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As self-care is being pushed to the forefront of overall health, salons and spas are in a unique position to not only provide needed and necessary personal health services, but to truly impact lives. However, salon and spa professionals can only accomplish this goal if they are available to see the many clients wanting to book their services.
Peak appointment times for salons and spas, according to Bankrate, are usually evenings and weekends, which can be a buzz of energy. Booths are full as stylists and other salon and spa professionals are providing much-needed services to their clients. It’s noisy and exciting, but off-peak times can be a different story. Mornings and midweek bookings are often slower-paced and can cause professionals to lose money, especially if they are paying a booth rental. Shifting bookings to those off-peak times not only helps the salon to fill appointment times that often go unbooked and, therefore, are a source of lost revenue; but aid salon and spa employees in generating new client relationships and increasing their earnings as well.
Encouraging clients to shift their appointments to off-peak times can be beneficial for them as well. It allows them the opportunity to engage with their salon professional in a more relaxed atmosphere and provides an overall better customer experience.
Understanding Your Merchant’s Market
The first thing to think about when understanding your merchant’s market is their physical location. Are they located in a business park or high-traffic business? If so, your merchant can market lunch-hour bookings during the day to increase appointments during off-peak hours. You can target these clients by offering corporate packages, lunchtime or after-work “happy hour” discounts, or even group incentives. This can be easily done through an automated marketing tool, which allows you to target a specific group of clientele and offer curated incentives during certain hours of operation. Entrepreneur.com even suggests that merchants go so far as to alter business hours of operation according to the traffic that location receives.
Merchants should also consider popular local events or activities, and creating packages or special incentives for potential clients that will be in the area for these events. Partnering with involved organizations that are sponsoring events is also a great way to engage with the local community and draw in new business. They may be willing to feature your merchant on their site or event page as a preferred place to visit before or after the event.
Loyalty programs are an excellent way to ensure repeat customers. This program can offer discounted rates for off-peak bookings as well as a referral incentive, which can also be managed through an automated marketing tool. This not only gives your merchants a steady client base, but also provides them with an email list from which to develop new client relationships which may result in filling off-peak bookings.
In the age of social media, having a visible and engaging online presence is incredibly important. Merchants should keep their business information up-to-date on social media platforms and according to Medium.com, including a booking engine right on the merchant’s webpage will make booking easy for your merchant’s customers. Merchants can offer special online-only discounts or off-peak bundles, like a “Tuesday Morning Tune-up” package, to bring in social media followers during off-peak times.
Shifting bookings to off-peak time slots is a great marketing strategy that benefits salons, professionals, and clients. Salon and spa professionals have the opportunity to engage in more authentic experiences and provide better service during these times because there is less hustle and bustle, so they are better able to individualize attention. A strong marketing strategy for targeting low-cost of acquisition channels, like social media followers and members of the loyalty program, in addition to a targeted automated marketing strategy through an integrated POS and booking platform will help drive off-peak bookings.