As the pandemic shuttered doors last year, many salons rushed to develop independent online stores or align themselves with a manufacturer that offered an affiliate marketing program that shared a retail commission with the salon and/or its stylists.
These important efforts kept product flowing to clients and revenue coming into the coffers while salons were closed. When doors reopened, salons maintained these digital efforts because online commerce is an expectation of convenience for today’s consumer, plus it provided a retail solution when inventory and supply issues are leaving shelves sparse.
Atelier Studio in San Jose, California, was one of the salons that partnered with Aveda's A-Commerce retail platform, developing a webpage within the platform so clients could order product online, the manufacturer fulfills and ships the order, and Atelier receives a flat commision.
Atelier Owner Karie Bennett thought about her past experience with QR codes and how they might be able to help her drive online retail sales. Several years ago, Bennett embraced the QR code, putting one on a window cling that encouraged after-hours passerby to check out the salon's website so they could discover the location's open hours and book appointments.
When the COVID restrictions in California kept her business closed for months on end, Bennett used a free QR code creator she found online, then printed the code on stickers at Vistaprint. The code leads clients to the salon's A-commerce webpage, and Bennett started putting the stickers on bags that were going out for curbside pickup. Today, the salon is open and bustling with business, and the QR code stickers remain on retail bags.
“We make it clear to clients that the salon benefits by way of a commission when they purchase on our A-Commerce site, and we let them know shipping is free and they will receive free samples,” Bennett says. “Now that the salon is open, it’s become our answer to the client who says she doesn’t want to purchase a recommended product today, but takes a picture of the product so she can search for it online later. If clients want to purchase online, they will do it, but it’s better to direct them a site where their purchase will still benefit the salon. and we can guarantee the quality of the product they are receiving.”
And, Bennett continues to find uses for QR codes.
“When we transitioned to Aura Salonware earlier this year, we developed a QR code on a mirror cling, so clients could easily connect to our app while sitting in our chairs and they use it to rebook their next appointment, check out from the chair, or order product that is packaged and waiting for them as they leave,” Bennett says.
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