7th February 2022
It’s controversial, it’s contentious and it’s not for everyone, but price matching products carried in your salon that your clients see online at a cheaper price is pretty much a guaranteed way to commit your clients to purchasing from you.
There is a reason John Lewis have stuck to their ‘price match’ claim for so many years, it sticks in people’s minds and even though their customers know that nine times out of ten they might well find a product at a cheaper cost if they go searching, the fact that it’s stated loud and proud in store gives a sense of trust to the brand and invariably people purchase there and then… this is also the case when they shop online at John Lewis, it’s such a clever strategy that salons should implement it right now.
Sometimes though, you have to take the hit to secure the sale, and if you end up selling the product at cost, or even at a slight loss, so be it, the benefits the sale brings far outweigh the fact you didn’t make any profit.
In this day and age when salons are struggling to retail, serious action needs to be taken. Without becoming hard sell and aggressive, anything that can encourage clients to buy direct from you has to be advantageous, not necessarily from a financial point of view, but definitely from a client loyalty one.
When your client sees that you care enough to say “we will match that price right here, right now” the emotional response, whilst not immediately noticeable, will stay with them, and next time they are looking to book an appointment, they won’t waiver in their decision to call your salon, and chances are they might buy into your salon products and more of your services without question. That won’t always happen by the way; some clients will forever search for the bargain, but at least you have created a loyal salon client by that one action of price matching on their last visit.
And then of course there’s the other challenging idea of the prices you charge for your products, current legislation is confusing to say the least but information on gov.uk states there is a difference between RRP and RPM.
RPM is where a supplier and a retailer agree that the retailer will not resell the supplier’s products below a specified price.
Recommended resale prices (RRP) to retailers are not RPM if the retailer can still resell at a price it wants and there are no threats or financial incentives for sticking to a RRP.
You may worry that if you do not co-operate with a supplier’s price-setting policies, they will stop doing business with you.
However, RPM agreements are usually unlawful because they prevent you from offering lower prices and setting your prices independently to attract more customers.
If you have been involved in RPM with your supplier, you may both be found to be breaking competition law.
For full details of RRP and the legal issues visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/resale-price-maintenance-advice-for-retailers/resale-price-maintenance-advice-for-retailers
My suggestion (Top Ten Tip No.1) to you, is to offer price match as a standard element of your business, it might just generate you some additional sales, some additional revenue in the long run, but most importantly it will lead to more loyal clients.