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Category Archives: Retail Product Tips

The Art of Suggestive Selling: Tips & Tricks to a Painless Salon Retail Experience

Not all hairstylists are salespersons – and if we’re truly honest about it, most would prefer not doing it if it won’t affect their income. It’s true: we’re in the service business, but selling retail provides more benefits than simply additional profit.

Apart from helping build our bottom line, sending our clients home with stylist-recommended products helps them maintain and re-create their new salon ‘do at home, which in turn improves our reputation and credibility as a professional in our community. Yes, hair care products are readily available online but according to a study, 71% of consumers actually still prefer speaking to a professional when making purchasing decisions.

So how can we overcome our sales phobia? While there’s nothing we can do about nerves, there are certain techniques we can do to increase our retail sales, especially this holiday season.

Salon Retail Tips & Tricks

Make the most of your consultation.

Start talking about the products as early as the consultation. Asking the client how they maintain their hair at home will tell you right off the bat if they are a product person or not. If they don’t spend much time getting ready then you can suggest a multi-use product that offers many benefits.

For example, Oway Glossy Nectar not only hydrates the hair, it also protects from heat damage, speeds up blow-drying time, increases shine, and maintains frizz. Or the Oway Boho Pomade or Sea Salt Spray, which help give hair some added texture without adding heat.

Selling your client multiple products at the same time will overwhelm them, and more likely discourage them from purchasing anything. Start with one product at a time, letting them know that in order to maintain the look they want to achieve requires the use of a professional product.

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Know your products.

The more you know, the more you grow. Make sure you know the benefits of each product by heart, as well as a unique feature that your client might identify with.

For instance, Original & Mineral hair care and styling products are vegan and gluten free. If your client loves essential oils, she would be thrilled to know that Oway hair care and styling products only uses pure, organic essential oils as fragrance.

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“When you have clean, non-toxic products that smell amazing, there’s no need to push the products! They truly sell themselves,” says Bridgette D’Angelo, owner and master stylist at Head Rush Salon in Enfield, CT. “I like to ask the client while walking them to the front desk if they are out of any products at home. This gives them the opportunity to say what they need so you can recommend the perfect product!”

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“I simply try to stay genuinely excited about the products. If I’m excited, clients are too. If I ooh and ah over the extra shine or volume, they take notice. Especially because oftentimes it’s hard for them to believe a natural line can achieve such amazing results,” suggests Kaila Ward, stylist extraordinaire from Burlington, VT.

PRO TIP: Teach your front desk staff about your products so they can help close the sale at the end of the service when you don’t have time. If you can spare a moment, be sure to remind them about the product they showed interest in. “This is the serum that I used on your damp hair that smelled really good. A dime size is all you need to maintain your hair like this.” Suggestions like this, especially when it comes to products that don’t run out quickly, will usually entice them to purchase.

Educate the client.

Most people have a ton of products under their bathroom sink, but do they know what exactly they are for?

When washing and styling the client, let them know what you are using, how much to use, and how to use the product. When they know exactly what the product does, they will feel like they’ve had a lesson and that they are able to achieve that “salon look” when they go home to do it.

“I love asking the clients about their hair, what they love, what they hate, how they style, what products they are using now. This is your chance to just simply talk about the products you have to help them with these issues or suggest cleaner products to use in replace of!” adds Bridgette.

However, some clients will say: “Oh I have something just like that at home!” As the stylist, respond positively but be sure to let them know that it may not have the “ingredient” or “benefit” of what you just used on them. This will make them think twice and possibly earn you a sale.

“When I’ve noticed a client has become more intrigued it’s a segue to go a bit deeper and educate them about where the ingredients come from and how it’s all made. I try to be mindful about where the conversation is heading, and I tend to let the clients ask the questions. I think the mindset is shifting and people are appreciating things that are not only high quality, high performance and natural but more importantly, ethically made. So educating clients and allowing them to be part of the process and become the deciders has really worked. It’s great when they realize they are voting for cleaner beauty with their dollars and in the end it’s beneficial for all.” And we totally agree with Kaila.

