Is it Time for you to Drop your Retail Product Prices?
As hairdressers, we know the best way to guarantee the health and appearance of clients’ hair between salon visits is to recommend professional products.
As well as containing superior ingredients and advanced formulas, professional products keep colour results vibrant and fresh, help maintain optimum condition and keeps your masterpiece looking better for longer. Professional after care products also help clients recreate a salon finish at home, which means they will be happy with their hair for longer.
Many clients are not willing to pay full price for professional haircare products. Instead, they turn to discounted online sites or opt for cheaper high street alternatives. As well as impacting your potential profits, a client who purchases online or away from a salon environment is less likely to buy the right products, risk using them incorrectly and may pick up fakes. This means their hair doesn’t look as good as it should, and inevitably it’s your salon that will end up getting the blame.
It’s a challenge faced by salons up and down the country, but one that Sarah and Adrian Bowron of Aesthetics salon in Solihull decided to tackle for the good of their clients. The pair decided to slash the prices of their entire retail offering to the bare minimum, covering only their costs and removing any profit.
“We would rather make zero profit and know that our clients aren’t compromising their colour or condition with an inferior product,” explains Sarah.
After making this difficult financial decision, Sarah and Adrian released a salon ‘mission statement’ which has been widely shared on social media, as well as communicated to clients through internal marketing.
A risky move
It was arguably a risky move for the business, but it’s one the couple believe says a lot as it shows clients their needs come first.
“The products we retail are the products we believe in,” explains Sarah. “Our team are trained in the brands we stock. This means our staff can advise clients on which shampoo, conditioner, treatment and styling products they need, which is something clients can’t experience online.”
While the entire scheme is designed to ensure clients are using the right products for their specific hair type and needs, it also reiterates the message of the hairdresser as the expert. Industry research states that only 7% of clients believe they’ve ever had a consultation, and of those, 70% wished their consultation had been more thorough.
An effective consultation shows you’re the expert and you have the products to help with any concerns
If those products can be offered at a good price, clients are even more likely to purchase and take on board your advice.
“The way we see it, if our team can’t style a client’s hair without a particular product, the client won’t be able to either,” points out Sarah. “Our clients know we only use Redken, Pureology and Kérastase at the backwash, because we know how detrimental it would be to use something inferior. Using any old high street shampoo is like washing your best cashmere with a harsh detergent – the quality is going to be lost immediately.”
Sarah shares an example of one regular client who spends a lot of time in the US on business. As his chosen product was temporarily unavailable in the salon, the team gave him the address of the Redken headquarters in New York, where they knew he’d be able to pick up his favourite product. However, when he found it, it cost £5 more than the new, discounted salon price so he chose to wait until he came home to the salon to restock.
Reflecting on the scheme, Sarah says: “We feel like it’s a revolution for our industry and we’re excited to be the people doing it. This is how the industry will move forward. For us it’s about enhancing the client visit and putting the client first, rather than the short-sighted profit that you make on products at the expense of the long-term relationships with your clients.”