Management Practices

Be Where Your Retail Is

Paul Tate | April 5, 2013 | 10:00 AM

Be Where Your Retail IsTake a good look around your salon. Where are your retail displays? Where is your front desk?  Where are the people that help your clients with retail? If these three areas aren’t in sync, you could be missing serious opportunities for getting more retail sales.

You may be thinking to yourself, when I go into a department store I always browse the sections looking for what I want, mingling with sales assistants, before I make my way to the checkout to pay. In a salon, there’s one big difference: the client has a service in between, leaving the retail browsing disjointed, minimized and overlooked.This means that you have to create a solution to the disjointed process of the retail experience. The great news is that mobile technology may just be your savior.  

By using tablets as part of the consultation and creating a roaming front desk, you have the ability to break the barriers of traditional retail stations. Your stylists can use their iPads not just for the consultation, but for virtually walking their clients to the retail area and talking them through the products used and the products the client has purchased in the past. They can bring up product details and even pictures of the styles it can achieve.

As the client makes a choice, that product can be added to the point of sale then and there, rather than waiting to get to the desk where the client may forget what was recommended. Alternatively, you can have a dedicated retail specialist that roams the retail area helping clients with retail before and after the service, similar to the traditional department experience.

Additional benefits to having a roaming tablet in your salon include having retail ‘cheat sheets’ saved on your tablet that give your team talking points and visual back-up to talk your clients through the products and their application. This helps with the sales pitch and doesn’t clutter your shelves with too many shelf talkers.

Beyond the sales benefits, salons can use tablets and iPads for doing inventory maintenance, too. During slow times your retail specialists or front desk team can grab their tablet to do inventory counts and re-ordering away from the desk making your front desk streamlined and entirely focused on your clients needing help.  

Paul Tate is CEO of Shortcuts Smarter Business Technology, which provides intuitive online and offline support to salons and spas across the world, offering  solutions in nine languages to more than 12,000 clients in 46 countries. Shortcuts clients range from single-site businesses to multi-site chains. Designing systems specifically for the beauty industry, Shortcuts is continually updating its core products with the largest R&D team in the industry and business experts across all the major markets. 

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