Emerging technologies in the hair and beauty industry have significantly changed how business owners reach out to and interact with their clients. You must embrace salon tech- from the Internet of Things (IoT), social media, to machine learning- for your hair & beauty salon to gain a competitive edge in this new dispensation.
One notable fact about the emerging salon tech is that it is empowering clients to make beauty decisions by themselves and for themselves. It is giving clients the power to decide for themselves when to book or cancel appointments and the payment methods they are most comfortable with. Technology has also made it easier for salon owners to access and analyze big data, which has consequently made it more convenient for them to manage both clients and employees. In a nutshell, modern salon tech is improving customer experience and streamlining salon business management.
If you want to elevate your hair and beauty business into something exceptional, you need to adopt these 6 modern salon tech:
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1. QR codes
QR (Quick Response) codes gained lots of popularity during the pandemic for their ability to minimize human contact in service-based businesses. The square-shaped barcodes stores large volumes of data and, when scanned, allow users to gain instant access to the data they saved. In the setting of a Hair Salons in Grand Prairie, QR codes can help you in more ways than you’d imagine. Here are 4 examples of what this technology can help you grow your salon business:
i. Helps with SEO
Do you have a website for your salon? You should create one if you haven’t already; websites are invaluable for online marketing. If you already have a website, you definitely know how hard it is to rank on Google’s first search result pages. Competition for first-page slots on Google is just too high for small businesses. It takes a substantial SEO budget, top-notch content creation efforts, and relentless local SEO efforts in order to make your salon’s booking page visible to your target audience. You need lots of time and patience too.
You can use QR codes to bypass most of the SEO challenges that salon businesses face. For example, you can link a QR code to your online booking page so that all a client needs to do is scan the code and automatically direct it to your website. You can then put the QR code up on your social media profiles, outdoor advertising materials, and all around your salon. This way, your website becomes visible to your social media followers and your walk-in clients even with a low ranking on Google. What’s more, consistently increasing online traffic is good for SEO. Your website will gradually climb up the ranks as more and more of your foot traffic converts to online traffic.
ii. Providing directions
Local businesses, e.g. salons, thrive online by leveraging local SEO. Local SEO will get your salon business seen by local clients who search “salon near me” and “where to buy beauty products in location X” queries. You should also have a dedicated Google Maps listing that guides online searchers right to your location.
Where do QR codes come in here? Well, you can link a location QR code for Google Maps to your salon’s address or put it up on your offline marketing materials. When clients scan the code, they are directed to your location on Google Maps (or Apple Maps).
iii.Efficiency during check-ins
QR codes can help you enhance your clients’ booking experience at the check-in points. You just need to create a check-in form on your website (for recording clients’ arrival time and personal info) and then link it to a QR code. Clients scan the code using their smartphones and are directed to the form. That reduces time wastage at the front desk. Furthermore, for as long as COVID-19 is around, this check-in form can serve as a contact tracing form.
iv. Digital payments
Thanks to COVID-19, the use of currency notes and physical cards continues to plummet. You now will appeal better to clients if you provide them with contactless payment options. You can do that by putting up a QR code in your salon and linking it to your online payment processor. That allows walk-in clients to make payments online fast and conveniently.
2. Salon management software
Reputable salon software will help you manage your salon better, improve your online reputation, and retain both employees and clients. It will, among other things:
- Help you keep an organized, easy-to-access customer database. That includes contacts and other personal information, upcoming appointments, clients’ hairstyles & product preferences, as well as prepaid package balances. You can use this information to create targeted marketing campaigns and customize customer service.
- Allow clients to schedule appointments online at their own convenience, including outside of your office hours.
- Send automated appointment reminders to clients through text messages and emails. You can also use the platform to inform clients of upcoming offers or new beauty products they need to try.
- Help you generate sales reports that you can then use to track and monitor discounts, offers, and overall sales.
- Provide a platform for you to sell your hair & beauty products.
You probably are familiar with IoT and the amazing possibilities it is unlocking in smart homes. This technology isn’t just for homes though. You can utilize it to add efficiency and a definite wow factor to your salon. Here are a few smart technologies that will help you create a smart salon:
- A smart thermostat. Don’t wait for clients to complain that your salon is too cold or too hot. A smart thermostat will allow you to control heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in the salon from your phone or computer. You can even program it to self-adjust with changes in room temperature.
- Smart plugs and smart power strips. These will help you monitor and control energy usage in the salon, switch the power on/off remotely, and control your lights from your phone.
- A smart speaker that allows you to control your playlist with your voice.
Video Conferencing platforms enable you to offer your professional consultation remotely. You can use Skype, for example, to talk clients through proper at-home care for hair, skin, or nails. You can charge a small consultation fee or use the chance to pitch your products to online clients. Virtual consultations will also help you to comprehensively understand a client’s needs prior to them visiting your salon, so you are ready for when they come.
How do you train your employees, especially if you manage salons in multiple locations? Videoconferencing allows you to hold virtual webinars and online refresher training for your team(s).
Virtual imaging, through Augmented Reality (AR), allows clients to “try out” different hair colors or styles in order to make informed makeover choices. It allows virtual makeup tests so that users don’t have to test makeup shades on their skin. That gives you better odds of impressing your clients. What’s more, virtual imaging promotes your online retail store by allowing your online clients to try out your products remotely.
6. Digital marketing
Technology has opened up multiple invaluable marketing channels for salon businesses. It has enabled, for example:
- Social media marketing. Traditional marketing platforms such as radio, print, and TV can be pricey and limited in terms of audience reach. You now can reach a much wider audience with a small or no budget at all. You will, for instance, appeal to potential clients online by simply posting photos of satisfied clients on Instagram or Facebook.
- Online surveys. Collecting feedback from clients has never been easier thanks to salon software technology. There are also many free small business survey tools (e.g. Google Forms) that you can use to create simple surveys for your salon business.
- Email newsletters. Through email marketing, salon managers are able to run promotions, create communities of loyal clients, and launch marketing campaigns conveniently and without a budget.
The impact of technology on hair and beauty as an industry cannot be overstated. It is time you started using available tech to gain an edge over competitors. Use tech to build your clientele, retain clients, manage revenue, and keep more accurate databases. Your chances of success are always higher with technology as your friend!