The holiday season is upon us, and it’s time to prepare your salon to make the most of this busy and chaotic time. There are several things you can do to increase retail and services sales, along with strategies to prepare for and keep the salon functioning smoothly during one of the busiest times of year.
Prepare your staff. Make sure employees are aware of holiday hours if they differ from your normal operating hours. Create awareness of the high volume that is inevitable during this busy season, especially to those staff members who are new to the industry. Ensure it is clear who is working what days and hours and that any requests off are communicated and approved ahead of time.
Email clients and utilize social media. Send out e-blasts to your client base to keep them aware of upcoming specials and promotions. Consider creating a digital gift-buying guide to share via email and social media. Use your social media accounts to share specials, run holiday contests, and inform clients of last-minute cancellations and openings to make sure your books are staying full.
Have a retail game plan. What type of promotions are you going to run and when? Make sure your clients are inundated with endless promotions. Sales and specials shouldn’t be too close together, and it should be clear they are only for a limited time. Run a Black Friday sale in November and a Christmas or holiday sale in December, but ensure they are adequately spaced and for different products and/or services.
Essential oils. Diffusing essential oils can relieve stress and anxiety, which can be beneficial for you, your employees, and your client. Think about diffusing energizing blends with peppermint at the beginning of the day and more calming blends like lavender later in the day. Orange oil can be powerful during the winter, as it is a mood booster and can put people in a buying mood. Just remember to be mindful of your clients’ possible sensitivities.
Greet with a touch point. A touch point is anything that enhances a client’s experience, such as fruit-infused water, tea, coffee, or even slippers. Make sure the customer is having an experience, not just an appointment, to make them a life-long client.
Expose them to take-home retail right away. Provide something clients can test, such as hand lotion, as soon as they check in. This gets them in the mode of trying new products and potentially buying a full-size retail item.
Create an attractive retail display. Make sure your shelves are stocked with any products you will be using on your clients, and create holiday gift baskets that are easy for clients to pick up for friends and family. Think about any holiday retail specials you may want to run, such as “Buy a gift basket, and get a travel-size product of your choice.”
Start a retail cycle. Take the opportunity to put your clients on a retail-buying rotation:
Visit 1—Show and share shampoo and conditioner
Visit 2—Show and share a wet styler
Visit 3—Show and share a texturizer
Visit 4—Show and share a dry finisher
Visit 5—Cross market item or boutique
This way, they organically run out of the items in a cycle and will replenish at each visit.
Provide petite pampering opportunities. Add-ons increase the average service per client, but don’t call them add-ons—it just sounds like more spending. Instead, use phrases such as "petite pampering," "bite size," or "try it." Some examples of this would be a conditioning ritual, a paraffin dip for hands, a facial waxing, a few brightening highlights, or hair gloss. This is a great opportunity to upsell and increase revenue.
Customize gift certificates for the holidays. Print relevant, seasonal gift certificates or gift cards with holiday themes to put on display. Customers are more likely to be driven to purchase one that is reflective of the occasion they are purchasing for. Consider running a gift card special that is unique to the holiday season, so customers know it’s a good time to stock up. Remember, gift certificate sales increase during the holidays.
Rebook. Emphasize rebooking before and after the holidays. Let clients know that there may not be an appointment available during the busy holiday period if they don’t book ahead. Additionally, try to get your clients to book their post-holiday appointments to avoid that late-winter lull.
Take the style home. Of course, your clients’ styles will look great when they leave the salon, but make sure they can recreate the look at home. Get sample cups and give one serving of each product used to create their style. Include a coupon that expires in one week—they will need the products to recreate the look for all their holiday gatherings.