Teddie Kossof's E-Store Grows Retail Sales, Solidifies Loyalty

In business for more than 40 years, Teddie Kossof Salon in Northfield, Illinois—or “Teddie’s” as their clients call them—seeks to be a “one-stop-shop” for their clients, more than 2,000 of whom are served weekly at their full-service facility. Under one roof, Teddie’s delivers hair, skin and makeup services while offering amenities from dressmaking to dental care and cosmetic surgery.

This “beauty emporium,” as co-owner Alan Kossof refers to the salon, seeks to be known locally on Chicago’s North Shore as a prestige beauty destination, in store and online, hence the projected third-quarter launch of Teddie’s e-store.

The e-store will be as fast and easy as Amazon or any other modern online marketplace, and is integrated with the salon’s Millenium software to automatically update inventory records. Online shoppers also will be rewarded with “Teddie Points,” loyalty program points convertible to salon services and product, so there is essentially no difference between buying products online and at the front desk.

To compliment the launch of their e-store, Teddie’s recently opened a 350-square-foot retail store within their space with a dedicated checkout area, and product sales have seen an average 20 percent increase, pushing totals to more than 25 percent of service numbers. “Our motivation to change the retail side was just the potential we knew existed – the amount of volume that our business already generates,” says Kossof.

He hopes his e-store, which is currently in beta testing, will capture the client that is purchasing their beauty products online, as Kossof is offering products at prices that meet or beat Amazon pricing. In circumstances where vendors don’t allow discounted MSRP, the salon will offer a gift with purchase in the form of salon credits to compete with lower pricing.

This will not be Kossof’s first go into the online space. Ten years ago, they were one of the first salons to implement e-commerce and introduce the ability for someone to print an instant gift certificate from their website, a program they call Instagift. This year, they also offered their annual Series Sale online, a program that allows clients to pre-purchase service packages at promotional rates. By offering this sale both in-store and online, the salon did $100,000 in pre-paid service sales, $5,000 of which came from online sales. They expect online sales for this event to double in 2015.

By competing in the online space with discounted product pricing, and by offering incentives to clients such as the Series Sale, Kossof hopes to increase customer loyalty. “People expect a deal.  A salon needs to be forward thinking about client retention and create a strategy that binds the client not only to their stylist, but to the salon as well. As a business, you need to think about what you are doing for your client,” Kossof says.

“Oftentimes, salon owners don’t realize that they are relying on that relationship between a stylist and client, and leaving a lot to risk. In the unfortunate case of a walkout, a client is left to make a decision. If the salon hasn’t done anything for the client, and their only reason for coming to the salon was because of ‘Sally Stylist,’ then clients move on,” Kossof shares.

 To increase customer loyalty, he stresses the importance of staying ahead of the curve with technology, as it is only going to continue to evolve. “People want to participate with savvy businesses – online booking is only the beginning.” He hopes his e-store will only increase client loyalty while contributing to his bottom line.

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