How to boost retail sales during & post lockdown
By Guest Writer | 04 June 2020 | Expert Advice, Feature
Beauty brand consultants and founders of Buzz Beauté, Denise Dente & Jessica Quick, discuss how to up the ante on your retail during and post lockdown…
Service revenue has been deeply impacted by the reduced number of consumers, the need for social distancing and concerns over public safety. Now is the time to pivot and lean into retail to get much-needed income, but how?
Service to revenue pivot for spas & salons
Ultra-fluffy robes, signature scented candles, luxury haircare, nail polish and beauty accessories, we acknowledge that resorts, spas and salons have retail available and ready to shop. But let’s face it, the primary revenue stream comes from services, so we pack our menus with a broad range of treatments and upsell add-ons to generate more revenue. Alternatively, we lose sight of the amazing retail products that we carefully curated once placed on the shelves.
For most, retail is considered an incremental sale, something that’s offered but not our focus, until now. Service revenue has been deeply impacted by the lack of clients due to months of salon closure, the need for social distancing and concerns over public safety. Now is the time to pivot, lean into retail and use it to gain lost revenue, but how?
It’s time to get scrappy and learn from others.
Due to COVID-19, once-bustling restaurants have transformed into neighbourhood takeaways as well as offering home delivery. They have diversified to meet a new demand and to stay in business. The pivot to retail is happening.
Our golden rule is ‘be where the customer is’ and right now they are nestled inside their home, yet anxious to still live life and have experiences. Whether through a government-imposed mandatory stay at home order or by choice, customers are staying home. As they remain safely tucked away, they are bored. Parents desperate to keep kids busy are causing massive sales spikes in jigsaw puzzles (up 300% as reported by toy companies) and local bike shops are sold out while bicycle manufacturers work around the clock to keep up with demand.
Hobbies such as exercise, crafting and birdwatching are combating the stress of being locked inside. And of course, enjoying libations as Nielsen data reports a 55% increase in alcohol sales.
It’s clear that the Cocoon and Carry On culture has altered consumer behaviour, so how can spas and salons pivot to capture consumer spending and drive revenue during this unprecedented time?
As you have probably gathered, we believe the opportunity lies in RETAIL. At Buzz, we are creating customised strategies and action plans to help salon, resorts and spas pivot to capture much-needed revenue during this time.
To make the pivot to retail:
- Focus on the customer
- Create a compelling value proposition
- Develop marketing strategies and tactics
1. Focus on the customer
- Existing customers– become hyper-focused on what customers love about what you do and why they come to your salon.
Your customers already enjoy your manicure, pedicure, massage, hair colour, facial, etc. so now let’s offer them something to buy. Offer them a kit of products to experience part of the service at home. Look around your salon, then create gift sets, look to offer your signature robes, pedicure slippers or the famous green juice you always serve. Tell them how they will benefit from it and make it super easy to purchase from you.
TOP TIP – Consider offering something free first; asample, education or a recipe. Send them a note or text that you are here for them and that you would love to have them follow you on social and/or visit your e-commerce site.
- New Customer – identify who else could benefit from what you’re offering. This might be friends and family of existing customers, cross-promote with other businesses or manufacturers of products you carry. Leverage social media to gain a new audience and get more eyeballs on you, your salon and your product offerings. Create a desire and interest in what you do.
2. Create a compelling value proposition
- Take the experience home. Identify what makes your salon unique and offer retail items that bring that experience into their home.
TOP TIP – If your salon has a signature scent, then contact customers and offer to have that scent delivered to them for an experience at home.
- Curate the right product mix, which might be different between your on-line e-commerce and in-salon offering. To up your retail game, you may need an additional assortment to what you have been offering.
- Provide a solution to a problem and communicate that.
TOP TIP – The client may have a problem with their nails and hands looking tired, dry, cracked and scaly. Create a home nailcare kit with hot tips on how to take care of their hands and remind them you’ll be there when lockdown is over to give luxury manicures.
- Add a clear benefit that the customer will get when they buy from you. It could be deluxe samples, product curated specifically for them or a DIY tip at home.
3. Develop marketing strategies and tactics
- Turn your services into products you can sell.
TOP TIP – Let’s say you’re a salon that offers a signature scented salt glow with manicure or massage and it’s one of your most popular products. Consumers love it because it’s unique and reminds them of their vacation. Create a retail product pack, design a home-treatment step-by-step and package beautifully so it has a sense of style when it arrives. Have one of your most outgoing therapists/tech do a quick video (aka commercial) on using the product as an at home treatment with step-by-step. Post on your social channel, have an easy click to buy button and offer to include a gift card if they are sending to someone else. You could also send the video out to your customer base as a direct email campaign.
- Develop a full e-commerce strategy to drive more sales
TOP TIP – make sure your website is easy to navigate and shop; offer product reviews so people can see what others’ say about each product, make checkout fast and easy, cross-promote products, offer a choice of free samples at checkout, either don’t charge for shipping or charge the minimum amount.
- Create a 360-communication plan with customised e-mail campaigns, but make sure you keep adding value or they will opt-out.
Sell on social.
- Leverage Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and other social channels as sales platforms for product.
TOP TIP – Get creative with little videos like product spotlights, DIY ideas or offer a quick tip. Anything that adds value to the customer in exchange for her/his time.
Pivoting to retail is a shift, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Start with small changes and a focus and watch how momentum builds. Your customers, family and friends want to support you and your staff, so now is the time to find new ways to offer your unique talents and knowledge (and make revenue from it). At Buzz Beauté we have seen dozens of businesses find success through online retail and we want you to as well.