1st December 2020
It’s been a while since Don’t Sell was first published, almost 18 months to be exact(ish). The world has changed beyond recognition in that time, not only because covid-19 has gripped us for the best part of this year, but also because the explosion in e-commerce and m-commerce has changed the face of consumer shopping forever, and that has been magnified because of lockdown.
The slow demise of city and town centres continues, with daily news of stores and shops closing bring more doom and gloom to small independent businesses who need footfall to keep them afloat.
But it’s not all bad news, all the research and information gathered over the last few months has shown that consumers are more in tune with supporting their local shops and independent retailers, be that in bricks and mortar or via their online shops.
So the time felt right to revisit each chalet in Don’t Sell and see how relevant it is now. The good news, as far as I can see is that the information contained within each chapter remains valid and valuable, but, there are a few things that can be added to each chapter.
So that’s what I am going to do, revisit each individual chapel and add new information to them.
For those of you who have purchased a copy of Don’t Sell, the information will, hopefully, give you additional ammunition to help develop your team, build you online presence and grow your bricks and mortar business against all the challenges you and your ‘street’ face.
NOTE* ALL NEW TEXT IN BOLD CAPS
Chapter 1: Introduction: Being Amazonian
Let’s start by putting this book into context. It has not been written to turn you into a computer geek. Nor has it been put together to help you understand algorithms and all the tech stuff that online sites use to encourage your clients to shop.
It has been written as a tool for you to use to help your salon and staff understand to the dynamics of online shopping and how people are encouraged to buy when browsing the internet. Understanding this will help your business overcome the challenges that modern retailing brings to hairdressing.
Being Amazonian is about competing with online retailers and using the key differentiators which hairdressers have that online sites, Amazon and the like, would dearly love to replicate.
Those differentiators will always be unique and powerful, they are what makes our industry so special and all it takes is for your team to recognise them and retail sales will grow, that’s a fact! More about what the differentiators are later on.
We cannot and must never ever underestimate the power of shopping websites and their clever use of information and data that makes the online experience so targeted and tailored to each person’s web browsing history.
BEING AMAZONIAN HAS NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT TO YOUR BUSINESS, YOU HAVE TO FIGHT FOR YOUR PLACE IN THE CONSUMERS MINDS AND PURSES.
CONSUMERS ARE CURRENTLY BEING BOMBARDED WITH HOW CARING BIG ONLINE SHOPPING SITES ARE, TV ADS SHOW THAT THEY CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, THE WORKPLACE AND WORKFORCE, AND MOST OF ALL, THEY CARE FOR YOU. IT’S VERY CLEVER MARKETING AND IT’S SOMETHING YOU NEED TO REPLICATE FOR YOUR BUSINESS MODEL.
LET YOUR CLIENTS KNOW HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU; WHEN THEY ARE IN YOUR PREMISES, WHEN THEY CHECK OUT YOUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS AND WHEN THEY PURCHASE FROM YOU, WHEREVER THAT PURCHASE ORIGINATES FROM, BE IT THE RECEPTION DESK OR YOUR FACEBOOK SHOP (more about that in a future post).
SHOWING YOU CARE, IN PERSON AND ONLINE IS VERY IMPORTANT AS WE MOVE INTO A MORE CARING SOCIAL WORLD, IT MEANS YOU HAVE TO BE SINCERE AND GENUINE WITH YOUR COMMUNICATION METHODS,
IF YOU WANT TO REALLY EMBRACE THE CARING CULTURE THAT WE ARE CURRENTLY MOVING DEEPER INTO, IT MIGHT BE TIME TO START THINKING ABOUT GOOD CAUSES YOU CAN BE INVOLVED WITH, THIS IS SOMETHING ONLINE RETAILERS ARE STARTING TO GET THEIR TEETH INTO, SO DO THE SAME, AND SHARE WHAT YOU ARE DOING ON YOUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS.
Algorithms are genius, and are what makes the world of online shopping seem so personal and interesting when we sit at out laptop, or on tablets and mobiles, we feel special, like our very own personal shopper is recommending things we really want and need. The reality of it is, without being too techy, is that algorithmic values are just a way of data being linked together, cross referenced, honed down to a very appealing collection of items that match or are compatible with any given product searched for.
When a client types into a search engine ‘shampoo for dry hair, algorithms on the shopping site find everything related to that search term.
This includes everything other people have liked or bought, with or instead of, the initial searched for product. Then they create a big list of suggestions for the shopper, packed with lots of ideas and must have goodies which entice the shopper to buy.
Cleverly the algorithms are then shared with different social platforms so that the shopper sees the items pop up on Facebook, and other social sites, reminding the shopper about products they have viewed.
Being Amazonian is about recognising the value of computer programmes and the messages they give out. Then taking them, or at least our own version of them, simplifying the information and using the key points of difference we as hairdressers have, to deliver the same type of shopping experience whilst clients are in the salon.
ALGORITHM’S CONTINUE TO ADVANCE AND BECOME MORE PERSONALISED. THE TRUTH IS YOU, AS A HUMAN BEING, CAN NEVER KEEP UP WITH THEM, BUT YOU CAN USE YOUR OWN SOCIAL PLATFORMS, WEBSITE, AND FACE TO FACE COMMUNICATION TO BECOME MORE FOCUSSED ON THE OFFERING YOUR SALON / BUSINESS HAS.
