Salon Retailing in the time of COVID-19

Our top SEVEN tips for selling products even when your salon is closed. 

Have you started to sell products for curbside pick up or delivery? Social distancing restrictions of some kind are likely to stay with us for months, and so will this new kind of retailing. To get the best tips on succeeding at this new kind of retail we asked our partner salons who are killing it – making their rent and more simply by upping their curbside game.  Here is what they had to say. 

ONE: Get Around Your Personal Barriers.

The number one thing we hear before a salon decides to retail during the COVID-19 crisis is, “I don’t want to sell my clients something they can’t afford right now.” Or, similarly “I don’t want to sell them something they don’t need.” They do need product more than ever, however, as they try to manage grow-out and looking good from the waist up for Zoom calls. Consumers also fear that they may lose treasured local businesses and are clamoring to support you. Selling products curbside gives them the opportunity to support your small business, and they will want to do that. 

TWO: Get the Word Out. 

Salon partners we have talked to don’t use any one method for getting the word out, the most successful sellers use all of them! 

  1. Instagram & Facebook – These are both great platforms to let your clients know about what you are doing. Instagram tends to get more likes, follows, and will catch their attention. Facebook tends to see more conversion. We suggest taking advantage of both by posting the same content to both platforms. 
  2. Email – Open rates of emails are pretty low these days. If 10% of the people you send to open the email, that’s pretty good. The people who do open the email, however, will be your most engaged clients. They want to know how you are, and what they can do to help you in this difficult time. Give them an update and then let them know they can support your business by making a purchase. 
  3. Phone – We suggest making as many of your scheduling changes by phone as possible. Ask them how their hair is doing as they wait and prescribe products that will get them through the wait. 
  4. Next Door – Some Partner Salons have found this online community to be a great resource for introducing themselves to new customers during COVID-19. Others not so much. This will really vary from community to community. You may find neighbors who have been meaning to stop in for years, or just appreciate that your business enriches the block. 
  5. Video Chat – If you can hop on a quick one-one-one FaceTime or Zoom call with a client, you could talk them through some personal styling tips and personalize their package. This is a great way to practice virtual “4 on the Counter.”
  6. Signage. If you have simple, large sign in your window stating when cubside is available and how to order, you may be surprised what customers come out of the woodwork!

THREE: Include a Clear Call To Action. 

Using any of the above methods of contact, make sure you are clear about steps your client needs to take to get the product. Ask them if they would like to make a purchase, don’t leave it to them to ask you. Also, be clear about next steps: Tell them how you will be processing orders and what timeline their products will be ready for pick up / drop off. 

FOUR: Get Clever About Content.

Though a quick post with a picture of your salon shelves and directions about how to order works, we have also seen some amazingly creative ideas:

  1. Video how-tos. Posting simple videos showcasing why you love a product, who it is best for and how to use it goes a long way. If you sell tools in your salon, make sure to use them as well! Make sure to tag @sevenhaircare and any other brand you use to encourage reposting. 
  2. Unboxing videos. Ask your clients to post unboxing videos when they get the product. Make sure they tag you so that their curious friends can order too. 
  3. Giveaways. Entering clients in giveaways when they purchase gift cards or take other actions like leaving you Yelp reviews can get them excited to spread the word. 

FIVE: Incentivize Your Stylists 

Your stylists have the strongest relationships with their clients and can be telling everyone they know that product sales are on. Some salons we know issue rent credit for the sales their stylists bring in, and commission is also an option. 

SIX: Personalize the Package. 

At SEVEN, we are big on handwritten notes. In a world filled with digital media, it is one of the few things that cuts through the noise. Include one with every order. We also know salons who got clever and added a small bottle of hand sanitizer, soap, or even toilet paper! Everyone could use a little joy right now, and they are sure to remember it long into the future. 

SEVEN: Pay Your Rent. 

Now and always, we believe that retail can easily pay your rent. We know this because we live it, and we have many salons in our network that are proving this to be the case every day. Adopting these curbside retail strategies now, and keeping them going long into the future will give you one more way to recover quickly during these challenging times.