Survey: Room to Grow for Beauty Businesses Serving Brides

Lisa Starr
Spa salon survey results bridal party service

For many women, their wedding is one of the biggest events in their lives.

They’ll spend months planning every detail of the day so that it all unfolds exactly as they dreamed. Of course, many of these preparations involve appearance; if you’re going to be immortalized in hundreds of pictures, you certainly want to look your best! Hair and makeup are a major focus, but smooth, glowing skin is a consideration as well. Manicures and pedicures are also important for both the wedding day and the honeymoon to follow.

All of this is great news for beauty businesses—but many are missing out on the opportunity to capitalize on bridal beauty needs. Wedding season (typically April - June and late September - end of October) is the perfect time to be running marketing campaigns and special offers for brides-to-be. Yet a surprising number of salons and spas do very little to prepare for, or cater to, this lucrative client segment.

To find out more about bridal trends in the spa and salon industries, Booker collected data from Facebook polls to determine how much preparation they're putting in to maximizing their bridal business. The results were somewhat surprising. Here’s what we discovered about how beauty businesses are preparing for wedding parties, how they’re marketing to brides, and how bridal services are impacting their performance.

Before you target brides, you want to make sure you’re ready for them. The first step is to make sure your team is up-to-speed on the latest bridal hairstyles, makeup, and treatments. Of the salons that participated in the survey, 40% hold bridal-specific staff training more than twice yearly, 21% hold trainings quarterly, and 5% hold monthly sessions. 23% of salons, and a whopping 70% of spas surveyed, never offer bridal-specific education.

After educating your staff on how to cater to bridal needs, the next step is to let brides know you’re interested in providing for them. Whether through email, direct mail, or integrated social media campaigns, bridal-specific imagery and promotions are much more likely to garner their attention. Surprisingly, 30% of salons surveyed said that they do bridal marketing only during the typical bridal season of April through June. These results are consistent with the responses around preparation; the percentage of salons that do bridal marketing monthly (24%) is similar to the percentage who regularly train their staff, and the 23% who never market to brides is consistent with the number of businesses who never hold bridal trainings. Also surprising was the 31% of spas who do not actively market to the bridal segment.

Business Impact
Salons survey participants reported that 52% of their bridal clients visit at least twice: once for a trial session with hair and/or makeup, and once on the big day. 37%,said that brides visit their salon 3 or more times. Spas reported that 61% of brides come at least twice before their wedding day, and the most popular services are, not surprisingly, makeup at 38%, waxing at 15%, massages and facials at 13% each, and less than 10% each for eyelash extensions, nails, body scrubs, laser hair removal, and tanning.

The Bottom Line
Clearly, bridal business is an opportunity that requires a bit of planning and foresight, but one that can deliver results for your beauty business. Serving wedding parties can be a lot of work; there can be drama, last-minute itinerary changes, and sometimes even tears. But the salon or spa that can deliver great service on this very important day stands to gain a loyal customer for life. Conversely, if your salon or spa isn’t equipped to accommodate bridal customers, you’re better off not investing the time and energy required to successfully market to this segment, focusing on your core clientele instead.


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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