We’ve all done it. You are determined to leave the store, then, without warning, you pivot a sharp right turn into your favorite makeup counter to admire the products on display. You stop instantly in your tracks to see what is shiny and new, sample a few testers, and, then, follow it up with an impulse beauty purchase.
What is it that makes you stop at the retail counter? As a skin care professional, you have a responsibility to yourself and to your business to learn the answer and apply the same principles into your own retail game. Follow these four professional tips to master the art of retail sales and create an effective retail display.
Train your staff. This is perhaps the most important, yet most overlooked, advice. At a bare minimum, each person should know the key ingredients, benefits, and innovative methods to use products. They should speak intelligently about the integrity of each product, demonstrate how to properly apply them, and describe what they love about them, without hesitation. They must exude confidence.
- Know your competitors and ask yourself, “What separates these products from next door? What is comparable in both quality and price range?”
- Teach clients and offer a complimentary five-minute consultation to show how to apply a specific product or spruce up their existing makeup.
- Keep up with fashion trends and find out what is relevant right now, versus the tried and true products.
Wear the products. If a client can see the products in action and ask, “what color are you wearing,” it expedites the sale by making it more personal.
Offer promotions and seasonal campaigns. For instance, push bronzers and sunscreen products during summer and red lipsticks and sparkly eyeshadow for end of the year celebrations.
Have an online presence. We live in a digital world, so an updated website, social media pages, and endorsements are necessary, not optional.
Host a reveal party. With each season or new collection launch, invite customers to come and learn about the new goodies available for purchase.
Offer a discount or referral incentive program. For example, “refer a friend” or “spend XX amount” and get something free (false eyelashes, a full makeover, and so forth). Or, offer credit toward a retail purchase with clients’ first service package purchased.
Do not sell. Choose products you believe in so that you can make qualified recommendations. Understand that what you are selling is a lifestyle solution, not just the product itself.
Review client retention rates. Repeat customers will refer new customers. If you haven’t seen a client more than once, reach out with a personal invitation to the spa.
Perfect the client consultation. Ask open-ended questions to get to know the clients. Make the experience personal and tailor everything to their needs. Listen to their challenges and concerns, then present solutions. Always offer a color match service, free of charge.
Schedule time for retail. Allow 10 to 15 minutes at the end of a service to walk the client through the retail area and recommend products specific to their wants and needs.
Incorporate sales incentives for employees. Offer a tiered commission structure based on transaction volume or create a monthly sales challenge where the prize is a full-size product or service to the highest grossing salesperson.
Encourage upsells. Make staff aware of available add-ons, gifts with purchase, or other spa-specific tactics to increase the transaction volume.
Always provide a takeaway. Give the client a face chart with product placement, routine, and color suggestions, or even a small product sample. Make sure the spa’s business contact information is included.
Make testers readily available for use. Clearly mark “try me” on the products and avoid placing them in a display case. Use shelf talkers. These are small signs like “staff favorites” and “sale price.”
Display a photo album. Create a slideshow with before and after photos of actual clients using the products and upload it to a television or digital frame on a shelf.
Keep shelves clean and decluttered. Wipe dust daily and organize products by packaging color, shape, size, or brand.
Increase visibility. Create multiple retail displays and promotion signage throughout the spa – especially in the windows, treatment rooms, restrooms, and by the register.
Make the retail area inviting. Offer refreshments to make the client feel more relaxed and more inclined to spend money.
Retail sales are driven by creating a highly-engaged customer experience in conjunction with a “stop you in your tracks” visual display. Education and understanding the customer perspective are paramount to providing exceptional service.
Keep following this column, Beauty Blueprint, to learn how to exceed clients’ expectations and ensure business growth through retail sales and product merchandising.
Amanda Azar is a published makeup artist, medical aesthetician, and licensed body wrapper in south Florida. Founder and executive artist of Azar Beauty, Azar is also a makeup artistry instructor at Florida College of Natural Health and lead makeup artist at St. Andrews Country Club. Azar has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Florida Atlantic University, fashion makeup artistry diploma from Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry, and dual licenses from a 1,200 hour paramedical aesthetician program at Southeastern College. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Businesswomen and National Aesthetic Spa Network, Look Good Feel Better®, and a RAW Artist showcase alumni.