The importance of retail

If you know me, you will know I am passionate about retail in all its many varying guises. From on-line to on-shelf, the world of retail fascinates me and, as a consummate consumer I like to keep up to date with everything that is new as well as checking out…

13th March 2023

If you know me, you will know I am passionate about retail in all its many varying guises. From on-line to on-shelf, the world of retail fascinates me and, as a consummate consumer I like to keep up to date with everything that is new as well as checking out innovative ways to purchase regular favourite products. I see lots of fabulous ranges that have been created to appeal to different age groups (check this link: GENERATIONS) and the imagery and marketing that goes along with brands is always fascinating to look at and analyse. What is created from a product and imagery perspective is aimed at appealing to consumers (like me) and that’s why big retailers, be them bricks and mortar, on-line web shops or a hybrid of both create a constant stream of visually appealing materials to maintain their profile and encourage shoppers to shop.

Now let’s look at hairdressing salons. It never fails to frustrate the life out of me that this creative industry that we work in, in the main doesn’t seem to want to capitalise on the full potential retail offers. I see some salons that truly embrace every aspect of retailing and use it as an absolute integral part of their business and service element for their clients. These forward thinking businesses understand the fact that retail is very important and they are not afraid to invest in stocking a wide range of products from lots of different companies.

And then there are the vast majority of salons that treat their retail offering as an after thought, a few products lined up on some shelves, there just in case someone wants to buy something. This usually happens because the salon team are not excited or engaged with the products on their shelves, and as such are not going to recommend it. It can also happen because the teams don’t understand the basic skills of retailing. And of course it can happen because some salons simply don’t want to invest in shelves full of products that just sit there and do nothing…. dead money!

And then there is the tie in with the company that supplies their chemical products, sometimes it’s just easier to add a few bottles of this and that when placing a colour order; hardly the most positive reason for stocking a brand. Of course it’s always a positive step to tie in brands that come from the same product house, but it’s not the main reason for stocking the products that will encourage your team to recommend to their clients.

The world of retail should be a natural part of any salons offering, and with the incredible amount of products available to choose from, it should be a major aspect of any clients visit. So here’s my top ten tips for making your retail offering a successful part of your business.

1: Stock more than one range, and use different companies products for different reasons, (see GENERATIONS post)

2: Utilise the product company marketing materials to promote all the ranges you carry, in-salon and on your social pages.

3: Carry ‘entry level’ products, these are the most affordable for clients who may not have ever purchased salon professional brands. Include ‘mid range’ products as well, these will be the most popular purchases so make sure you have a broad selection and include the products that link in with your colour brand. And then add an ‘aspirational brand’, a high end designer driven collection that clients can aspire to.

4: Educate, educate and then educate some more. Ensure that your team fully understand all the products that are on your shelves. Without fundamental knowledge about the ranges you carry, no one in your team will feel fully confident in recommending anything.

5: Use promotional activités to encourage more retailing. Big retailers and on-line web shops use every special occasion to generate incremental sales and revenue. (hint- Easter is coming).

6: Encourage clients to review their products and services on your social platforms, involve them in your Facebook page, get them to share the message about products on your behalf. The more social sharing the better.

7: Create a loyalty programme that encourages purchases… be generous with the points you award for any product that a client purchases.

8: Incentivise your team, set achievable targets that everyone can hit and reward as generously as you can.

9: Don’t let the products on your shelves sit and gather dust. Clean everything regularly and move products around so that your shelves always look fresh and interesting.

10: PRICE EVERYTHING, a clear price label helps both clients and team members when it comes to the nerve wracking conversation about ‘How much is it??”.

Never underestimate the importance of retail.  Always remember, clients have to purchase products for their hair and scalp from somewhere, and it’s better for you, your team, and your client if they purchase from you.





Drawing on personal experiences, salon business and the challenges sales people face in their daily life,
I’ve created a story that can be used in salons and on sales calls that will help overcome the challenges faced in the world of retailing.

Start Telling