Increase Your Profits by Rockin' Retail

By AHP Staff

As professional hairdressers and barbers, we know retailing is a must for our clients to achieve fabulous results after they leave our salons,     so don’t underestimate the impact that selling retail has on helping someone look and feel beautiful. The key is to change your mindset from “selling” to helping. You can raise both your profits and your clients’ satisfaction while having fun at the same time rockin’ retail!

Make it a party!

Create your very own holiday and plan a celebratory event to purchase home-care products. A few celebration ideas are Girls’ Night Out, a birthday party held on your actual birthday, or a Retail Revival offering custom home-care regimens and special pricing on packages.

Encourage your clients to invite friends and family to the event. This can boost your sales and result in getting new clients. Give a small gift or a discount off their next service to those who do bring a friend. And don’t forget to ask your vendors to help you market the event and ask them for gift bag goodies. Most hair companies will also be happy to send one of their product reps to your event. This could inspire more successful retail sales, and will help educate your clients on why professional products get much better results than over-the-counter products.

During the event, you could feature some of your most popular, best-selling items at a small discount, and depending on the season, sell some time-sensitive retail items, such as seasonal scented candles, a floppy hat for the beach, or holiday hair accessories. This creates a sense of urgency that the client has to buy now, or they’ll miss out!

Shift your mindset

Hairdresser selling retail to her clientWhat hairstylist thinks of themselves as a salesperson? Not many, I would say. You might feel you’re being too pushy, salesy, or aggressive by selling retail. If so, it’s time to shift your mindset. By selling your clients home-care products, you are doing them a favor. They will never achieve the look they have when they leave your business if you don’t give them the tools to recreate that same look at home. It also shows your clients that you are paying special attention to their own personal needs. The lesson here: Believing that you are doing your clients a favor—one they will appreciate—can change your entire attitude about “selling.”

Here are some ways to let your clients know you are paying special attention to their needs:

  • Send an email to inform your clients that you are placing a retail order and that it’s  important to you that you stock their favorites. Ask them to hit reply and let you know what they need.
  • Call a handful of your most loyal clients when you get something new and share the juicy details with them. Women love hearing about the latest and greatest and being one of the first to know, so get clients excited by sharing what they can look forward to during their next visit to your salon.
  • Offer to ship their products for free if they can’t make it to the salon soon. This requires a bit of your time and money, but the convenience factor for your clients, and the fact that you’re offering a higher standard of customer care, will build more loyalty.

Follow up

Don’t forget about your clients when they leave the salon. You can create a retail follow-up system that is full of benefits for you and your customers.

First, know the average time it will take them to use up the retail products they’ve purchased from you. This gives you a timeframe to follow up with existing clients and let them know it’s time to replenish.

Many online booking systems will help you keep track of everything a client has purchased from you in the past. This makes it easy to send out a reminder email     or text that sounds something like, “Hi Jesse! My records show that you are probably close to running out of (fill in the blank), and I’m reaching out because I want your hair to continue  to look and feel amazing. Please let me know if you want to swing by and pick up some more, or take advantage  of my free shipping special.”

You can also start a retail follow-up system and contact the client three or four days after they’ve purchased a product. Just touch base with them to see if they understand how to use the product—this shows that you care about them after they’ve left the salon and want to make sure they are happy with the products they’ve purchased.

Rockin’ retail is achievable for any hairdresser or barber, and both you and your clients will reap the rewards!


  • Why is it important to sell retail?

The biggest reason to sell retail is to build client loyalty. It’s been proven time after time, study after study, that a salon client that purchases retail will remain a client longer than those that don’t. If that isn’t reason enough, the other major reason is that it simply brings in revenue.

  • I don’t have much space for my retail area. Any tips?

The most important thing to remember is that first impressions are so important! Make the most of your space by making it attractive, and rotate the merchandise every month to keep the look fresh. And be creative. If you have large windows, are you using them to display merchandise and entice people with professional signage?

  • I’m in a salon suite, so how do I market my retail to only those clients who enter my space?

Walk through your door as though it’s your very first time. It only takes seven feet and seven seconds to give a lasting impression of your retail space the first time a client walks in. In a suite, you can focus all your attention on in-store marketing in the form of merchandise presentation, visual displays, and promotions for greater sales and profits. The products you display in your retail area must serve a specific purpose and target a specific customer base. For each product category, you must showcase a range of styles, price points, and options—a good, better, best selection will offer an appealing product mix that will satisfy most shoppers’ needs and wants. 

  • How do I sell more than one product to a client without feeling like I’m being pushy?

Hairdressers often feel bad if they offer several product suggestions to their client, even when the products will enhance their hair between appointments. Don’t be afraid to bundle sell. When you bundle sell, you are offering your clients a way to maintain the look at home that you’ve helped them achieve in the salon. And be sure to know the products you are selling just as well as your product reps do. You need to be able to identify what the product is, what the features and related benefits of the product are, and how to sell it well.  

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