4 Ways Salon and Spa Owners Can Improve Retail Sales
By Ray Ko
Every salon or spa owner knows that retail is an important source of revenue that can boost their bottom line, but many don’t know that retail sales can contribute up to 25% of revenue! This is because margins are higher for retail products than they are for styling services, making retail sales a hidden opportunity that can really boost a salon or spa’s bottom line, especially during slow periods.
Most salons in the U.S. closed temporarily due to COVID-19 restrictions and the subsequent loss of clients due to fears over coronavirus. Owners are now looking forward to reopening as more and more people get vaccinated and back to a semblance of normality.
Here are four tips to help you increase your salon retail sales in 2021 to help make up for lost revenue during COVID.
1. Educate your team members. Coaching and motivating your staff is the best way to sharpen their selling skills. You can also motivate them by rewarding commissions on every sale and announcing bonuses for top-sellers on your team. Make sure you don’t offer commissions that are a high percentage of your employee’s salary, however, as you don’t want to take away their attention from their main job of serving customers with top-notch salon services. Sales commissions are only meant to enhance with a supplemental income - not become the sole financial driver for an employee.
Make sure to meet regularly with your team to discuss new retail products and how they can benefit clients. Keep these meetings simple, focus only on a few products and practice interactions that the team can have with clients to potentially sell items. Organizing monthly or quarterly sales competitions is also a great way to get the team talking about sales strategies and to share information with each other. Keep it friendly and not too competitive to encourage those who are more reserved about selling products. Remind associates that everyone wins with a boost in salon revenues from retail sales.
2. Leverage interaction time with stylists. There are several steps during a client’s interaction with your stylist where products can seamlessly be introduced that would enhance the client’s overall experience, especially after they leave the salon. For example, at the initial consultation, if the customer is changing their hair color or style, this is an ideal opportunity to suggest styling or color care products to extend a customer’s satisfaction with their new style or color. At the shampoo bowl, stylists could introduce certain products that keep hair healthy and shiny. The end of a cut is a great time to suggest how guests can maintain their look by suggesting pomade, gel, mousse or other styling items.
Demonstrate a product’s effectiveness whenever possible by having sample products open and readily available for clients to try. Finally, the checkout counter is another opportunity to introduce products. Some salons like to use a rule of three sales tactic at the counter. With one product on the counter, it’s 50% more likely a retail item will sell; two products increases the likelihood to 75% and three bumps the likelihood up to 90%. The law of diminishing returns kicks in at four products, though, where the chances drop to 50%.
3. Display your products right. If you want to boost retail sales, make sure that your product displays are well placed to stand out and get attention. Start by placing products in can’t-miss locations where people’s eyes naturally focus, like near the entrance, next to mirrors or even better, if you have a waiting area, then next to the place where people sit to await their appointment time.
Most salon products come in bottles and jars, tubes, or small packets, and these can be neatly arranged with ease. It is best to use some special display tools, like risers to elevate special products, and to place fast-moving products at eye-level. Don’t forget to move products regularly to keep your displays fresh. Also, use acrylic sign holders to point customers to special offers and discounts. Signage can help ensure that your products are not overlooked. Finally, don’t forget to take pictures of your retail product displays and publish them on Instagram, your website and other social media to let your customers see your colorful displays and get excited about featured products.
4. Promote your products online. You can achieve greater in-store sales by getting the word out about products in a number of different ways. Social media is high on the list of most salon and spa owners as the ideal way to communicate with clients, but don’t forget about advertising on your own website, too. Offer tutorial videos and content that describes your products’ benefits. Once you have created content on your website, you can leverage that content to share on social channels, and even send targeted emails to your customer contact list. Instagram and Facebook are ideal for posting paid video and photo advertising that will help you get the word out about the great products you offer, find new followers and generate more leads. Google PPC ads are another great advertising tool that can help build an audience for your services and the products you sell.
Your business can be greatly enhanced by educating your stylists on how to spot retail selling opportunities while interacting with clients. If they can effectively enhance their relationship with customers by offering beneficial products to your customers, it will be a win-win for the business and the employees. Focus on team efforts when educating employees about salon retail opportunities, as competition may hinder full participation. Experiment with some of the ideas and strategies discussed in this post, and there is no reason your business can’t break product sales figures even beyond 25%.