“If the conversation naturally goes in that direction, I’ll explain what I’m using and why but clients notice such a difference in their hair without me having to push it on them, they just have to have it for themselves. Also, picking the right products for their hair needs is what being a professional is all about. And that builds trust.”

Keep a record of your client’s past purchases.

Knowing what your clients purchased in the past and what their favorites are gives you an opportunity to introduce the other products you have.

Our clients’ hair needs depend on a lot of factors. Is the season changing? Is she experiencing scalp issues? Use these cues to recommend products that they might need. Sometimes they might even thank you for doing so.

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“I also like to point out things I notice, such as dry scalp, thinning hair, or dry ends. I suggest some retail and normally they take the bait!  Once they use a product they are hooked to the line and re-selling is super easy,” shares Bridgette.

For the lower maintenance clients, you can recommend a shampoo, conditioner, and one styling product. While clients who spend more time on their hair give you more styling products to recommend.

PRO TIP: When recommending, always suggest at least 3 products you used during the service since they already have an idea what the products feel and smell like. Go an extra mile by letting them hold, smell or touch the product. Involving the senses is a tried-and-tested strategy on how to boost salon retail product sales.

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Create eye-catching packages for every occasion.

Bundle slow-moving products with hot sellers. During the holidays, people typically buy more in packages so including a discontinued product or a product that does not sell well with a crowd favorite, such as a color protection shampoo or a purple shampoo, is an easy way to increase your revenue while making space for new inventory.

Having pretty displays and packaging also plays a huge role in the sale. When done perfectly, you don’t even have to say anything. Clients will be naturally drawn to the products.

PRO TIP: Throw in a free gift like an organic lip balm or wrap it in a pretty packaging that they can re-use. According to a study, 90% of customers are more likely to purchase after receiving a gift, and even more likely to refer your business to their friends and family.

Pre-order our Salon Holiday Kits!

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Salon Visual Merchandising 101: 7 Elements of Retail Displays That Drive Sales

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It’s no surprise that most stylists dislike “selling” retail. Love it or hate it, “selling” or retailing is critical to maintaining a profitable business, and when done right, merchandising alone could increase your retail revenue by 35%.  Not a bad increase for letting your display do the “selling” for you.

Not an artist or designer? No worries. Follow a few key elements outlined below, and your displays will look like you hired a pro.

Salon Display vs Fixture

First, it’s important to understand the difference between a well merchandised display and well merchandised retail fixture.

A fixture is meant to “house” the products that you carry in an organized manner, fully stocked, oriented from left to right then top to bottom with proper shelf talkers.

The purpose of a display is to highlight certain products by increasing their visibility. A display does not need to show all the items in a product line – focusing on three to five products makes a display less cluttered and more appealing to the eye. Displays should be engaging, changed out frequently, and strategically placed to guide the customer through the space, keeping their interest while they shop.

Key Elements of Visual Merchandising For Salons

1. What?

  • Determine what product or products are going to be featured. Displays can be centered around just one product, three, or five. Odd numbers are easier to work with and more enticing to the eye.

2. Why?

  • Know your purpose. What is the product promotion and what is the purpose of the display, specifically? Of course, your primary purpose is to sell more products, but make sure to integrate the display with the needs of your target customer. Start with determining who is your target customer and why would they want to make this purchase.

Don’t forget to educate your team on the details of the product and promotion. This ensures that your salon and staff are speaking the same language.

3. How Much?

  • Set a budget. It is important to set a budget for your display so that your extra profits aren’t spent paying for the display props. Spending a lot on creating a display does not always mean that you will profit more from its sales.

4. Where?

  • Placement is key. As a rule, when we walk into a room we tend to look and walk towards the right. If possible, this would be prime real estate for you to establish a “feature” display.

