Beauty Store Business

DEC 2018

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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beautystorebusiness.com | December 2018 11 Larry H. Oskin, president o Marketing Solutions and Art Beautique in Clermont, Florida, adds, "Beauty stores need to be ready or the holidays with extra market- ing, powerul displays and bounce-back promotions to enhance retail sales year- round. Many shoppers–including many new, irst-time shoppers–will be stocking up on gits, while also buying or them- selves. Be ready or this opportunity!" The ollowing expert tips will help you be prepared or holiday shoppers and entice them to keep returning throughout the year. SUPREME CUSTOMER SERVICE Let's start with the basics: When a shopper visits your store, excellent customer service is paramount. It's even more critical when irst-time buyers wander in looking or git options (or i they're just picking up some personal goodies). "One o the best ways to ensure your irst-time seasonal buyers keep coming back ater the holidays is to provide out- standing customer service, because more business is lost due to poor service than poor product," notes Nancy Friedman, an expert on retail customer service and communications and president o Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training in St. Louis. "There are dozens o stores or websites where people can choose to buy products, but they'll always remember– and return to–the retailer who oers the best price and service." Even better, meeting this basic customer demand oten kicks o a domino eect: Friedman points out that 87 percent o customers share positive retail experi- ences with others, and 88 percent are inluenced by online service-oriented reviews when making buying decisions. She recommends the ollowing tactics or employees to ensure stellar service: • Greet customers with a smile when they enter. Make them eel valued and let them know they're being listened to and respected. • Ask about the customer's budget and suggest products that are within reach. • Follow through on your store's promises, particularly ater the sale (i your customer has a problem with the purchase or changes his or her mind, or example). • Put shoppers at ease to earn their trust—not only with their current beauty investments but also with your ability to help with their uture purchasing decisions. Nokes adds that great customer service isn't just about the checkout experience–it's about everyone on the loor being ready to assist shoppers, including oering trials and demos o hot products (particularly important in beauty stores). Ater all, shoppers can always buy products online, but they're coming to you or the total experience–including expert advice and the ability to try beore they buy. Make it an experience so good that it's shareable. INJECT EXCITEMENT As the year comes to an end, careully survey your space. Do your displays or other visual merchandising, in every corner o the store, scream "excitement"? Oskin advises using visually strong signs with call-to-action headlines, shel talkers, counter cards and window posters to attract interest, and making sure your checkout area is loaded with easy-to-add extras or last-minute stocking stuers and impulse buys. Consider introducing some new products and/or services; this is the perect time to shake up your inventory a bit. Remember that original and unique items delight customers and keep them coming back to your store. You can also drum up excitement among new and current clients alike by hosting un holiday events, making your store a must-visit destination with gatherings that oer product demos, cover trends in beauty, deconstruct estive looks or the soiree season or unveil new brands, Nokes suggests. "When you cover the interesting movements happening in beauty, you build buzz," Nokes says. "You can even invite local beauty inluencers to the store, building a relationship with them so you can col- laborate on events in the uture. Use this opportunity to raise awareness o what you oer in-store, and keep up those activities throughout the rest o the year." Oskin agrees that retailers should oer great experiences, rom special events to workshops, beore, during and ater the holidays. "You can create a series o special themed programs so your clients will associate your store with added value–think Fabulous Friday, Super Saturday, Super Sunday or even weekday events," he explains. "Or oer a series o beauty workshops, with tips on hair color, makeup, haircare appliances or skincare trends, eaturing expert speakers, reresh- ments and door prizes." And, he adds, i your store oers services, be ready to incorporate, and thus promote, your sta during any workshops. Create and distribute updated menus, with irst-time introductory specials or new clients to try "For any retailer, the holidays present a great time not only to recruit new customers as visits hit their peak, but to ensure they become aware o your oerings and become regular customers ater the holidays have passed." —Coye Nokes, partner, OC&C Strategy Consultants Coye Nokes Larry H. Oskin Nancy Friedman QUICK TIPS from Larry H. Oskin, president of Marketing Solutions and Art Beautique in Clermont, Florida Promote and Sell Gift Cards: Offer a free $20 gift card valid after the new year with the purchase of any $100 gift card during the holidays. Promote the gift cards with flyers and brochures, and reach out to local businesses to share corporate gifting ideas for office managers and employees alike. Start a PR Campaign: Create an ongoing series of educational (not sales-oriented) beauty-related press announcements for local print, online and broadcast media, which is a great way to feature your products and services without paying for advertising. Offer to be a special expert guest, providing holiday beauty tips for local radio and/or TV shows. Then, once you've established those connections, follow up throughout the year to land recurring appearances. 1 2

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