Online has cannibalized professional retailing, but the fight back has begun. Late last year, ISBN hosted a crucial webinar entitled Coping with Virtual Competition to ponder the problem of e-commerce. ISBN vice-president Pat Neville, Beauty First, along with Peninsula Beauty COO Jerret Shaar, Salon Spa Ultimate president Sean Maney, and Amin Harari, senior brand liaison of Clean Boutique and Brand Forward, concluded that the only way to deal with the challenge was to embrace it. So what are the absolute musts to online success?
- Make sure you invest in a software package that can link your CRM with online sales. Solid data capture is crucial to driving on and offline sales.
- Marry functionality with excellent design so websites are beautiful enough to inspire and easy to navigate.
- Ensure you have a selection of excellent product photos accompanied by clear and concise yet keyword-rich descriptions.
- Start small, but ensure capacity to grow.
- Recruit the right people. Find a multi-talented individual who can cover all the bases, dealing with customer service calls, updating content and fulfilling orders efficiently and correctly.
- Factor in free shipping when setting prices as it can make the difference between and sale and non-sale.
- Research shipping options so you can offer same or next-day delivery. Uber, Google, even Walmart, are testing ways to get products to the customer quicker. Walmart is offering instore discounts to customers willing to deliver online orders.
- Support your online store with regular online communications to customers detailing information and offers.
- Set up loyalty schemes that encourage footfall into your bricks and mortar outlets, by allowing online buyers to accrue points that can be redeemed in the salon or spa.
- Establish a membership, where customers can sign up for regular replenishment of favorite items.
If you’d like to listen to the entire webinar, go to https://salonspanetwork.org/coping-with-virtual-competition/