Expert Tips on How to Succeed in a Retail-Saturated Environment
We all know that selling retail is the way to be profitable in the salon industry. So what do you do when you’re in a region that is heavily saturated with retail chains? We sat down with Anthony from Zazu Salons to see how he is tackling this issue head on and paving the way for a new future.
What problems are you facing with the changing retail environment?
Our Salon is located in the largest city outside of Chicago, Illinois and used to be surrounded by mom and pop shops. Over the past ten years, the area has converted to big box retail stores such as Ulta, Sephora, Mac, Blue Mercury, etc. all within a few blocks of the salon. Our customers were coming into the salon with bags full of product from Ulta that were purchased without professional consultation on what was best for their hair.
What have you done to direct retail back to you?
After some deliberation, we came up with Zazu Exchange. Through this program, we offer services in exchange for products purchased in the salon. Where big box retailers will give you a $2.50 coupon or trial sizes for certain dollar amounts purchased, we’ll give a free blowout, for example. If you show us your loyalty, then we’ll show you our appreciation by giving free services.
Has this loyalty program been sustainable?
Yes! Before the program, about 1 in 5 customers walked out with product. Now, almost every customer leaves the salon purchasing a product with bespoke consultation, leaving the customer with an enriched haircare experience, and us more profitable. This program has also increased our walk-ins per month by about 80% since its inception. This has increased the client list of even our most veteran stylists, which has in turn helped them stay excited and creative.
How do you incentivize your staff?
The involvement at which our stylists choose to participate is directly correlated to the new business they acquire. New clients means more revenue, and more opportunity to create new and exciting looks. Our partnership with L’Oréal Professionnel also provides them with continuous education opportunities that keep them excited and inspired as artists.
What are some tips for salons trying to do the same?
- Trust your numbers. If they make sense, don’t be afraid of them.
- Get your staff on board. If your stylists aren’t excited about your practices, the customer will notice and the promotion won’t work.
- Support is everything. To be successful, strong leaders in the salon, partnerships with brands like LP are key to your success.