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Wyld's Wingdom is open
8:45 am to 5:00 pm (EST)
Monday through Friday.

Phone: 800.366.9953
Fax: 757.858.8366
E-mail: info@wingdom.com

Helping Customers Choose Toys for Their Bird

Helping Customers Choose Toys for Their Bird

Just like every child needs toys, so do birds!  It’s important to let your customers know that toys aren’t just a fun extra for their bird, but are an essential part of creating a healthy environment for their bird.  Toys are especially vital for birds whose owners who spend time away from home working or with busy schedules.  Toys provide relief from boredom, important exercise and the stimulation needed to prevent certain behavioral and health problems.

Choosing a Bird ToyBird owners should consider what various toys have to offer, and make a variety of toys available to their bird.  Toys can offer sounds and colors, as well as textures that stimulate the mouth and feet.  Think of the difference between smooth, brightly colored plastic and a tough rope or wood blocks on a jingly metal chain.  A mirror with a bell attached can provide a bird with a “companion” to chatter to, as well as the stimulation of a ringing bell.  Various sized toys are appropriate for different types of birds, designed to withstand chewing and manipulation of larger or smaller birds.  Birds love to chew and pull things apart, so toys should be checked frequently for signs of wear or for missing pieces.  Toys also offer different degrees of puzzles or challenges.  Birds are intelligent and curious creatures and love mastering a variety of skills when playing with their toys.  Treat toys allow birds to work for their food, much as they would in the wild.

Once a bird owner has tried a number of different types of toys, they will start to get a feel for what their individual bird really enjoys.  Ask customers for feedback on various toys and find out what their bird likes and doesn’t like about specific toys, so you can offer anecdotal advice to other customers as well.

Proper Toys Can Prevent Problems in Pet Birds

Proper Toys Can Prevent Problems in Pet Birds

Pet birds are amazing creatures. Though most have never lived in the wild, they never lose the instinct and adaptation that wild birds use out of necessity. That’s why Wyld’s Wingdom strongly suggests stocking a wide variety of bird toys in your store.

Pet birds do not lose their natural instinct. In the wild, birds engage in activities such as foraging for food, swinging on vines and branches, stripping trees of their bark, and playing and conversing with other birds. This natural instinct doesn’t disappear in pet birds and without the proper stimulation, it can manifest itself through feather picking, acting out, and general boredom when they are not provided with engaging toys and adequate interaction.

According to Jim McKendry of Parrot Behavior & Enrichment Consultations (http://www.pbec.com.au),the main reasons why many pet birds (specifically parrots) seem to struggle to adapt are a “lack of flight, and lack of opportunities for stimulation and socialization with other parrots. Along with a lack of foraging opportunity, those deficiencies are often the key contributors to the development of many behavioral problems we deal with in companion parrots.”

114828 - Four Big Drawers

114828 - Four Big Drawers

While human interaction can alleviate much of the boredom, many bird owners do not have the time to interact with their birds as much as needed. But with the right toys, your bird can have hours of entertainment and stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. So provide your customers with a variety of toy options that cover a gamut of possible activities. Also express to your customers the importance of changing out their toys weekly to prevent boredom and to stimulate mental health.

Wyld’s Wingdom can provide you with a variety of bird toys for you to offer. Whether you are looking for chewing toys, foraging toy, exercise toys, comfort toys, preening toys, foot toys, or mechanical toys, we can provide you with what you need to help keep your customers’ birds energized and stimulated.

Wyld’s Wingdom‘s Social Media Advice

Wyld’s Wingdom‘s Social Media Advice

Wyld’s Wingdom is on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and You Tube. Are you?

The world of advertising is ever changing. And if you haven’t gotten on the social media bandwagon, your business may get left behind.

Social media, unlike traditional advertising, brings a personal edge to your marketing. What I mean by that is that, through social media, you become more than just a name to your audience; you become a person with whom they can interact. You can engage with your customers and not only brand yourself, but build a sense of trust and credibility. Plus, when you communicate with your social media audience, you are not only communicating with your followers, but you are also communicating with your followers’ followers. And a majority of that communication is going to be seen as a personal endorsement from your followers’ to their followers, helping you reach a whole new audience.

In addition to these benefits, social media will help you get a pulse on what your customers want. Social media makes it easy for customers to comment and give feedback, allowing you to see what it is that they like, don’t like, want, and don’t want. You can use this information to better your service, your products, and in turn, your business.

A sure sign of the role social media is taking in marketing is the recent launch of Google Plus for businesses. Similar to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites, Google Plus offers the advantages of communicating with your customers on a more personal level, getting to know their preferences, and getting a personal endorsement from your them. But Google Plus’s “+1” button is taking this endorsement to a new level. Google Plus melds together social media, its email system (gmail), AND its search engine so your business gets exposure, not only through your followers, but also through your email contacts AND anyone who sees your website come up in a Google search. If your website is properly encoded for SEO purposes and someone does a Google search using your keywords, your website could pop up and that person could see your Google Plus page and “+1” it, endorsing it to all of their followers and friends as well as Google itself! Google states, “+1’s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query. This is just one of many signals Google may use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking.” (http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=1140194)

What exactly does this mean? Google itself is saying that having and using a Google Plus page will help increase your ranking on search engines. While Google Plus is going to be the major contributor to SEO, interacting on all of the different social media sites is going to benefit your SEO. The algorithms for SEO ranking is changing and is including more and more of the social media postings, so if you want a higher search engine ranking, you better jump into the social media world!