5. How?

  • Add props. Props are great tools for engaging your customers with your display. When using props, stick to an 80/20 ratio: 80% products, 20% props. Props of varying colors, heights, and texture make your display more interesting. Think about why the customer should want to purchase this item and go from there. For example: If your promotion involves products that provide protection from the sun, incorporating sunglasses, a beach towel, and a pair of flip flops appeals to your customers’ desire to take a vacation while reminding them to purchase products that protect their skin and hair. You may want to try several layouts until you’re happy with your results. Scents and music are also effective if they support your message. The more senses that can be integrated, the more powerful the display.

6. Share

  • Promote your message. Just as important as the display is sharing the message of what your promotion is. Just because you “build it” does not mean “they will come buy it”. This involves the use of proper signage of course. Signage should relay your message in a style suited to your display. Keep in mind the price point of your products and be sure you’re not using a flimsy hand-written sign to sell a $100 gift set.

Don’t forget to utilize social media to promote your message. Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are perfect outlets for posting attractive images of your display. Be sure that your message is either expressed in the photo or explained in your posting.

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7. Measure

  • Evaluate your strategy. Be sure to track the sales from your display to measure its success. Also, take into consideration other indicators that your display was a success like client comments, the amount of time clients spent interacting with the display, likes and shares on social media, etc.

TIP: Creating small displays in other areas of the salon like shampoo area, hallway, bathroom, or treatment rooms (if you have them) are also great reminders of a promotion you are having. Repeating your promotional message several times within your salon is more likely to be noticed and produce a sale.

Check out these “shelfies” from our #HolisticHairTribe for inspiration:

For a more detailed look into how Merchandising can help you grow your business, be sure to watch out for our upcoming online course: Secrets of Successful Salon & Spa Merchandising (Boost Your Retail Sales by 35%.)

Tracy Olson

About the Author

Tracy Olson

As the Simply Organic Education and Technical Department Manager, Tracy brings to us more than 25 years of experience in the salon industry. As a former salon owner and artistic director, Tracy has worked with salons, spas, schools, and health clubs in developing design solutions and strategies to help increase their retail sales. If you want to learn more how to bring organic, eco-friendly hair products to your salon, please contact us at 888-213-4744

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How To Boost Salon Retail Product Sales

Boost Salon Retail Sales With The 3 Ps!

Whether you’re a booth renter or multi-location salon business owner, knowing how to effectively sell retail products is vital to your success. It’s not just about increasing revenue, it’s an opportunity to build trust with your clientele and ensure their needs are met. 

In this video training, Rebecca Gregory and Tracy Olson will teach you the 3 Pillars of Salon Retail Success and what has and hasn’t worked in their own salons. Spoiler Alert: they also deep dive into an Oway Product Knowledge Session (one of the main factors that will determine your ability to sell salon retail products).

3 Pillars of a Successful Salon Retail Strategy

Promotional Planning

Proper promotional planning is vital component to your salon retail strategy. Not only does it set expectations for your team, it can also help purchasing decisions and your ability to maximize retail product profit. In this training, you’ll learn innovative promotion strategies, and how to effectively plan and implement them.

Psychology & Perception

Communication is both spoken and unspoken. Your client’s perception of you and your business begins the moment they wall in the door. Neglecting sensory details like scent and visual merchandising can be detrimental to your salon’s retail sales without you even knowing it. In this section of our training, you’ll learn how to implement experience merchandising, and how to make sure your salon and staff are speaking the same language.

Product Knowledge

It’s vital for those actively selling salon retail products to exactly what and why they’re selling a specific product, and most importantly, how to use it. In this section, we give our best tips for selecting your ideal retail product line and even a little bonus product knowledge session on our Oway product line.

Can’t get enough retail sales knowledge for your salon? Check out these 8 salon retail sales tips!

Need help implementing your salon’s retail strategy? Customers can give us a call M-F 9a-7p EST at 888-213-4744

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