our world with animals so that we can all find a space to co-exist peacefully. The brand wants to be able to make a difference in the lives of generations of urban animals by changing the human mindset.

The brand aims at educating and reminding children and adults of a world where compassion is second nature. 

“We have seen some amazing stories of how pets have changed lives. But at the same time, we have also seen some dysfunctional stories that were heartbreaking. So we’re trying to connect that. We are working hard on educating parents on how to understand these special members of their family, how to accept them in society. We want them to experience the magic of being the family of a pet.” 

More than an online pet supply store: Helping their customers establish strong bonds with their pets

Just because our pets can’t speak, we often tend to miss the little things that make them happy. We tend to overlook their signs of seeking attention and sometimes sickness. That’s why Heads Up For Tails does more than just listing their products on their Shopify pet supply online store. Here’s how they guide pet parents in choosing the right products for their special family members! 

1. Product pages that educate more than sell 

The new-age consumer is not just cautious about the products they buy for themselves, but also their pets. They want to be able to get as much information about pet supplies before purchasing them. But on an online pet supply store, you can’t have a face to face conversation with the customer to address any queries that may come in while they browse through your range.

Heads Up For Tails tackles this problem by creating in-depth product pages. They don’t just display multiple product pictures to help their customers get a look and feel of what they’re selling. The brand includes a carefully written product description as well, which highlights what goes into the making of the product, why it is ideal for the pet and more. 

start an online store shopify pet supply product pages

2. Recommendations that introduce them to new products 

When you walk into a store, it is easy to browse through products or even ask for recommendations. But when you’re running an online store, this kind of interaction gets limited and educating the customer or introducing them to products that could add more value to their pets, can be challenging.

To counter this, Heads Up For Tails displays product recommendations based on what a visitor comes looking for. For example, if a visitor comes searching for dry food, the brand uses recommendations to introduce them to the different brands, flavours and other varieties available on their store. 

start an online store for pet supplies on shopify

3. Educating customers one story at a time 

Because pets can’t speak, it often gets tough to understand how they think or what they need. Heads Up For Tails online pet supply store has a blog section where they share stories that come from happy pet families to tips from pet groomers and trainers to help parents with the upbringing of their loved ones.

This also helped the brand establish authority in the eyes of their customers for knowing what they do and being truly passionate about it. 

start an online store blog for pet supplies

4. Creating a family by celebrating together 

Heads Up For Tails also has an exclusive birthday club that your pet can be a part of. On signing up, you can share your pet’s details including their likes and dislikes with the brand, and more importantly - their birthday. Remember how Rashmi wanted to find the perfect gift for Sara?

By signing up and becoming a part of this club, you get access to a special 15% discount on each birthday of your pet. So that you can buy them the gifts they want!

start an online store blog for pet supplies

Doing so has helped the brand not just create a close-knit family of customers and their pets, but also create a base of loyal customers who keep coming back to the brand for the quality they offer. 

With a host of apps and partners in the Shopify ecosystem, the pet supply brand is enhancing its online store shopping experience with each passing day, winning more hearts across India and helping pet parents in raising the best boys/girls in their families!

Are you as passionate about pets? Do you dream of opening a pet supply store to help pet parents discover the best of products for their little ones? It’s time to turn your love and passion into a successful online business. 

Sign up on Shopify for a free trial to start an online pet supply store