The benefits of using social media just keep growing and growing. And while using it may seem daunting to some people, it is becoming necessary to take on in order to grow your business.
To visit Wyld’s Wingdom’s social media pages, click on the following links:

http://twitter.com/#!/WyldsWingdom

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wylds-Wingdom/263216386005?sk=wall

https://plus.google.com/107660336971289572037/posts

Promoting Bird Exercise

Promoting Bird Exercise

As a pet bird retailer, it is important that you be able to provide your customers with a wealth of information on how to properly care for their birds.  An important part of bird care, to the surprise of many bird owners, is exercise.  In the wild, birds fly, play, and scavenge.  Why would pet birds be any different?  These actions promote health and happiness, and bird owners should be encouraged to have regularly scheduled exercise time with their pets.

Be sure to remind your customers that inactive birds run the risk for various health problems including obesity, heart disease, and other cardiac disorders that may negatively affect their length and quality of life.  Not only that, inactive birds are often bored and unhappy, which can lead to feather plucking and other negative behavior.  By suggesting proper toys and giving exercise tips, you can help your customers have healthy, happy birds.

Begin encouraging exercise for birds at the initial purchase.  Explain to customers that bird cage sizes should be large enough to extend their wings and flap them.  If the bird is going to be caged all the time, allow space for at least 3 wingspans. If a bird’s cage does not give it adequate room, the bird will not be able to stay active. Suggest toys, swings, and perches that will fit well in the cage while allowing for enough room to play.  Also suggest toys that the bird can play with outside the cage to promote activity during exercise time.

Remind customers to set up a regular exercise schedule and give them information that will aid them in their scheduling.  A few times a week may be adequate, but daily exercise is, of course, best.  Out of the cage exercise is recommended.  The best time is mid-morning or early afternoon, but not when the bird is hungry or just eaten.  Birds usually rest during the late afternoon and in the evening, so it may not be the best time to exercise either.

Since most pet birds have clipped wings, recommend flapping exercises where birds “step up” onto a short dowel rod.   Suggest toys that encourage climbing and other aerobic exercise such as ladders, swings, and other activity toys.

Active, exercised birds are happy, healthy birds, which equates to happy customers.  If you have questions about which toys to carry or recommend, Wyld’s Wingdom is happy to assist you.  Else, take a look at our extensive online catalog for numerous items that you can stock your store with in order to promote healthy exercise for your bird-owning customers.

Collecting Your Customers’ Information – Keep the Relationship Going

Collecting Your Customers’ Information – Keep the Relationship Going

Sales are built through successful relationships, and relationships require frequent “touches”.  Once you have the interest of a customer or a prospective customer, it’s important to stay in touch with them, reminding them of your business and what makes it special.  This is especially effective in retail businesses where you provide customers with products they buy over and over again, such as pet food and supplies.

Email marketing and social media are two effective ways of staying in touch with a high volume of prospects and customers, while maintaining a personalized feel to the interactions.  In order to stay in touch via email marketing, you’ve got to be sure to capture email addresses.  If your checkout system is run by computer, make asking for an email address a part of the check-out process in the store.  Alternatively, you can keep a stack of information cards near the register and ask customers if they’d like to fill one out and join your email list.  Make this question a part of your phone script for prospective customers as well.  Let them know that you carry a wide range of products and would like to let them know when you are offering specials or have exciting, new products available.

FacebookEstablishing a Facebook page is a great way to let customers and bird fanciers know what’s happening in your world.  You can build credibility, establish yourself as an expert, highlight new or popular products, and offer followers special deals.  For those in your email database, providing a clickable link to your Facebook page in your email updates and asking recipients to “like” your page is an effective way to build followers.  Provide in-store customers with a card that gives your Facebook and webpage addresses, or have it print on every receipt.  Ask followers to recommend your page to their friends, and spread the word through your local Avian club or other community groups.

Greeting Customers in the Store and on the Phone

Greeting Customers in the Store and on the Phone

Greeting Customers By PhoneThe greeting your customer receives is one of the most important parts of the retail experience.  Whether taking a call from a prospective customer or greeting a walk-in, it is important to give an upbeat and welcoming greeting.   “Good morning!  Welcome to (or thank you for calling) –store name–”  followed by “How can I help you today?”   Asking a walk-in customer “Can I help you?” gives them the opportunity to say, “No, thanks” or “I’m just browsing.”   Asking how you can help or what the customer is looking for requires an answer that opens the door to conversation and allows you to begin interacting with the customer.  Greetings should be consistent and professional, so be sure to train staff (and yourself!) on preferred customer greetings that reflect positively on your business.

