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Beauty Salon Retail And Marketing

Updated on August 14, 2010

Is Your Beauty Professional On Trend Or A Hot Mess?

The beauty industry has been forced to rapidly adapt to the changing spending habits of clients due to the economic slowdown. Services are being rendered after extended periods with as much as 2 to 3 weeks longer than usual. Product is selling at a slower pace too because people are more money conscious and diversion is a concern for salons. So what are beauty salons and professionals doing to encourage client loyalty and repeat business?

As a professional marketer in an appearance based trade I've seen salons adding extra services and courtesies that gaining popularity that aren't that complicated. Instead of a regular coffee or tea, an espresso or cappuccino with Biscotti is offered for waiting clients that appreciate a little extra pampering, which creates more of an upscale feel. I do have to mention that this one little 4 chair salon invested in a big beverage machine that did it all with the press of a button, it was impressive but it's an option, especially if no one can make a good cup of coffee, like me.

I left my long time salon last year just because I didn't like the impersonal service. As a mom when I take time out for me away from my family, I don't want deliveries and phone calls interrupting my time with the stylist, who also was the owner. I get enough of that at home and wouldn't dream of doing that to a client of mine. It was a busy location with a chic Tuscany style decor with lots of fresh stock but poor service and a messy station are what turned me off. Has that ever made you move on?

Speaking of decor, another under developed marketing strategy is appearance and presentation. When was the last time the salon you visit got an update? Are the tools and supplies from the 80's or 90's? That stylist I went to had an worn out leather tool belt on his station that was covered in clippings and product. I even offered to gift one that I saw at a beauty professional trade show, but he "loved" his old one. A professional invests in their skills and tools and should be aware of their own image. As I approach salons now with my marketing I take note of these things because it also tells me if they are willing to try my services or not.

So how long has that product been in that display case you wonder? Is it dusty or gotten sun bleached? How can anyone complain about diversion if product is just sitting there. Boosting retail is a widely untapped avenue for creating extra revenue and it should be given serious thought. Retail is not just for moving inventory or commissions for a stylist, it educates the client on what products are best for their particular look or concerns and is based on the professional's recommendations. For some reason, my former stylist never did that and I left many a time empty handed when I asked for more details on what he used. No sales skills are really required as typically thought by cosmetologists, they just have to talk about what they used and what the client should use at home. Simple.

If you are a salon owner, cosmetologist, makeup artist or other kind of beauty professional consider keeping your services looking appealing and up to date. Take photos of your location as if to create a brochure or gallery then ask yourself some hard questions: Would you patronize that location based on the photo results? Does that supply area or kit need a good disinfecting? Would fresh paint or new wall photos update the look? Call a staff meeting and get their input and make a plan. In a business that's all about image, a few strategical tasks may attract new business and retain existing clients. In the end it could make the difference between them coming to you over the competition and thriving instead of surviving a tough financial time..


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