It’s a tale as old as…well, the last few years anyway.
A stylist is finishing her client’s new cut and color as she tells her about this great new product she’s using on her hair. The client whips out her iPhone, pulls up her online account and orders it on the spot, even though the aforementioned product is sitting on a retail shelf 30 feet away.
During the past few years, I’ve heard this story from owners across the country, grumbling as they relay the toll e-commerce is taking on their retail sales. As more and more consumers embrace e-commerce as their go-to shopping outlet, this tale isn’t going away. At the same time, building an e-commerce operation from scratch is a beastly endeavor for most salons. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a happy ending for professional beauty.
For this special bonus issue, SALON TODAY partnered with SalonInteractive, an e-commerce and marketing platform created for the beauty industry by beauty industry professionals, and is inclusive of all the traditional beauty industry players—manufacturers, distributors, software and marketing companies, DSCs, salon owners, stylists and clients. Think of it as the United Nations of the industry—a network of people dedicated to preserving the integrity of professional beauty products while offering an e-commerce solution to consumers that both complements and expands upon the retail within a salon’s doors.
Although there were a number of topics addressed at the recent PBA Executive Summit, a number of mainstage speakers set the stage for a world where a platform like SalonInteractive makes sense:
Erica Keswin, best-selling author and professional dot-connector pointed out the importance of the human connection, and how today’s businesses need to find the sweet spot between it and technology. SalonInteractive’s progressive technology combined with the trust-based relationship clients have with their service providers creates that sweet spot.
Technology and Innovation Expert Mitch Joel said today’s businesses need to provide customers with solutions using the same tools and technologies they are using in their daily lives. With their iPhones, tablets and laptops, clients can now order products through their salon’s websites, while distributors fulfill them.
Kate Anchetill, founder and CEO of GDR Creative Intelligence stressed that product and content can’t be separated. A stylist’s expertise offers the content through the consultation or as a blog on the salon website, while SalonInteractive helps salons offer products through e-commerce.
We acknowledge that this particular bedtime story is a thought-provoking, deep read, so I recommend finding some quiet time to both absorb and contemplate. As we all struggle to find solutions in a quickly changing world, this issue is full of solid advice on retailing, as well as how to take advantage of technology to support your business and grow your retail sales today and tomorrow.
It’s my wish that the e-commerce beast turns into a prince in your personal retail story.
--Stacey Soble, editor in chief