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With COVID-19 still impacting salon owners’ profits, our 2020 Holiday Season is more important this year than any other year in recent history. The average small business is down 30% year-over-year due to the mandatory shutdown orders, with some markets on the coast impacted even more.

IT'S TIME TO PLAY OFFENSE…

Major retailers look at holiday as their 13th month—an additional month of profit that can be generated if strategized properly. The same goes for salons. This year, it should be every salon owner’s goal to turn holiday into a profit recovery initiative to close out the year.

So, how do we capture consumer “holiday” revenue spend before it is gone? The average consumer holiday “spend” in the US (according to the National Retail Federation) is $1,048 on holiday items. Once you remove candy and party supplies, we are left with $821 on items that can be purchased in a salon.  This is our target… to capture as much of that $821 in our business, and as early as possible, before it’s spent elsewhere. 

Source: National Retail Federation
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Source: National Retail Federation

KEEP GOOD STOCK THROUGH YEAR END 

Make sure you are well stocked for the holiday and don’t run out. 56% of shoppers expect to purchase their last gift between December 18 and Christmas. Who is buying that week? – Men are dominating the purchase data this week.  (It’s all about last-minute shopping with us men, are you surprised?)

Source: National Retail Federation
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Source: National Retail Federation

FILL THEIR NEEDS 

The next question is how well do salons fulfill the needs on holiday shoppers’ wish lists? Let’s take a look at some data:

  • Overall, 59% of people surveyed wish for gift cards. 
  • Women are significantly more likely to wish for gift cards over men.  It’s a 67% vs 50% split. (Unless it’s the week before Christmas – when those numbers flip.)
  • At the same time 25% of shoppers have “Personal Care” on their wish list--that’s a strong number. This means there is nearly $205 that can easily be spent at the salon.
  • Please don’t miss out on marketing to the 18-24 year-olds – the numbers regarding personal care on the wish list shift from 25% to 38% in this age range. Does your marketing/ social media/website speak to this generation?
  • Finally,  the 1 Stop-Shop is a big trend this year. Due to Covid-19, people are not looking to make as many stops, nor are they interested in browsing cluttered and busy malls. They will gravitate to spend in boutiques and shops where they can knock out multiple gifts at one time. Your salon can be that place.

I encourage you to think about how you can be the 1-stop-shop for buyers. Is your team/website/social media prepared to communicate with each client and help them check off as many of their shopping gifts as possible?

SHARPEN YOUR DIGITAL TOOLS 

We will have to approach this year differently than any other year. And that’s not a bad thing… 

Did you know that (according to Salesforce.com) our digital shopping world has matured 10 years in just 3 months?

Source: National Retail Federation
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Source: National Retail Federation

What should we be doing in our business to reflect this change? Time to visit some more data:

  • 56% of shoppers will purchase holiday gifts online. Are you set up for online retail in your salon? In today's world, this has to be a must for you to offer. Whether it’s your software manufacturer, distributor, or your product manufacturer, there are options. We are very proud of our Eufora Affiliate Program, which not only creates a safe space for consumers to purchase, but also honors the channel of our supply chain, and shares profit with our salons and distributors.  
  • The past 3 years there was an average of 12% online sales to 88% brick and mortar. This year, globally, they are expecting that to be 30% online/70% brick and mortar, nearly tripling in online purchases
Source: National Retail Federation
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Source: National Retail Federation

  • And let’s talk about BOPIS or (Buy Online Pickup In Store). In a recent fulfillment trends survey, 48% of shoppers chose BOPIS. Our industry became very good at this, very quickly, due to forced shutdowns. Yet, how can we master that for this year’s holiday? Even if we are open to the public.  Consider creating a BOPIS order form specifically to your holiday pickup business. Market it and make it downloadable, or include a digital form on your website. Stats show that businesses that offer this “Click and Collect” service will grow their revenue up to 90% this year. 
Source: National Retail Federation
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Source: National Retail Federation

  • Last digital tip, think about things like embedding your brand to the “edge.” This is the power of directly selling through your campaigns on social platforms. As you feature select products or holiday sets on social media, have the link take them directly to a place where they can click and purchase this specific item. Then, don’t forget to cross-market that item with something else they could use.  
Source: National Retail Federation
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Source: National Retail Federation

 

REVENUE RECOVERY PROJECTS

With these shifts affecting Brick and Mortar, what salon revenue drivers should salons focus on during holiday? 

