Mistake no 1. Lack of Planning
Christmas is only weeks away. If you haven't already made a solid plan on how you will maximize sales of services and retail products you might as well put up a sign saying, "For your Christmas purchases, you're welcome to shop elsewhere."
Sadly, salon owners get so caught up working in the salon they often forget about marketing and Christmas just creeps up on them. In the meantime, customers have been making their Christmas purchases elsewhere that end up costing the salon thousands in lost revenue.
Mistake no 2. Excuses Excuses
"I have't got the time" - If you haven't got the time to make more money, make the time, or get some help! The lead up to Christmas, and Mother's Day are the BIGGEST promotions of the year for beauty businesses. This is where you can earn the cream on the cake, to seriously boost your income and bring in extra dollars to invest in that piece of machinery you have always wanted, or that exotic holiday you have dreamed about.
"Its too early!" Consumers start thinking about Christmas months beforehand, and big retailers know this well. Laybys are offered three months prior to Christmas. In more recent years, we have seen Halloween stock in stores, and as soon as Halloween is over, these are promptly replaced by Christmas displays. You have got be in it, to win it. If Christmas displays and merchandise is not up by 1st November, you're loosing sales to your competition! And remember, when it comes to Christmas gifts, all retail outlets are your competition, including pharmacies, supermarkets and department stores.
Mistake no 3. No Christmas Display
No serious retailer would contemplate trading over the Christmas period without attractive and enticing windows and retail displays. Last year I was surprised at the lack of Christmas decorations and displays in some beauty businesses. Later, the same salons would report that Christmas was slow. Perhaps their customers were enticed away by their competition with more exciting and inviting Christmas retail presence? There is a saying, if you build it, they will come.
Mistake no 4. Boring Retail Offer
If it's not on the shelf, you can't sell it. Some customers prefer to purchase physical gifts, others prefer to purchase gift vouchers. However, if you rely on selling only gift vouchers, you loose the opportunity to sell to those consumers who prefer to "make the effort" and buy "real " gifts. Recently a consumer told me they think buying a gift voucher is a "lazy" copout. They want their loved ones to know that they made the effort to choose a special gift for them.
As your customers are looking for gift ideas, they'll be looking for something different, something that will excite them to buy for their loved ones. If a salon is carrying standard stock, and they don't bring in special Christmas offers or unique and limited gift items, they make it hard for their customers to buy from them. Most of the suppliers, whether skin care, nails, or specialized gift items, develop Christmas packages and gift packs, which sadly some salons fail to take on causing them to loose precious sales to their competitor.
Mistake no 5. Failing to Promote Gift Vouchers
Assuming your customers already know you offer gift vouchers can lead to lost sales. Consumers are very visual when they are looking for gifts. They are prompted by visual cues backed up by your recommendations. If they can't see it, or hear about it, they won't buy it.
Mistake no 6. Poor Communication
Your customers will, form now on, be inundated with Christmas offers from all the various retailers they visit on a regular basis. Catalogues, emails, in-store posters, coupons, texts, direct mail and websites. If your salon does not have visual prompts and cues, if the staff are not talking to the customers about Christmas gifts, then your business will be missing on some serious sales. Facebook is great, however I see too many salons rush to set up a facebook page and use it solely for all their communications and marketing. Never rely on only one type of marketing method. Not all of your customers are on facebook. Even if you are getting great results today, that might change in the future. Communicating effectively the message to the broadest audience requires several media, and regular frequency. One email, or one newsletter will not get noticed. Reach without frequency = wasted money and time. Marketing must be an on-going process in order for it to be successful.
Mistake no 7. Lack of Excitement
If you look at the Christmas season as a chore and something that requires too much work, well, your customers will pick up on that, and so they will take their business elsewhere. Lackluster presentation, not bothering to do Christmas displays or make the effort to do the research and bring in products your customers would be excited about, and lack of team excitement, make a boring retail offer. If you truly care for your customers and your business, make the effort to create a festive, warm and exciting retail environment. Engage with your customers and make it easy for them to buy from you by offering a variety of exciting retail and service gifts.
If you found this article interesting, and would like to find out more on how to create an exciting Christmas for you and your clients, stay tuned for my next article:
Article supplied by Jana Elston