Creating An Impulse
While it may not be obvious on the surface, there is a lot that grooming salon owners and operators can learn at their local Wal-Mart.
This struck me when my wife recently recounted a shopping trip she made to the retail powerhouse during the holidays. That trip, which she expected to be a quick in-and-out stop to pick up two or three items that she had seen in a weekly circular, turned into a three-hour odyssey and resulted in purchases far beyond what she expected to make that day.
The key to the evolution of this particular shopping trip, said my wife, was the way that Wal-Mart cross-merchandised their aisles. “Every time I went down an aisle, I was surprised to find something completely unrelated to other products on the shelf,” she said. Often, this sparked another gift idea that wasn’t previously on her radar, sending her down another aisle, where she found another impulse display that sparked yet another gift idea, and so on.
Groomers can (and should) be utilizing a similar strategy and putting the power of impulse purchases to work in their salons. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the salon’s retail merchandise mix. Regardless of whether or not retail is a significant focus of the business, salons that offer even a token selection of pet products should make sure that these offerings are apparent to clients. This way, for example, a client who has been advised on the proper between-appointment regimen for their cocker spaniel can’t help but to see a brush or freshening spritz that would be perfect for such coat maintenance.
However, impulse sales don’t have to be limited to a salon’s inventory of pet products; this strategy will also work well for add-on services. Maybe a client who has brought their dog in for a routine bathing and cut would be receptive to adding nail-clipping or even a blueberry facial or a massage session for their four-legged loved one, but the thought hadn’t occurred to them. By utilizing prominent signage that suggests a variety of the grooming services available, salon owners and operators can put these add-on services front and center on the clients’ radar.
The lesson here is don’t wait for it to dawn on clients that they might want to add something to their purchase. Instead, take an active approach to generating interest in the salon’s retail offerings and add-on services. The result can, and often will, be a sale that goes significantly beyond what the client originally intended when they walked in the front door.
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