There’s nothing easy about running a nail salon. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the industry to a near standstill, salons faced intense competition, rising expenses, and a concerted effort to protect employees from the ill effects of exposure to the potentially dangerous chemicals they work with.
Nails Magazine’s 2020 Annual Report surveyed nail salon owners and employees, asking them to identify their two greatest business challenges. These are the five obstacles cited most often by the survey respondents:
- Attracting and retaining clients (cited by 24 percent of respondents)
- Competing against the growing number of discount salons (23 percent)
- Maintaining the business’s social media accounts (19 percent)
- Managing appointments and dealing with customers who arrive late or not at all (18 percent)
- Advertising and marketing (17 percent)
The good news for nail salon owners is that all five of these business problems are addressed by a modern, cloud-based nail salon POS system. Here’s a look at how the right combination of POS hardware and software helps a nail salon boost profitability and achieve its goals.
How a Nail Salon POS Supports Customer Relationship Management
A trip to a nail salon is a small indulgence that can make a huge difference in a customer’s day. Perhaps more than most other businesses, nail salon customers want to be made to feel special. They have come to expect a personalized retail experience, and one that gives them greater control over the process.
The more a nail salon knows about its customers, the more personalized the business can make its services. Gaining a better understanding of what customers like and don’t like requires collecting and analyzing data about them.
A nail salon POS allows the business to gather and store demographic information about its clients and to track their purchasing history. This allows salon workers to suggest products and services the customers may like based on their past purchases, such as their favorite brands and nail polish colors.
Equally important is the POS system’s ability to give clients more control by making it easy to schedule or reschedule appointments with their favorite manicurists and nail technicians. For example, online appointment scheduling makes it easy for customers to access the salon’s appointment calendar via a tablet or smartphone.
Gaining a Competitive Advantage via Nail Salon POS Sales Analysis
Just as in forming close relationships with customers, data is the key to understanding the areas of the nail salon business that are generating the most sales revenue, and those parts of the business that are struggling. Modern nail salon POS systems include real-time data analytics features that make it easy to generate reports indicating the store’s most popular products over the past week, month, or season, for example.
The reports also show which of the nail salon’s promotions have been most effective in generating revenue, how well its employees are performing, and the times and days of the week during which sales levels are highest and lowest. By automatically integrating sales data with accounting, employee management, inventory management, and other key business processes, nail salon POS systems deliver business intelligence without requiring any heavy lifting.
How a Nail Salon POS Supports Omnichannel Marketing Efforts
For any retail business, connecting with customers requires a singular approach that integrates online and real-world marketing and promotion. A nail salon must take advantage of every opportunity to reach customers wherever their attention may be. If your customers are on social media, your marketing program must find ways to reach them there with your message.
A nail salon POS system that combines online and on-premises marketing allows the business to offer customers personalized discounts on the products and services they’re most likely to be receptive to. It also makes it easy to create a branded, customized website that customers can use to schedule appointments, order products, and easily connect with their favorite nail technicians.
Make Appointment Scheduling Easy, Efficient, Flexible, and Accurate
Nothing will eat into a nail salon’s profit faster than missed appointments. A nail salon POS with end-to-end appointment management ensures that customers can make and change appointments quickly and easily via their custom website or mobile app. They can choose the time and date for their appointment, select their preferred technician, and state the types of services they wish to receive.
In addition to entering their name and contact information, customers can choose to receive appointment reminders via email or text. They can have the reminders sent to their social media accounts if they have entered their account information in the system. Salon owners are able to customize the reminders to include options for modifying, rescheduling, or canceling the appointment.
Personalize Advertising and Marketing via Customer-Facing POS Features
Attracting customers to your nail salon becomes more challenging as customers come to expect 24/7 access to their favorite brands and services. A nail salon POS system brings the business closer to its clients by offering app-based interactions, tablet-based self-service kiosks, and other customer-facing technologies.
Customers have also come to expect a range of payment options, including eWallets and contactless payments. Most importantly, customers want to feel appreciated for who they are by receiving special offers, loyalty discounts, and other promotions that are geared to their preferences and personalities. By combining customer information with real-time sales analytics, nail salons can communicate with their customers more effectively to ensure that their marketing message comes through loud and clear.
Retailers of all types face unprecedented challenges in the wake of COVID-19-related closures and restrictions. Yet the difficulties that nail salons must overcome to maintain their businesses through these tough times are unique in many ways. The features available in a modern nail salon POS system go a long way in addressing these challenges, offering these businesses a lifeline when it’s needed most.
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