ONLINE PLATFORMS STILL RELY ON GENERATING INTEREST AND ENGAGEMENT FROM THEIR SHOPPERS. NEXT TIME YOU SHOP ONLINE BE AWARE OF WHAT THE PLATFORM ACTUALLY DOES AS YOU BROWSE, THEN TAKE THAT ALGORITHMIC EQUATION AND MAKE IT HUMAN, NOT ONLY FOR THE FACE TO FACE CONVERSATIONS, BUT ALSO FOR YOUR FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM AND OTHER SOCIAL PAGES.
Search engines are clinical and super-speedy at providing information but that is not always the deciding factor about who shoppers trust to buy from.
First and foremost we are all humans and we have powerful one to one dialogue with people. That’s the biggest differentiator we have that online sites dream of creating.
THE SENTENCE ABOVE, STILL RINGS TRUE, ONE TO ONE DIALOGUE, REAL CONVERSATION IS STILL THE HOLY GRAIL, WE HAVE IT, ONLINE SHOPS DON’T.
BUT YOU, AS A SMALL INDEPENDENT CAN CREATE A MORE HUMAN APPROACH TO YOUR E-COMMERCE PLATFORM THAT YOUR CLIENTS WILL RECOGNISE AS ‘YOU’ AND MAKE THEM MORE LIKELY TO BROWSE AROUND YOUR ONLINE SHOP.
Perhaps one day mathematical equations will be created that mirror that real time human communication but that day is a long way off, even with artificial intelligence developing rapidly, human interaction will always be ahead of the technological programmes.
That’s what makes hairdressing so special, the opportunity to have real conversations with clients that can last from 30 minutes up to 3-4 hours.
Computers and online shopping sites simply don’t have that ability although they will strive until they achieve something close to it, you can see this in the introduction of ‘chat boxes’ that pop up on most shopping channels now.
Being Amazonian is also about recognising and acknowledging that talking about products should be as intuitive as an algorithm filtering through data to create a bespoke package of products online.
In the salon environment, using the time spent with clients to create a story for them to engage with over the duration of their visit, allows hairdressers opportunities for dropping into the conversation really important information about products and tools each time they are being used on the client’s hair and scalp.
Online gives everything in one quick action and it can be off putting, whereas salon time allows for gentle introductions of each individual item, as and when needed.
Add to that the fact that the hairdresser and client are communicating through touch as well as vocally and the message that is shared becomes extraordinarily powerful.
When a hairdresser states: “I’m using this on your hair because it’s incredible and will make your hair shine like glass,” and the client sees the product application and witnesses an immediate result, it generates maximum impact that is something special and magical. It’s a real-time, ‘seeing is believing’ experience, which simply cannot happen when shopping online.
SENSORIAL SHOPPING IS ANOTHER ‘BOOM’ THAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW AND IT’S ONE OF THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES SALONS HAVE TO CAPITALISE ON CONSUMER TRENDS. ONLINE SHOPS CAN’T LET YOU TEST THE FRAGRANCE, THE CONSISTENCY, THE EASE OF USE OF HAIRCARE PRODUCTS, YOUR TEAM ABSOLUTELY CAN!
CREATE A RETAIL ENVIRONMENT THAT ALLOWS SHOPPERS TO BROWSE, TO TEST, TO FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS. ENCOURAGE YOUR TEAM TO SHARE ALL THE INFORMATION CLIENTS ARE LOOKING FOR IN AN EASY TO UNDERSTAND WAY.
TELL THEM WHAT IT IS.
TELL THEM WHAT IT DOES.
TELL THEM HOW TO USE IT.
AND DON’T FORGET TO THINK OUTSIDE OF YOUR CURRENT RETAIL OFFERINGS, ADD IMPULSE PURCHASES TO YOUR SELECTIONS, ADD GOODS THAT AREN’TY NECESSARILY HAIR RELATED.
THINK LIKE PRIMARK AND THEIR HUGE BANK OF TILLS, SURROUNDED BY CHEAP AND CHEERFUL THINGS THAT SHOPPERS JUST PICK UP AND ADD TO THEIR BASKET.
THIS IS SOMETHING ONLINE SHOPS ALSO DO VERY WELL, THEY ALWAYS ADD EXTRAS FOR YOU TO CHOOSE FROM IF YOU SO WISH TO DO SO, ESPECIALLY SITES LIKE MOONPIG, WHERE ADD ON ITMES ARE ALWAYS SUGGESTED TO YOU BEFORE YOU GET TO CHECKOUT.
IF IT WORKS FOR MOONPIG, IF IT WORKS IN PRIMARK, IT WILL WORK FOR YOU.
In essence, Being Amazonian is all about not being hesitant about recommending something to the client that might benefit the hair and scalp. It’s about talking intuitively as the hair is being cut, coloured and styled, and it’s about not avoiding the fact that products and equipment that have been used can be purchased for use at home.
Now we have an understanding of what being Amazonian is about, let’s move on to some useful step by step information that can deliver results in your salon with immediate effect.
NEXT: CHAPTER 2, THE EASY OPTION AND HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR TEAM TO BE INTUITIVE WHEN TALKING RETAIL.
DON’T SELL CAN BE PURCHASED BY CLICKING HERE