How Crossbones Dog Academy grew revenue with new sales channels

Summary

  • With Square, Crossbones Dog Academy has flexibility to accept any payment for products and services.
  • Launching an online store helped them give customers more convenience and create a new revenue stream.
  • Square makes it easy to keep track of all their inventory and to manage it on the go.

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About Crossbones Dog Academy

With over 20 years of combined experience, Katherine Ostiguy and Daniel Lombard founded Crossbones Dog Academy, a Providence-based dog training center and daycare, in 2010.

Now with an 8,000-square-foot facility, Crossbones Dog Academy sees anywhere between 35 and 50 dogs every day. They offer daycare, group classes, private lessons, and puppy day school programs. There’s also a retail shop where clients can pick up necessary items such as food and toys. While navigating the logistics of operating an in-person business during the pandemic, Crossbones Dog Academy used Square to sell in person and online to serve their clients (and their four-legged friends) better.

“We were early adopters of Square. When we first started our business, we got a Square reader and an iPad, so we could process credit card payments at clients’ homes.”

— Katherine Ostiguy
Co-founder, Crossbones Dog Academy

Accepting any way customers
want to pay

As a business that offers training services, day care, and physical products, Crossbones Dog Academy needed to accept payments to serve various parts of the business. Whether they took in-person payments for day care or were out in the field at a training session, Katherine and Daniel wanted to let their clients pay how they wanted. They also knew they’d need invoicing software for the recurring services they provided.

Square made it easy for Katherine and Daniel to take payments in person, online, and on the go with portable hardware that syncs seamlessly with the Square Point of Sale app. For recurring services such as training sessions or dog walking, they could schedule automatic monthly invoices. Crossbones Dog Academy transitioned over 80% of their payments, using Square Payments to let clients pay online in advance for their training or day care needs.

“We do about 85 to 90% of payments online. Because our clients are prepaying for all services, they’re going to our website, signing themselves up, and using Square to pay — before we even speak to them.”

— Katherine Ostiguy
Co-Founder, Crossbones Dog Academy

Launching an online store to drive more revenue

When the pandemic hit, customers transitioned from making in-person purchases to online purchases. It became the norm to deliver a convenient online shopping experience with minimal contact. For Crossbones Dog Academy, it was an opportunity to sell their products in a new way.

It was simple for Crossbones Dog Academy to add an online sales channel to sell retail items. With Square Online they imported their entire item catalog from their point of sale to their online store with the click of a button. An online store with retail products such as dog toys and treats gave customers the option to select curbside pickup so they could keep a safe distance.

“Customers really appreciate being able to do curbside pickup. It’s a one-stop shop. They can pick up their dog and pick up some goodies at the same time and be good to go.”

— Katherine Ostiguy
Co-Founder, Crossbones Dog Academy

Keeping track of inventory and managing it from anywhere

As Crossbones Dog Academy expanded from offering training services to selling retail items in-store and online, Katherine and Daniel had a lot of inventory to manage.

Luckily, Square automatically manages inventory across devices and locations and syncs online and in-person sales. If someone purchases the last of a particular dog toy online, Katherine and Daniel don’t have to worry about accidentally selling that same toy in their shop. Square inventory management also makes it easy to see which items are selling best and which items are low in stock, so they never run out.

“First thing on Monday morning, I go into inventory, sort by the low stock alert feature, and I see whatever we’re low on. That’s how I figure out what I need to order.”

— Katherine Ostiguy
Co-Founder, Crossbones Dog Academy

From on-the-go dog walking to building a full-service dog academy, Katherine and Daniel have proven they know how to keep their clients’ tails wagging. As they continue to add revenue streams to benefit their clients, Square is always there to help them expand their business.

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