Despite all the doom and gloom of e-commerce takeover and the threats to brick and mortar business sales 92.3% of retail sales were made in-stores.
Obviously, as a hair stylist, you could not cut clients hair from your website anyways but it is reassuring that only 8% of the sales were made online. (Source: HBR, Quarterly stats)
Now that we know that Brick and Mortar is here to stay, we can all take a deep breath and focus on the changes to the way people buy services and how to adapt to the changes in order to keep your business growing.
Here are some ideas to make the most of your brick and mortar salon
Creating Experience in-salon
Waiting for the clients to walk in is so yesterday. Creating new client experience will become more important.
New Brick-and-mortar salons need to look into offering more than the shop floor. Every salon is different, every business model can be operating differently, but every business is in the business of taking the money and creating better client experience.
A number of retailers that do well have started offering more than stuff and the retail space, for example creating complementary client events and VIP invitations is one way to create a better experience. Noone can buy such experience online. You, as a shop-owner have an opportunity to offer that.
Pop-ups and one-off events are another way to create experiences. From local festivals to bigger nationwide events pop-up boutiques can offer something no other e-commerce shop will be able to offer.
Getting clients to come back again and again and attract new ones requires thinking outside salon box time to start offering your clients something more than a hair cut.
Personalized hair service
Retailers have been offering personalized shopping for a while. Why not offer a personalized hair style shopping experience. After all, everyone wants to look and feel good, and it starts with hair. In one example, one online brand launched a brick and mortar shopping experience with a catch, shoppers were allowed to try everything on but only allowed to place the orders online which would be delivered home. It was a successful campaign experiment, that also serves as a great research experience, proving that even exclusive online shops do better with brick-and-mortar.
Technology for brick-and-mortar
Clients are more tech-savvy than ever, especially the millennials. In order to survive the digital age brick and mortar salons must start incorporating smart digital elements into the in-salon experience. The elements of technology can include:
- Digital screens that display personalized content
- Sending coupons, vouchers and other sales incentives directly to client’s smartphones
- Cloud-based POS (point of sale) systems to process transactions anywhere in store vs at the stationary cash
Staff – Staff – Staff
It is surprising how many people need to be told to smile and prioritize client greeting and taking bookings over everything.
Not only it is worth investing in your staff training, it is a requirement if you want to avoid cash draining through your fingers
The receptionist is not someone who answers the phone, they are your sales machines, it is where all your money is made, cash is registered, sales bookings taken. Yet staff is not trained to follow strict sales and customer service rules.
Increasingly clients are interested in the company stories, behind the scene details and human touch, empowering your staff with information not only about hair products but about your company and product or service history is key to future-proofing your brick and mortar retail space will thrive.
Brick and mortar is here to stay for as long as we need to use hands and a pair of scissors to cut hair, the trick is that the shop owners who adapt to the moving world and invest in future-proofing salon businesses will survive.
Tamara Machavariani Forrest-Smith