Inventing the Future of Retailing

The beauty industry is facing the complete reinvention of retail, a phenomenon driven as much by changing habits as by technology. But not all salons have grasped the enormity of the challenges they face. According to one retail trends expert flying in for the International SalonSpa Business Network (ISBN) conference in May, the only winners of the transformation will be those who actively turn the disruptions to their benefit.

"We are looking at a reinvention of the future of retail," says Cate Trotter, head of trends at Insider Trends, a London-based retail futures agency with a global reach, who will be addressing the ISBN conference, being held this year in Florida, on May 6. "Salons must take a multi-faceted approach to retailing to reach customers across multiple channels, and to keep the messaging going between salon visits."

Trotter will bring to the ISBN conference more than a decade of experience watching trends and advising business leaders, including the CEO of Unilever, the general manager of L’Oréal France, Mega Image’s CEO and the board of Hugo Boss.

"Owners and executives must be alert to the opportunities and must watch innovations in other industries that could provide similar successes in beauty," adds Trotter, who has been ranked by retail management software specialist Vend as the world’s 26th most influential professional in retail. "One of the greatest frustrations for owners and managers is the inability of their service providers to be consistent with their retail efforts, so owners need to find ways to sell direct, such as in-salon messaging and use of the various media channels such as Instagram and You Tube."

She will be sharing best-in-class innovations from a range of international companies from within and without beauty, to inspire ISBN members to embrace a vertically integrated approach to retail and communication. One such example is Dr Martens Shoes, which has employed a low-tech approach in its stores with postcards dotted around explaining the products and the company’s heritage.

"Done in a fun and interesting way, they provide information to the customer without ever forcing customers to interact with the sales assistants," says Trotter. "This sort of approach could reduce a salon’s reliance on the service provider to be the main driver of retail."

Another example is the cool London label MatchesFashion, which has smaller ‘uniquely curated fashion destinations’ featuring an ‘edit’ of its 400 designers. Instead of taking on a huge, expensive venue, the brand has smaller units that specialize in personalized shopping. These spaces feature heavily in Match’s multi-channel program as the backdrop to its films and pictures.

"It puts the retail space at the heart of its branding, creating warm, fuzzy environments that customers know and love without ever going there,"  says Trotter. "And when they do, they feel at home."

Cate is speaking at 2:30pm on Monday, May 6th and she will be livestreamed as well as broadcast live on the ISBN Facebook page.

ISBN’s 2019 conference will take place at the gorgeous Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, Bonita Springs, FL, on May 5-7 and is open to senior leaders of multi-location businesses. The hotel is famed as a retreat where guests can watch dolphins at the beach on a private island, play golf on its stunning green or connect with colleagues in contemporary meeting spaces. The conference opens up with its traditional golf tournament or the option to take a Catamaran Cruise along Naples to meet fellow delegates at the conference.

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