You can also ask a walk-in customer if they’ve ever been in your store before.  If they say “yes” you can welcome them back, which makes them feel valued and reminds them that they’ve done business with you before.  If they say “no” you can tell them a little bit about how the store is set up and give a little information about yourself, and then ask what they’re looking for.

The timing of the greeting is also important.  Greet customers immediately so that they feel welcomed and know you are there to answer questions and give advice.  Many customers who walk out of a store without buying do so because they feel ignored or like there is no one available to help them.  Deliver your greetings with sincerity and warmth and make an effort to get to know the needs of repeat customers and you will see a big difference in customer response.

Questions Lead to Increased Sales

Questions Lead to Increased Sales

Questions Lead to Increased SalesAs a retailer you are a problem-solver for your customers.  You provide the solutions to their needs by supplying them with the products they’ve been looking for.  That’s great if they actually know what they are looking for and what they need.  As a retailer of pet bird supplies, you have a huge bank of knowledge to draw from, to provide customers with the information needed to make more purchases.  You know about new products, new discoveries in the world of avian health, food and equipment.  You are the expert!

As a retailer, you should feel good about sharing your expertise, giving your customers the knowledge and products needed to give their birds what they need for a healthy, happy life.  The best way to begin with customers is to engage in conversation.  Asking the right questions is the most effective way to assist your customers and increase sales.  Find out what they are looking for, and then ask why they want that particular product.  This opens the door for the customer to talk more about their situation, their particular bird, and that bird’s needs.  Pet owners generally enjoy talking about their pet, and your questions about species, housing, diet, activities and habits will provide you with valuable information.  This is a great opportunity for you to use your unique avian knowledge and recommend the specific item that best suits their need, as well as additional products that might work well for the customer.

Once you build rapport with the customer and are able to make effective recommendations, you increase the chances of future purchases as well as referrals to other bird owners.

Choosing a Pet Bird – Where to Begin

Choosing a Pet Bird – Where to Begin

The world of pet birds includes many different types of birds, with different characteristics and care requirements. If your customers have never owned a bird before, how do they begin to search for the perfect pet bird? Assisting your customer with the decision making process will create a happy customer instead of a returned sale. It’s important to learn about a few types of birds that are generally good for first-time bird owners while considering what they are looking for in a bird, and go from there.

SBC SB446 - Snuggle Ring

Some of the questions you might want to ask your customers are: What are you looking for in a bird? Do you want a bird that is a pleasant singer, or one that might learn to talk? How much time do you have to spend on your pet bird each day? What kind of space do you have available for your pet bird? How much can you spend on purchasing your new bird?

Bird owners sometimes just want companionship from a bird. Many birds will fit the bill in that case. Finches and canaries are cheerful and beautiful birds to watch and listen to. They are active during the day and are easy to breed if you are interested. Parakeets, budgies and cockatiels are good beginner birds that can enjoy handling and interaction, can learn to mimic sounds and whistles, and will display unique and entertaining personalities. These smaller birds don’t require large amounts of space and are not as loud as some types of parrots. Larger parrots can be a handful and require more interaction.

Finding the right bird for your customer will increase the happiness of both the owner and their bird.

Got Birds, Get Results – Ready for Action

Got Birds, Get Results – Ready for Action

In March at Global this year we launched our Got Bird, Get Results campaign.  Although it was newly hatched, the conversations it started at our booth were enlightening.   We found that we were sharing ideas learned from one attendee with others and so on down the line.  It was refreshing and stimulating.

We are ready to move forward with Got Bird, Get Results.  You see, just a bunch of bird stuff on your wall and on your shelves will not generally create the buzz needed for your customers to turn to your store for solutions to their birds’ needs.  It is about the whole experience of dealing with your store.

  • Windows of OpportunityWe are calling this experience you create and maintain in your store  Windows of Opportunity.    From accessible product information,  problem solving and  prevention of bird-related issues, upbeat informed staff,  store appearance,  social connections,  customer networking and forums,  the opportunity to be the source of choice for bird owners in your community is huge.

Independent We StandSpeaking of your community, please check out independentwestand.org which is a nation-wide effort to support indie business across the country.  Register your store on-line through that site.   Tell your friends and neighbors about this resource.  Through each of our efforts to support local, worthy businesses, our communities are stronger economically and socially.

Got Bird, Get Results — Aligning  your bird department for success.   We welcome your feedback as we move forward and anticipate your participation.

Gifts for Bird People

Gifts for Bird People

During the holiday season, folks are always looking for just the right gift the the parrot lover. Here are a few suggestions:

Scarlet Macaw OrnamentWrist WatchSpectacular Hand Painted Bird Ornaments can be used year after year.  True gems for the tree and home.

Limited Edition Bird Watches are water resistant with Real Leather bands, Japanese quartz movements, and 2 year batteries. Multiple bird styles are available.

Bird Behavior and Training DVDs and CD’s.   Always a welcome resource for the parrot/bird owner which will improve their relationship with their pet bird.

Amazon Parrots: A Complete Pet Owner's ManualCockatoos: A Complete Pet Owner's ManualBooks for Bird Lovers including training and species specific titles including our two newest books on Amazon Parrots and Cockatoos.