Sampling Services – Maximizing Retail Sales

| June 20, 2011 | Comments (0)

The difference from one aesthetician to the next in earning ability comes in the commitment to selling retail. WWD has reported an increase of 0.4% in salon retail sales in the first quarter of 2010, which is great news! Now, the tricky part: how do you get your clients to buy retail? Get creative! The salon and spa atmosphere isn’t a Wall Street suit and tie office; we have the amazing liberty of getting creative with our strategies in increasing sales and profits. Retailers at all levels, including Starbucks, J. Crew and Duane Reade are renovating their bricks and mortar to create an experience!

The salon and spa industry is already offering a true professional experience, but we are lacking in translating that experience to our retail area. So often, I visit dynamic bustling salons, but their retail area is like an after thought—dusty shelves, lack of product and no dedicated retail specialist. If salons and spas want to compete in today’s market, they need to get retail savvy.

Show and tell and you will sell!

This is my absolute mantra. Salons and spas must offer service samples, or what I like to refer to as “snacks” and “appetizers,” to clients. Salons and spas have a high touch platform to sample services and products in their retail area, yet they are not doing so. Offer fast results-oriented Facial Bar treatments. Let clients feel, touch and experience your service offerings. Then recommend an at-home care program and rebook for a full service. It is the ideal way to introduce your clients to all the treatments and services you offer in a non-intimidating way. Continue to distinguish your salon or spa from the neighborhood drug store by hiring knowledgeable staff and providing ongoing education. Lois Christie, Owner of Christie & Co. Salon ۰ Spa reported a 34% increase in retail sales since incorporating Facial Bar in her retail area.


If there are dull displays, no sales people in sight and your clients are lulling around in an uninteresting room off to the side of the salon and spa areas, it is unlikely that they will feel compelled to purchase product. If your clients are not delighted or enticed by the retail atmosphere, you are missing a major opportunity.

Use this time to inform and entertain the client—to give them an experience. During the service is not the only time to pamper your clients with knowledge and attention! According to research by Dr. Leon Alexander, “The experience the consumer gets is the single most reason why he or she returns.” Have you evaluated what type of experience you are giving your clients? This experience shouldn’t end once they leave the treatment room. What would improve the overall retail experience? The retail area is your stage, your products are your props, and knowing your clients and product lines creates the perfect dialogue.

Turn your spa into a social space! Host events to inform clients of new product lines and services; again—get creative! Create a theme, a signature drink, or invite an industry expert—education is not only for spa pros, but rather, educate your clients! Knowledge will translate into an educated purchase.

Consultation, diagnosis, recommendation!

This is the biggest point of differentiation between seeking advice from the beauty counter salesperson and the esthetician. Use your specialized knowledge of skincare to listen to your clients’ concerns, to do a thorough skin analysis and to recommend an at-home care program. If you are doing this correctly, and not say, suggesting the newest most expensive treatment that addresses sun spots when the concern was fine lines and wrinkles, you are guaranteed to up-sell in services and retail. After all, you are the professional expert. Clients are looking for your advice!

Here is the bottom line:

Today, consumers do not even need to leave their couch to purchase their beauty products, clothing or even groceries! In fact, 85% of people who use the internet have made a purchase online. By 2013, $189 billion will have been spent on Ecommerce and online sales are growing by 10% annually, according to Karen Young, CEO of The Young Group. Give your clients a reason to seek your advice and make an informed purchase! Through creating a dynamic retail experience, offering quick express services and relying on your professional knowledge to advise and recommend at-home care, you will increase your retail business. Get out, get busy, provide an experience and reward your clients! To your success!


Article supplied by Repechage, Written by Lydia Sarfati, CEO Repechage


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