Few small beauty business owners focus on retailing, yet retail product sales have the potential to support service revenue and increase profit margins. Considering retail has a much higher profit margin than services, focusing on a retail strategy can increase the bottom line and salon success. We have assembled a list of tips designed to attract customers and increase retail sales:
No1- Sell products you believe in
Sell the products used during services in the retail area of your salon or spa. If you’re passionate about a product or a brand and genuinely believe in it's performance, it will be evident. Clients are far more likely to purchase a product if recommended authentically. A salon that is lucky enough to co-brand with a prestige hair or beauty brand inherits associated recognition and trust.
No2 - Demonstrate and display products
Product demonstrations allow you to show off your expertise as well as a product's performance. Rather than talk about the finisher you’re using on the client’s hair, hand them the product to examine for themselves. Let them touch and smell it - creating a tangible connection. Ideally, every appointment should conclude with customized product recommendations.
No3 - Product Recommendations
Selling retail is simply equipping your clients with the products required to recreate their new look at home themselves. Style maintenance is the last step of your salon service and contributes enormously to client satisfaction. As a professional stylist, your product recommendations create both loyalty and trust.
Retail Tip: Every time you sell a client retail product, client retention (for that client) goes up 30%!
No4 - Tempt customers with a first time discount
Even a small discount (10%) may be enough to sway a client into purchasing a product for the first time. Casually mention that you’re able to offer a first time discount if they express an interest in the product or compliment it as you’re using it. Keep in mind the potential of future repurchase profits.
No5 - Window displays
Regularly freshen-up your window displays to match seasonal changes and trends. Walk or drive-by traffic will be drawn in by new, interesting displays. Dress up your windows to match the occasion and include retail product in your displays to entice and communicate your product offerings.
No6 - Keep displays neat and inviting
Organized, creative, colorful product displays draw the eye are much more likely to tempt curious clients. Create a boutique environment by investing in details that make your retail area standout.
Retail Tip: The first place guests naturally look when they enter a salon is to the right, so merchandise products on a display table to the center-right of the door where clients walk in.
No7 - Let customers touch and try products
For beauty retail products it’s important that clients be able to touch and try the products before purchase to guarantee satisfaction. Offer "testers" of every item you sell from eye shadow to fragrance – few will be able to resist! This applies to hair tools as well; display a "tester" appliance allowing potential consumers to hold it, feel the weight, and get an overall 360° view.
Retail Tip: If the product is stocked below or behind the display it encourages clients to pull and purchase. Cha-ching!
No8 - Pick products with obvious selling points
It’s human nature to be curious and it’s hard to resist trying a new lip shade, whiff a scent, or browse pretty objects. In addition to salon retail, mix in seasonal merchandise such as headbands, clips, makeup, jewelry, cosmetic bags and greeting cards (perfect accompaniment to a salon gift card). Unique retail items displayed and merchandised add to a guest's "salon experience".
No9: Try me station
Create a "Try Me" Station to encourage clients to test products. The station should be located at a mirror with a chair and a duplicate set of testers, cotton balls, tissue and Q-tips. Encourage testing with a "try me" sign at the station.
No10 - Point of sale signage
Point of sale signage, or shelf talkers, mixed into retail displays both inform and encourage purchase. Signage should be designed to clearly communicate product attributes, ingredients and price.
No11 - Loyalty cards or points
Set up a retail reward program - offer rewards when clients spend over a specific dollar amount on retail products or buys a specific number of retail products. This encourages guests to purchase retail from your salon, and your salon only. Salon management software helps you track client’s spending and reward loyalty.
No12 - Hold product parties
Boost retail sales by throwing an after-hours "invite only" product party. This is a fun and social way to reward loyal clients, as well as introduce them to the latest retail launches. Tempt clients with free treatments, mini-spa services, or discounts on products purchased the night of event. Give-away product samples or discount coupons off their next salon retail purchase.
No13 - Front desk retail follow up
Even if you or your salon stylist has spoken enthusiastically about a product, it’s the front desk that often seals the deal; set up a system that includes a retail follow-up at check out.
No14 - Team competitions
Run an informal retail competition between your employees – the stylist that sells the most each week gets a free product of their choice – or an alternative cash prize.
Pictured Durance store design by GENEROUS, Paris – France