Corporate gifting: How many corporate CEO’s frequent your business? How about Real Estate agents, sales people gifting clients? What would it look like if you had a corporate gifting order form? Would it be weird for one guest to buy 200 candles from you? Not necessarily, as long as you market it properly. 

Friends and Family Sale: Generate additional revenue through your own team. Keep team members from snagging those hot holiday sets you have planned for consumers, by creating a private order form just for the team. Then, let them market that to their friends and family… it’s like Girl Scouts taking on holiday!!!

Salon-branded Subscription Boxes: One of our salons in a recent panel shared they even created the Unaffordable Holiday option this year for those buyers who want to make a statement. And who want big ticket items—flat irons, blow dryers, boutique candles, oils, skincare, etc. Flat irons, blow dryers, boutique candles, oils, skin care,etc. 

QR Code Your Shelf Talkers: Your favorite restaurants are using QR codes that your camera app can open automatically to their menu. This is a win/win with touchless communication. I thought this tech idea was dead and it seriously resurfaced, just like that. Why can’t you have these placed strategically in your salon—on the shelves, at stations and one the mirrors? You can use linktree.com to create free QR codes. 

Use your Salon App: This can help you communicate so many things, many salons recently have used this tool to drive gift card sales and more. (Obvious statement coming.)Right now is the time to really promote gift card sales. That revenue is needed, and that loyalty as well, lock up your clients for the next 12 months with an aggressive gift card offer. 

  • Do an early bird gift card that’s more generous than last minute – as people will buy those less for value and more from a place of panic. I would start off the year with the more aggressive gift card offering, and taper that back as you approach the end of Holiday – remember those gift card buyers buying last minute – they are not buying for a deal. They are panicking since they didn’t get a gift for someone. 

Create a shopping culture: For most guests entering your salon, their mindset is they need a break. They see this as their Zen time, they want to be pampered and they expect a great service. They do not think about your space as their 1 Stop-Shop for holiday each year. It’s time to change that mindset and create a culture where they look forward to buying from you each holiday. A culture where they start with you and look for your offers first. Create a memory, start some powerful business traditions, and brand in their brains that you are the place to shop first. 

Keep your circle engaged all 12 weeks of holiday. This can be a busy and fast paced quarter of the year. Make sure you are focused on keeping these 3 groups engaged

  • Team engagement
  • Client Engagement: Think about VIP shopping nights and even Virtual Events. Host a fill-the-bag event where they get a specific percentage off of everything they can fit in a bag you provide.
  • Community engagement – Think about charities or other local support.

If you would like more content and a deeper dive on these topics, … checkout Eufora.University, and visit our Data driven bundle… or even our Q4 Salon Owners Network Virtual Seminar where we allotted a few hours of content for a deeper dive on holiday at  https://www.eufora.university/bundles/data-driven

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To catch John Cutrone on the Friday Forum of the Data-Driven Salon Experinece, visit datadrivensalon.com/experience. 

About the Author: Inspired by his heritage, John Cutrone is deeply invested in the industry. Growing up in a family of barbers/hairdressers gave John a unique passion to “honor the hairdresser,”help develop salons, and mentor salon owners. With degrees in finance and small business management; John is able to instill business leadership best practices, with a heavy focus on profitability. John has been acknowledged for his success as a salon coach, top sales performer, and well-respected brand builder. As Eufora's Director of Sales North America, John leads the development and implementation of new and innovative strategies, with a clear focus on healing a "confused and distracted industry." John assists in driving the various emerging markets through his leadership and passion to carry on the legacy created by Co-Founders Don & Beth Bewley. 

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