In 2016, beauty industry shed more than 21,000 salons, which is almost 9 percent of the total no. of salons in 2016. It is an alarming stat. The reasons listed are various for this sharp reduction, for instance, escalating overheads, salon walkouts, salon suite/loft growth, bored customers and the standard of work. In other words, salons failed to lure customers with anything new or innovative. Moreover, salons also saw reduced profit margins and many were even operating at a loss. Hence, the question arises what the salon industry should do to make this business model work in the wake of increasing costs of worker compensation, social security, corporate tax, rent, insurance, etc.?
Adapting to the changing times
The answer isn’t very complicated. The salon industry needs to adjust to the changing times and trends, and the current age is the Digital Age. And to survive as a commercial enterprise, the salon industry needs to embrace the digital medium as have numerous other industrial sectors. One of the ways to do that is to have a website and mobile app for your salon business. A beauty salon app and the website is an extremely potent medium to showcase your work to your customers moreover it also makes it very convenient for consumers to check their appointment status, pricing, new designs, etc. Consider your website and mobile app as a 24×7 billboard for your salon, so make sure your website and mobile app are done in beautiful and user-friendly manner.
Use of social media
Additionally, the advent of social media has drastically cut down advertising costs for fledgling businesses. You can post valuable and exciting content on subjects that are valuable to your customers. Find their interests and determine what engages them. All this at virtually no additional promotional investment. In short through social media, you can show your current and potential customers that your services are the best. Also, the online presence for a salon shows that the salon’s thinking is up with the times and makes it far more accessible.
Google is the new metric of success in this digital age; every unfamiliar term is asked to be googled. So, make sure that your website is found on google. And it’s effortless to ensure that, with a bit of SEO practice just list your business on google maps, google my business and yelp.
Consumers have been evolving, their expectations and tastes are transforming. The shifts and changes occurring outside the salon industry have had an impact, and as a result of the business model too needs to adapt to those changes. E-commerce has affected brick and mortar stores seriously with 68 Macy’s stores closing along with 42 Sears locations and all the Limited stores. The society is rapidly transforming into an e-commerce society. The move towards digital has been motivated by the consumers’ growing need for instant gratification. Today consumers are too busy to be holding the line for a receptionist for booking an appointment. They want it to be done instantly using their laptop or smartphones.
New salon business model
So, what will the new salon business model look like? The new business model will primarily focus on making use of salon mobile app as a sort of personal concierge. For instance, when a consumer will enter the salon, the app will start to provide personalized and relevant content to the consumer as it is woken up from its inactive state by the in-store beacons.App features like the “personal shopper” will indicate the shoppers the locations to find their desired products, update them to the related items which the consumers might like and also tell them about the latest salon offers and services.
Moreover, the technology usage won’t stay limited to only that, salon management systems will manage all the aspects of salon business, and software like Hive can manage all those individual aspects together including appointment, stock management, payment processing, treatments and loyalty schemes. The software comes with an engine that is programmed to offer last minute deals and offers and even bookings.
Our lives have been revolutionized by technological advancements, one of the biggest of them being the digital tech. The shopper in us has gotten inseparably used to online shopping, paying a bill or book a holiday via digital means. And commerce sector hasn’t let that pass unnoticed, all of the major companies are rushing to have a digital portfolio to attract more and more consumers, especially the millennials.
“Digital is a new way of engaging with customers”
And the most convenient way to do that for small and fledgling salon businesses is to create a beauty salon app for their business, the investment needed is minimal whereas the penetration in the market offered it significantly. And its easy to get done too, salon app builders are more affordable and accessible today than ever, so if you have a salon business make sure you also are up with the times.
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