Selling retail products in the salon is an increasingly difficult challenge these days given all the competition around us. Now more than ever it is a necessary part of a salon’s revenue mix in order to be profitable. The good news is that there are some action steps you can take that can help you achieve your goal. All salons that do well selling retail products follow these steps:


Create a culture of retailing

Many salons treat retail as an after thought and then complain that their retail sales aren’t high enough. To thrive in retail you need to be committed to it. It requires goals, tracking, discussion, and constant focus with your team to be successful.


Promotions and service compensation tied to retail

Most salons limit retail incentive to 10% of retail sales and that’s it. Salons that do well with retail tie a minimum retail sales component to service commissions. For example, if a salon employs a level system, one of the criteria for a stylist to jump from level 2 to level 3 is achieving certain retail goals.


Promotional activity

Simply putting your products on a shelf and hoping they walk out the door is not enough! You should treat your retail business like a separate business in terms of marketing and promoting it. Each client cycle (every 6 weeks) there should be a new retail promotion/incentive. A mix of contests for staff, gift with purchase, and incentives for clients are all strategies to employ. Events can also be a great way to drive retail sales.


Carry 3 brands or less

The data is unmistakeable. Once you have more than 3 brands, it has a negative impact on sales. Carrying too many brands sends a confusing message to your clients, waters down the brand identity of your business, as well as makes it very difficult for your stylists to master. Ideally, limit your retail offerings to 1-2 brands with possibly a niche line for a 3rd.


Have a prescribed methodology for your stylists to educate your clients

Leaving your stylists to their own devices to incorporate product education into services is not a recipe for success. Salons that do well with retail have a deliberate approach and actively train their team on it. Things to consider are what is said at each major touchpoint (consultation, shampoo, service experience, and checkout). What questions do you ask, how do you talk about the products, how do you educate the client on reproducing the look at home, and how is the client offered a choice to buy? Are you bringing the products to the front desk or writing a prescription? Don’t leave this to chance! This must be the rhythm for every stylist and every service. Simply telling them to sell retail won’t be enough.

Educating your clients on how to re-create the look at home can really boost product sales and elevate your status as an expert in the eyes of your clients. Creating a quick how-to video is a foolproof way to go about this.