Mobile Commerce Daily recently reported on the success that hair salon chain Great Clips has experienced with its mobile app, particularly its online check-in feature.
Great Clips does not accept appointments for haircuts. Stylists serve customers on a first-come-first serve basis. But since 2011, Great Clips has allowed customers to get in line from its online check-in site, meaning they can often get to their stylist the moment they walk in the door. The app also provides current wait times at nearby locations.
According to the report, customers have used the feature 10 million times since it launched, and 70 percent of those uses originated from a mobile device.
The company’s app also allows customers to find nearby locations and directions and view a list of promotions. Users can enter contests by typing in their mobile phone number, which Great Clips can use later to send messages. Consumers can also check their gift card balance by typing in its 19-digit number.
The app has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times, and the company expects 2 million downloads by the end of this year.
Perhaps you’re wondering how the operations of national chain with 3,300 locations is relevant to your business.
Our answer: No matter what size your salon or spa, you can do just as much if not more than Great Clips with an affordable and effective mobile app of your own.
The return on investment of a mobile app is enormous. Once the app is developed, you can conduct various marketing campaigns and referral programs at no additional cost.
You can reward loyal customers and turn them into brand evangelists. And you can automate the entire process so that it only takes minutes to launch a campaign.
What’s more, providing your customers with a user-friendly mobile app offers you a competitive advantage over similar businesses in your community.
Im In Marketer specializes in producing mobile apps for the salon and spa industry. Some of the features included in our apps include:
Our check-in feature works a little differently than the one described for Great Clips. We look at check-in as a way to reward returning customers. We know how important your regular customers are to the success of your business, and the check-in feature on our mobile app can strengthen the relationships you have with your regulars.
It’s a simple process. Your customers simply press a button on the app once they arrive at your location. The app records their “check-in.” Then, after, say, three check-ins, the app can reward the client with a free shampoo or manicure. They never again have to keep track of paper coupons or loyalty cards; the entire process is automated.
What’s more, every time a client pushes that button, she shares with her social media followers that she just checked into your business. It’s free advertising for you, and a much more effective form of advertising because it’s not coming from you, it’s coming from one of your customers to their family and friends.
It’s Saturday afternoon and one of your loyal customers has an important event that evening. She desperately needs to squeeze in a style and manicure during her busy day of errands, but has not scheduled an appointment. No problem, she simply goes to the salon or spa’s mobile app and requests a last-minute appointment. She gets her hair and nails done and you receive a competitive advantage, glowing reviews on Facebook and at the event she’s attending that night, and an almost guarantee she’ll be back for a return visit.
Push notifications are simple messages sent through the mobile app. But the beauty of these messages is that they are opened 97% of the time, and most of them will be opened within minutes of receipt. It’s highly unlikely your last direct mail postcard or email got opened by 97% of recipients.
You can use push notifications for a variety of purposes, including reminding customers about special offers, events, promotions, styling tips, and open appointments. It’s a more intimate way of communicating with customers.
Your business relies not only on repeat business, but also on referrals from those loyal customers. With an Im In Marketer mobile app, you can make it easier for clients to spread the word about your business.
With the Tell-a-Friend feature, a customer who receives a coupon through the app can share it with her Facebook friends. Those friends are more likely to act upon the message because it came from an acquaintance, not from you.
Your spa or salon’s mobile app can also be used to order products and conduct contests and giveaways. The app can also be set up to integrate with your social media sites.
So whether you operate a regional chain with several stores or smaller mom & pop business, you can enhance your customers’ experience and develop simple and automated marketing campaigns with your own mobile app.