27th July 2021
Time to jump on the ‘retail bandwagon’
Having read numerous articles about the shift in retail and it’s impact on businesses, I thought it was time to add my own views on the matter.
Is retail in salon well and truly dead in the water or can it be revived?
My personal view (for what it’s worth) is that, if anything, there are bigger and better opportunities now, that, if you focus your team correctly, can reap benefits for you and your business.
Your clients, those people who trust you implicitly , and who are still in the ‘love being back in your salon’ mode are [still] experimenting with their hair … this is something we can thank lockdown for. As mentioned in previous blog posts, the pandemic encouraged people to play with their hair, sometimes with great results, and sometimes with disastrous endings.
You have probably dealt with most of the disasters by now, because those people who had a bad experience came back to you, their trusted partner as soon as they could.
What seems to have been missed since returning to salons across the land is the fact, and this is a fact, that consumers, in their droves, headed to online shopping platforms and purchased more products than ever before during the pandemic. Not only did they purchase the products they normally get from you, if they could find them online, but they also popped new products into their baskets, just because they were in a shopping frame of mind and because online platforms know how to entice and encourage consumers to purchase more.
So we now find ourselves in a situation where bathroom cabinets (once again) everywhere are groaning with mistakes, products that are not suitable for use on YOUR CLIENTS hair.
And yet, it hasn’t stopped clients from purchasing more stuff that probably won’t do what they are hoping for.
So now is the time to take back what you once had, that being, your clients retail purchases coming from you and not from an online site or a chemist / supermarket or other outlet.
We have been here before and over the years have built confidence with salon teams and clients so that retail became a part of the service offered. It never really reached it’s full potential and perhaps it never will, but instead of letting a client make a decision based on what an online platform offers, it’s now the perfect moment to rebuild and grow a really strong retail element of your salon.
What do you need to do?
1: Check your retail offering, how broad is its appeal? if you only offer mid priced retail you miss out on clients who purchase entry level (cheaper) products, and also clients who are looking for an aspirational haircare brand. The wider the price range, the better chance you have of capturing more sales.
2: Create offers that are appealing, online platforms, chemists and supermarkets continually give you the opportunity to make a saving on multiple purchases, you have to do the same!
3: Talk retail on your social platforms, remember that every hairstyle you share has been created with the help of products, make sure the products are mentioned and shown in your social stories. If you have an e-commerce platform promote it constantly in-salon and on your social pages.
4: Get your team on board, take a serious look at the commission structure you have in place, does it excite or does it seem way out of reach for your staff to earn anything worthwhile? If you want to grow your retail business, your team has to benefit in ways that make it appealing to them.
5: Be realistic. you are not going to get a new Range Rover every year from your retail sales, but you can generate enough incremental revenue to help with salon training, refurbishments and staff nights out. use your retail profits as the ‘piggy bank’ for in-house improvements and development.
6: Don’t be scared of checking out other brands out-with your major product supplier. Online platforms, chemists and supermarkets have a huge variety of choices; that excites consumers … and those consumers are your clients, buying from someone other than you!
7: Invest in retail, don’t play about with it, if you want to claim back your clients purchases they need to see you have a retail shop, not a shelf or two with a few dusty products stacked on them.
8: Look at linking with local independent companies that offer additional, non-hair related goods, jewellery, home made soaps, art, scarves, anything and everything that creates a more dynamic feel to your shopping experience that encourages clients to browse and impulse purchase! Also, wherever possible commit to donating a % of profits to a local good cause, Kindness is key and will continue to be so, and your clients will love you for doing something good for the community!
9: Make sure whatever you use in salon (aside from chemical services) is available to purchase, Don’t use £350 dryers to blow-dry if you only offer £35 dryers for retail, it doesn’t equate with the client. Brushes, combs, anything and everything you can recommend as a purchase, you should stock.
10: Last, but by no means least, tell your team that you DON’T want them to SELL anything, but you do what them to TELL clients about EVERYTHING. The days of selling are over and done with, it’s all about recommending and letting clients make their own judgements.
The future of retail really is in your hands, it’s not going to grow without you investing time and money into it. You can rest on your laurels and take whatever little retail comes your way, or you can fight back with the most powerful tool you have, that’s YOU and YOUR TEAM, COMMITMENT and RENEWED ENERGY.
Go on, you know you can do it, you just need to push forward and the future of retail is absolutely yours for the taking.