7 quick tips on selling salon retail products online
If you just launched your very first online store, then chances are you are not really experienced in online retail selling tactics. You may be an expert in selling retail in your salon or spa, but the realm of the Internet differs significantly from what you are probably used to. But there is no reason to be concerned – with our retail tips to increase sales, you will master the art of creating truly enchanting offers in no time!
Tip: You don’t have your own online store yet but would love to start making a profit this way? Versum offers a free Online store feature – start your free trial now!
1. Do not offer too many options
You may be surprised, but the more is not always the merrier. Going for too many options oftentimes leads to “choice paralysis”, a situation in which the client feels too overwhelmed to make the final decision and therefore postpones making the purchase. And in the sales world, a customer postponing a purchase is the first step to failure.
You most probably know this from your own experience. You see a very interesting offer online, visit the seller’s website ready to make your order when suddenly you notice that there are other fitting options available. You start going through them, but after a good few minutes of browsing, you get information overload – there are just too many options available and you have no idea which will be best for you. So you decide to rethink it later when you have more time… and in consequence, you forget about this offer altogether. Or worse, later on, you see something similar elsewhere and go for it instead.
However harsh it may sound, you don’t want your clients to overthink when making their purchase. The smoother the path to finalising the order, the better. Of course, don’t take it too far – there should be different options and customers should be tempted by at least a few different items. However, flooding the store with too many offers that are too similar to one another can lead to catastrophic results. Finding a healthy balance is key.
2. Offer a wider range of prices
Selling retail in your salon or spa for quite some time now has more than likely helped you familiarise yourself with your customers’ spending habits (financial statistics available in your Versum account are a great help in that matter). After all, your choice of retail products is based on your target market’s previous purchases! However, now the situation changes a little bit – you no longer sell exclusively to clients who had a service done at your salon, but also to people who have never visited you, but may be interested in the cosmetics you sell.
Of course, it’s not to say that you should now adopt a lot of new products and maybe an entirely new line just to have “something for everyone”. Absolutely not! Stick to what you know and stand behind it. What’s worth considering is offering more options of what you already have – eg. different sizes of your best-selling moisturiser or shampoo. This way, people who are not yet sure if they will like your products will be more willing to make the purchase.
3. Create a sense of urgency (wisely)
One of the most effective sales tactics for selling retail is to create a sense of urgency. In the first paragraph, we’ve already mentioned that a customer postponing their purchase is likely to become a client lost. Your online store’s visitors should feel motivated to make their order as soon as possible. This is why you often see countdown timers and words like “hurry up” in online shops – they are here to evoke FOMO (“fear of missing out”). Nobody wants their chosen product to go out of stock or an attractive promotion to end before they decide to place their order. You get that rush of adrenaline, a few clicks and here we go – a purchase has been made.
Use this tactic wisely. If you decide to push your clients, make sure it’s worth it for them. If a client will regret their decision, they will start to feel resentment towards your business. Even worse – they may feel as if you forced and fooled them. Don’t use “limited time only” if you are planning to keep the promotion going for six months straight. Don’t use “out of stock soon” if you have plenty of supply. Show your customers that “attractive” really means “attractive” in your online store – it will bring you more benefits in a long run.
4. Invest in high-quality photos
On the Internet, we buy with our eyes only. When in the salon, you can make use of another very effective sales technique – letting the client hold, touch, smell and even sample (of course, depending on what it is) the product you want them to purchase. When selling online, you have two channels of persuasion – enchanting visuals and engaging descriptions. However, before it comes to the latter, you need to catch the client’s attention. This is why beautiful photos matter so much.
It would be best to hire a professional photographer, especially one that specialises in product photography. If it’s impossible, at least take some time to learn the absolute basics of product photography and practice.
- Consider buying or creating a DIY lightbox (a photography accessory that creates an impression of a translucent surface and a soft, illuminated background).
- Use a tripod or a smartphone mount to keep the camera steady.
- Experiment with angles and composition.
- Opt for soft lighting (unless you are purposely striving for harsh contrast in photos).
- Choose a background that will complement the product.
Tip: Steer clear of using artificial filters, especially when presenting make-up products, where the colour accuracy matters the most.
5. Talk in “language of benefits”
Besides photos, you can also present the greatness of your products by describing them in an exciting way. The description in question should include the list of ingredients, the pricing, the instructions of use… and reasons why the client should even bother. Basically, what you need to persuade the audience that they need what you sell. But how do you do it?
All you have to do is change your wording just a little bit. Instead of focusing on the characteristics of the product, focus on what will be the benefit of using it for the client. How does it work in practice? For example, instead of writing “this cream has moisturising and softening properties”, write “this cream will leave your skin soft and moisturised”. Although meaning practically the same, these sentences are completely different when it comes to their emotional impact. Reading it, the customer subconsciously visualises the property of the cream and thinks about the value it will bring them.
6. Mention values that appeal to your target audience
Knowing your target audience, you know what appeals to them. Different people may be attracted to different characteristics – for example, products tested on animals can be an absolute deal-breaker for some people, while other might be more interested in the properties of the product in question, and will buy it as long as it works its miracles. Some clients exclusively look for hair products that are SLS-free, others don’t care about the ingredients, they expect certain results. Some customers will give up on your store altogether if you don’t provide vegan options, for others, pricing will be all that matters.
You need to be conscious of your choices. Firstly, they obviously have to reflect your own values – it’s important from a moral standpoint. Secondly, they should reflect the values of your loyal clients. It simply doesn’t make sense to offer cosmetics that won’t find interest among your main target group.
Be very clear about the values your products represent – if they are vegan, make clear they are vegan. If their packaging is recyclable, display it with pride. If their ingredients are ethically sourced, make it a statement. You would be (positively) surprised how many people care for such things!
7. Encourage clients to post about their purchases online
Finally – remember, that your customers are your best advertisers. Word-of-mouth marketing is super effective. Encouraging clients to give you positive reviews is one thing, but another good idea is to ask them to become your influencers. A cute photo of them being excited about the package from your store will spark the interest of their followers and may bring you new clients, even if they don’t have a large following. And it will make them feel good about themselves as well!
How can you ask customers for such an advertisement? For example, by offering a small discount or a freebie added to their next order. Call them your “influencers” and share their posts on your salon’s social media fan pages. Make it a feel-good experience for them – it’s more important than physical goods!
Now that you know how to sell retail products in your salon’s online store, all that is left to do is start your free trial with Versum. Take advantage of our Online store feature, create your offer and start making a profit, regardless of the epidemic. What are you waiting for?!