From how consumers find and visit their favourite salons, to how they pay and even review services - it’s clear that advances in technology and tools are shaping the way businesses evolve every day.
Today’s consumers demand flexibility, convenience and speed in any industry, so it’s important to keep up with these advances and trends.
In this article we’re going to take a look at 3 huge trends that have revolutionised - and continue to transform - the salon industry, and how you can implement them into your business.
If you're a salon business looking to grow, take a look at the partnership and product options offered by SumUp.Find out more
Going paperless isn’t only great for the environment, it will make your life easier (less paperwork is always a good thing) and it will also create a smoother customer experience.
There are a couple of different ways to digitise your business. One of the most efficient is switching to electronic receipts. A study by ParcelHero found that British retailers hand shoppers a gargantuan 11.2 billion paper receipts every year. That’s the equivalent of 87,000 trees felled every year, just to supply the UK with tiny strips of paper that most people put straight in the bin.
At a time when consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, it makes sense to switch to electronic receipts. Plus, it will speed up the payment process. Instead of waiting for their receipts, your customers can get them delivered straight to their inbox.
Another way to go paperless is to switch your loyalty cards for loyalty apps. Asking your clients to put yet another card in their wallet and collect stamps after every visit is an archaic way to reward loyalty. Most cards are misplaced anyway, or customers simply forget to collect their stamps; and this causes frustration - which is not how you want your most loyal customers to feel.
A loyalty app will make it easier for customers to collect rewards and it could even encourage them to come back for more treatments. And you don’t need to be an app developer to get one. Loyal Zoo is a software platform that any independent business can use to create their own digital loyalty programme in minutes.
While electronic receipts and loyalty apps are great ways to go paperless, digitising doesn’t have to stop with the customer. You can also digitise a lot of internal processes to save time and money. One example is to implement online timesheets to log working hours, shift patterns, and holiday time.
Clockify is a free time tracker app for teams that gives you a complete overview of your staff’s working hours. This is not only useful for tracking team activity and efficiently managing time, it can also help you improve your pricing by giving you visibility on how long each task takes, and therefore how much you should be charging for it in order to make a healthy profit.
Today’s customers have the world at their fingertips, thanks to the wonderful little devices we call smartphones. This instant gratification has made customers impatient, and there is a need for real-time information to be available in the most convenient way possible.
Making a phone call to book an appointment is no longer considered convenient. This is because only 54% of appointment bookings actually happen during opening hours, according to recent data from Phorest Salon Software.
When analysing the booking trends of more than 5,000 salons and spas, the study found that 28% of bookings happened in the evening (when salons were closed) and 18% happened in the morning (before salons opened). Additionally, when asked what features are most important to them when visiting a salon’s website, 32% of customers said ‘online booking.’
Online booking is ideal for busy customers and it will also make it easier for you to manage your schedule - because your booking platform will do it all for you.
Schedul is an online booking app created specifically for salon and wellness businesses. It’s really easy to use, and it’s free. All you need to do is input your salon’s opening hours and treatments, giving each treatment a time slot so that the app can accurately fill your schedule. Then you link the app to your site and every time a customer clicks on your ‘Book Now’ button they’ll be taken to Schedul to complete their transaction.
In addition to using an online booking app, salon owners can also benefit from appearing on listing sites, like Treatwell. Customers can use Treatwell to find salons in their area, so by ensuring your salon is listed you can increase visibility.
Treatwell also links with SumUp, so both the booking process and the easy payment can be done in one fell swoop for the customer. Not only that, you can send automatic email notifications to your customers, to encourage them to rebook or to inform them of any changes to your salon.
Contactless payments have rocketed in recent years, growing 99% in 2017 to 4.3 billion. As a result of this, less people are carrying cash. If you’re still a cash-only business, you could be shutting out a lot of customers who crave the convenience of contactless payments.
Getting started with contactless payments is easier than you may think. With SumUp, you can offer your customers effortless, convenient payments. SumUp card readers accept all debit and credit cards, and all types of mobile payments, in addition to being able to take cashless payments. And, at a small one-time fee, with no fixed costs and no paperwork to sign, it doesn’t break the bank for small businesses.
The Global Payments Report from WorldPay discovered that debit and credit card payments are the preferred method for consumers, with mobile payments coming in at a close second. The same study also revealed that 64% of consumers believe they could go a whole month without using cash.
Of course, you don’t need to cut out cash completely. According to UK Finance, cash will remain the second most frequently used payment method in the UK by 2027 – so a completely cashless society isn’t on the horizon just yet - but it’s important to offer a variety of payment methods for your customers.
By embracing the above technologies, you’re in a strong position to maintain and grow your salon business, all while engaging with your customers and community.
For more information on how to grow your salon business, contact SumUp.Get in touch