Chances are you’re already making efforts to keep your salon or spa business going and growing with a little help from web-based platforms that include some social media, regular emails to your customer list, and keeping a website.
Whether you are doing some of that or “none of the above” at this point, there’s no escaping the fact that your clients are actively using the internet, and, more specifically using it throughout the day on their smart phone or tablet.
The question is, how can you take advantage of that fact to maximize your visibility and client growth and retention? If you’re like many busy shop owners and managers, it can seem like “working” the technology is just one more hurdle that’s too high for you in terms of time, learning curve, and expense.
But introducing your own customized mobile app does not have to be difficult, time consuming, or expensive at all. And you may be surprised to find that the value it adds to your business can actually fast-track your efforts to finally implement on a consistent basis most, if not all of the best known marketing practices for salons.
Now many marketing “experts” will point out that having a gorgeous website with all of the bells and whistles like on-line appointment setting, blogs, photo albums, links to social media is something that every serious salon and spa should attend to. They’re not completely wrong, but the reality is that developing a stand-out website can be expensive and maintaining it is a chore that you simply may not have time for.
But while websites are not going away, the reality these days is that your clients are actually using the web via apps (application, or mini-programs) on their iPhones, Droids, iPads, Nooks, Kindles and mobile tablets of every type. In fact, a number of surveys and studies now show that over one-third of smart phone owners start using apps before they even get out of bed every day!
Unlike most websites, apps provide tangible functional features that consumers want purely for convenience, that they can access at any time throughout the day and not just when they are at home or work sitting in front of a computer.
So now, imagine, that with your business with its own branded salon app: your clients can make appointments instantly, call for one with one touch on their smart phone screen (without ever having “saved” your number), automatically record loyalty points while they’re sitting in the chair, see your latest blog and Facebook posts, and receive instant alerts about specials for coming in when you’re having a quiet week and need some sales. How about letting them order and pay for premium hair care products that you sell, right through their phone? That’s also an included feature of the I’m In Marketer mobile app for salons.
The “social” atmosphere of any salon provides a natural fit for inviting your clients to extend their in-shop community experience with by simply downloading your app on their next visit. You’ll give them every reason to do so and it is truly a win-win proposition. It’s not advertising – it’s keeping touch and giving them “exclusive” benefits for being part of your community – benefits that they will enjoy and save money on.
As you solidify your base of repeat clients through mobile-based communications and convenience features, you also give them a way to spread the word to their friends about your shop, stylishly right through direct connections to their Facebook and Twitter pages.
If you’re at all intrigued by the thought of taking your salon client relationships and outreach marketing to another level through your own mobile app, it’s at least worth a test drive on I’m In Marketer’s free demo download. Watch for more salon and spa “mobile” marketing ideas right here; your feedback and questions are always welcome.