Today, the average woman uses four to six products on her hair each day. This love affair with products can drive a salon’s success, but only if its retail division is run efficiently and serves the needs of both the clientele and the stylist.
“Hair products are an essential part of customer service and a key component in operating a successful salon,” says Alyssa Wade, senior stylist and education advisor with Calm, A Salon in San Francisco. “The right products need to be available for clients to maintain the style/cut and to keep their hair in the best shape possible between visits.
Wade, whose responsibilities include keeping inventory of hair color, supplies and retail items, shares the following guidelines for maintaining inventory:
The Right Products: “Knowing your audience is everything,” Wade says. She keeps in mind a client’s price point to meet budgetary needs and their desire for natural products without synthetics. She strives for an assortment of products, but not duplication.
The Time of the Year: What a client needs in the summer is different than what she needs in the winter, Wade says. “Keep in mind the climate, as well as client’s seasonal activities, when you place an order.”
How to Sell: As the leading stylist at Calm, Wade believes in knowing and having confidence in your product. “Clients can sense when your recommendation is genuine,” she says. “It’s important to explain to the client why and how the product is used in lay terms, then present the product at the front desk.”
Understanding Trends: Styles change constantly, and all styles need specific products. “If a stylist is recommending a new look, the salon needs to have the product that supports that style,” Wade says.
Promotions: Everyone loves a deal, Wade stresses. “Each month, promote a retail special along with an add-on service. An example would be ‘Receive a Color Glaze Service and enjoy 50 percent off a shampoo of your choice.’”