• Amanda Arnold

The R Word: Often Ignored, Always Important

Spray tan services are not the only way tanning gurus can turn a profit. Retail is a wonderful option for turning your salon into a true sunless haven. Plus, not only is it another revenue stream, selling complimentary retail items to your clients is one of the top ways to create client loyalty.

So if you’re contemplating whether retail is worth it for your salon, let's check out some of the ways retail creates opportunities we wouldn't normally have.

photo cred: Instagram - Water 2 Moon Studios

Create additional cash flow

Yes it seems obvious, more items = more money. But, want to know a secret? Bringing in those consistent dollars can be harder than you think. Plus, it can be a scary investment. Where do you even start? Go basic at first if you are unsure- pick items that complement your spray tans. Selling products like tan extenders, like Shady Afterglow or Shady Rinse, are the easiest way to bring in some extra revenue for your salon as your clients need these for the service you literally just performed. Before taking them straight to check out, take them to the retail section when you are done and strike up a conversation (not sales pitch), you’ll be surprised how many will purchase.

Now that sounds awesome, but what about the people that don’t have the time or money to maintain their professional sunless tan regularly? This is how retail helps you cater to all types of clients you may have. Having a retail collection helps keep customers coming back in between sessions and and draws a new audience for unique beauty finds. Selling retail is truly the best way to retain sporadic customers and maximize your potential.

PRO TIP: Shelf talkers, like our Table Tents, help clients know how to shop and what they need without your personal attention.

Create the ultimate customer experience

photo cred: Gina Drago Design

Selling retail isn't just about the Benjamin's. Wait, what? Yup, that's right, it's about serving your clients to the best of your abilities. By having an exceptional product selection readily available and educating your customers on them is the ultimate way to not only ensure their tans are the best they can be, but their skin as well. So here's how each type can help:

+ Tan extenders are the prefect intro into retail if you are worried about demand. They help your customers get the most out of each spray tan, which is an investment in their skin.

+ Have clients that need touch up's? Want to capture more of your event-only tanners? Then self-tanners, like Shady Tan Can and Shady Foam, are the perfect solution to maintaining a bronzed look between professional sessions. Self-tanners pair great with another item: self-tanning mitts. Use this to boost sales with promos or sell separately.

+ Another great product to sell is a high quality tan-off mitt, these help your clients remove their old tan evenly before seeing you next week.

+ Prep items are the silent snipers of retail. It is one of the top items purchased at a drug store because the value of carrying a premium product is lost on many salons. Since it is a crucial step, why chance it with less-than-stellar ingredients or possibly expired products? Carry 1 or 2 types of Shady Polish to offer your clients a spa like prep experience and flawless results.

Keep in mind also, the greater your product selection of retail you stock, the more likely that you will be able to maximize your customer’s overall experience.

PRO TIP: Have a stock of at least 5 per item to make shelves sell themselves. Empty or sparse shelf space deters clients from being attracted to your retail area and let's their money leave with them.

Create an upselling culture

While many of us feel this way, I want you to repeat after me, "'Upselling' is not a dirty word." Once more for the people in the back, "'UPSELLING' IS NOT A DIRTY WORD."

Upselling doesn't mean taking your clients to the cleaners any time you smell blood in the water, it means showing your clients some different options at a higher price point, additional options related to their confirmed purchasing decision, or a combination of both. "Higher price point? HA! My customers are cheap!" Ok, well first, you need to ditch that attitude! Clients do not need to be Kim K to drop some cash when they feel like it's a need or an investment and there is an emotional attachment to said item. That is your job, to create the emotional response to your product and education your clients on why they need the products you offer. A higher price point could simply mean moving them from a $5 sample pack to a $20 full-size bottle because their price per use is actually lower thus saving them money with each pump. See?

Another great thing about offering retail with this mindset is people want to feel as they are "in the know." By intimately educating and demonstrating products on their skin, the feeling of an exclusive club starts to develop and they will want in!

PRO TIP: With the increasing popularity of the exclusive "boutique" vibes, many studios and salons are incorporating complimentary items like wraps, turbans or robes that customers can wear while they dry and shop.

Let's put it to the test! Next time you're placing your salon order, pickup some extra retail products and watch your dollars stack!

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Want to learn more about how retail can help your salon thrive?

Pick up a copy of our Shady Technician Guide where we have a whole section dedicated to retail and the numbers!

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