Beauty Store Business

DEC 2017

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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60 December 2017 | beautystorebusiness.com Makeup Musings Retail Store Success Increase revenue with these tips for your brick-and-mortar retail beauty store. By Lori Leib T he retail market has drastically changed over the past decade. Online shopping has permanently altered consumers' purchasing behaviors. With reduced shipping times and rock-bottom pricing, available at the mere click of a button, its no wonder more than half of Americans prefer to shop online. Add to that the practice of maintaining online wish lists, the flood of emails offering discount codes and social-media posts promoting flash sales at every turn—brick-and-mortar retailers are more challenged than ever before. Even though online retailers tempt customers on every platform with perfectly styled imagery, influencer collaborations, free shipping and free returns intended to translate the shopping experience into a transac- tion—these transactions, though instant, do not please all of our senses. Beauty consumers still crave a unique and personalized experience, especially in an age of depersonalized computer shopping. As the creative director and brand manager of Bodyog- raphy, it is my main focus to create products that fulfill the needs of consumers, follow trends and, most importantly, come up with the support necessary to encourage distribu- tors to sell product and engage the consumers in stores. Using a combination of tactics, you can drive sales back into brick-and-mortar locations. Let's talk about how! EDUCATION COMES FIRST Invest in educating your sales force—and carry brands that provide educational support. Having a staff of educated professionals inspires customers to try new brands and techniques, resulting in sales and growth. The best brand partners will offer education and encourage ongoing educational support with the launch of new products and the passing of trends, be it a class or seminar for professional consumers or training for the trainers. The retail distributors who offer the most dynamic educational calendars are always the most successful. It is best to team up with brand partners and create a calendar with quarterly classes that appeals to the professionals in that field as well as to consumers. For the best results, offer the class at a base rate that is redeemable for product to boost attendance. This time spent educating not only results in knowl- edge of each brand's features and benefits but also builds a relationship between the brand and the people working hard to sell for that brand. This creates an important bond between manufacturer and distributor. In salons and beauty supply stores, the brands that sell the most are the ones that the sales staff or stylists use, love and represent. Customers will naturally have many questions, so it is imperative that your staff is properly trained in each item's individual selling points. One way to generate interest in your staff and customers is by doing "demo days" each quarter. For Bodyography, this involves sending a team member to spend a few hours in different store locations to do mini makeovers. These demo days focus on seasonal trends and launches. They are planned out months in advance to create a buzz and give customers something to look forward to. They allow clients to try before they buy— something they cannot do online—and give the sales staff a firsthand glimpse into how to sell the brand, straight from the source. Distributors and store manag- ers can chose from a variety of demo day descriptions that change yearly. You'll see success using this tactic because consumers will love the special one-on-one time with a brand specialist who can guide their purchasing decisions, catered to their needs. GET SOCIAL! Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to announce sales, launches and educational events—and it's a direct line of contact to your customer. As a salon or supplier, it can be what makes or breaks you! Creating powerful content is necessary; but what you really need to do is draw in a physical audience. Buzz days or one-day-only flash sales are a great way to do this. Choose a random day each week to offer deals across all brands, which will promote sales and will force you to shift merchandise around to make room for new, exciting products. The internet is littered with so many sales that customers rarely buy anything at full price anymore. Using flash sales helps to promote up-and-coming brands and cross- promote across different categories. Similarly, creating a loyalty program is another way to encourage purchases and create repeat customers; for every dollar spent, customers can receive points and redeem them for merchandise once they have accrued enough. STAY ORGANIZED Your store's layout is important, and staying current is necessary to compete with larger retailers like Ulta and Sephora. Carrying a lot of merchandise doesn't mean that there needs to be clutter. Keep the space Courtesy of Lori Leib, Bodyography Professional Cosmetics The retail distributors who offer the most dynamic educational calendars are always the most successful.

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