eCommerce Best Practices for the Beauty Industry

spa eCommerce best practices and salon eCommerce best practices

Looking for ways to expand your revenue? Imagine if you could make sales when your salon or spa’s doors are closed! E-commerce provides that opportunity.

Spa and salon marketing plans are all about focusing on the wellness aspect of what you do – enabling clients to look and feel their best. But even regular clients who visit once a month for an hour go another 719 hours until they see us again. If a client doesn’t have the ability to connect with your business during that respite, your influence on their habits—and purchasing behaviors—will wane.

It’s important to provide home care recommendations and guidance for clients when they visit your spa or salon. After all, they are certainly using personal care products at home; they might as well be purchasing them from you. But there’s also an accessibility factor to combat. Beauty and wellness products are available everywhere from large mass merchandisers such as Target and CVS to local boutiques and salons to health food and grocery stores. Sending clients home from their monthly visit with enough products to last until they visit again can mean increasing the ticket price for that day beyond their comfort level. And those clients who come less frequently are in even greater need of products.

The way to overcome the convenience and expense factor is by playing up your consumers’ positive in-person experience at your salon or spa. If someone is thrilled with a haircut or facial you’ve given them, they’ll want to extend the life of that positive experience into their daily routine as well with the products you used.

While it may sound like a daunting prospect, setting up an e-commerce option for your guests is not as complicated as it may sound. Here are a few steps to guide you in developing an e-commerce strategy.

Product Selection

When you look at your retail shelves and wonder where to start, don’t panic. The simplest way to begin selling online is to offer your top sellers. You don’t have to stock your online store with every single product that you carry. You can probably name your top 10 or 20 selling retail SKUs already, but running your RETAIL sales report for the last year will confirm your hunches. You can always add more products after you’ve seen how inventory is moving from your online store.

If your business is in a destination or resort area, offering shipping is doubly appealing; clients who may be traveling with carry-on luggage won’t want to purchase on the spot, and vacationing travelers who express interest in products may hesitate due to the complications of getting refills. Whatever products you select, you’ll need to have professional photographs of each product on a white background, something your vendors can hopefully supply.

Digital Storefront

Business management software solutions such as Booker offer an integrated eCommerce option that’s a no-brainer for businesses. If your management software doesn’t offer eCommerce, there are a variety of third-party solutions that provide online shopping carts. Clients can make purchases directly from your website without having to visit another page.

Online Payments

With your business management platform, you should be able to easily add an online payment option to your credit card processing package. If not, you’ll need to set up a separate merchant account with your bank for online payments.

Fulfillment

One of the most complicated facets of online commerce for spas and salons is developing procedures for the physical fulfillment of orders. Checking your website for orders, pulling the merchandise, packaging it up for shipment, and then actually sending it out, are all steps that need to be assigned and handled on a daily basis. Clients are used to quick shipping turnaround from big companies such as Amazon. While you don’t need to promise same-day shipping, you do need to fulfill orders in a timely manner to avoid losing business to eCommerce giants. While you can’t beat the behemoths for their systems and infrastructure, you can differentiate your salon or spa with personalized touches: for example, include a few relevant product samples or a coupon for in-person services.

Gift Certificates & Cards

Having an eCommerce system in place also makes it easy to sell gift certificates and cards online. This provides an easy way for friends and family to purchase gifts for your patrons without having to come to your location.

Memberships

You may not think to sell memberships online, but it’s actually a great option to give your clients. Few people like to be put on the spot for a long-term investment. Providing a way for your patrons to opt into a membership when they’re ready, on their timeline, may boost your membership sales long term.

The Bottom Line

An eCommerce system for your salon or spa benefits your clients by providing a way to flexible purchase from you, day or night. It also benefits you by allowing for sales when your doors are closed—and that means more revenue for your business.

 

About the Author

Lisa Starr

Lisa Starr brings over 30 years of industry-specific experience as a consultant, educator and writer to Booker through GOtalk. Lisa also works for Wynne Business, a leading spa consulting and education company. Among other things, Lisa’s expertise lies in business operations and finances, sales and marketing, inventory management, human resource development, and business process improvement. She is a well-known speaker within the trade show circuit and is a frequent contributor to industry

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