6 Highly Valuable Things We Learnt For Salons In 2021


It’s been a year perhaps many of us are looking forward to forgetting.

Lockdown and the scare of catching Covid forced some very noticeable changes in the Hair and Beauty industries and in people’s buying and booking habits last year.

Here are what we consider to be 6 valuable things we learnt last year that may help you in 2022.

1. Customer Reviews and strong social proof is more important than ever



Customer service is the new marketing.

By now you should know that when someone is searching for a salon, skin clinic or anything else: in most cases the most influential factor in deciding who they book with isn’t your website, offer, or awards you’ve won.

These all help, but the first (and sometimes only) thing most people will see and pay attention to is your Google average star rating and some of your recent/most relevant reviews.

There is so much misinformation and outright lying online these days, customer reviews has become the only trusted way for consumers to gain a truthful, authentic insight into a business or product’s quality.

(Although as we business owners know, some customer reviews are anything but truthful!)

Because a Google search is almost always how people initially find things online: Google is the customer review platform you should be targeting. Have a solid Google star rating by THE MOST reviewers in your town and you’ll attract new customers like bees to honey.

So if this is something you’ve neglected to date, I strongly recommend you train your team to encourage your clients and customers to review you, consistently.

It’s no longer important; it’s fast becoming utterly essential for a business’ growth.

2. While hairdressing bookings remained fairly consistent, beauty bookings either decreased or fluctuated wildly.



We work with quite a variety of Hair and Beauty businesses. Of course there were exceptions, but by and large for most hair salons demand seemed to be remain fairly constant after re-opening in April.

Many beauty salons on the other hand either slowed down considerably, or went from being booked up one month to flat dead the next.

With the continued pandemic threat there are likely reasons for the decline. 

Some people, particularly the elderly and others considered high-risk, continued to avoiding close contact with others as much as possible. Others who worked from home a lot more simply didn’t prioritise beauty treatments. There was less need to constantly look their best and keep up appearances.

What to expect for beauty bookings in ’22? It would be sensible to expect much of the same until the omicron variant dies out and people feel confident to receive treatments, or return to the office.

So it could be more lean months to start ’22 for the beauty industry, but we’ll soon find out.  


3. Interest in do-it-at-home products soared in 2021


No surprises here. I’ve not looked at any published sales figures yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if DIY beauty products hit record sales figures this year. 

In the Google search campaigns we run for salons, we’re seeing this first hand. In certain areas up to 30% of Google searches for certain treatments, such as laser hair removal, are for brands and equipment that consumers can buy and use themselves.

This may paint a dire picture for beauty treatments in the salon, but there are reasons why it shouldn’t.

Firstly remember most people are only showing interest in at-home products because they either had no choice during lockdown, or they’re still avoiding close contact with others as mentioned above. This eventually will change.

Secondly, this potentially shows that those treatments are booming and growing in popularity.

Some people are looking at these at-home products because they currently can’t afford that treatment in the salon. The cheaper do-it-yourself version from Boots is a possible alternative.

That is only a small percentage of the market. In my experience anyone who can afford to receive these treatments from a trained professional will always prefer to do so.

4. Salons continue to throw away money running brand awareness ads



On any digital platform but particularly on Facebook and Instagram. There now seems to be this unhealthy common conception that if you’re not advertising on Social Media, you’re not running your Hair or Beauty business properly.

Hence I see endless Facebook ads for salons and skin clinics, saying how great they are… because they feel they have to. No compelling offer or reason for people to take action, just “we’re the best, book with us”.

99% of them are just wasting their hard-earned money.

And the 1% that are not? They are those lucky businesses who offer a treatment that is both in genuine high demand, which no other business around them offers. Such cases are extremely rare.

Advertising a compelling offer that directs to a smart landing page to captures people’s information is always going to yield far greater results that just throwing your brand out there and hoping for the best.

5. When you want to advertise an offer on a specific treatment, in most cases Google PPC ads will get you the best returns

We saw a lot of salons waste money advertising a specific treatment on Social Media in 2021. The problem is when it’s treatment that only a very small percentage of your target audience are interested in: finding the right person at the right time can be needle in a hay stack stuff.

It seems some businesses make the mistake of thinking you can create a big offer on something and get bookings from people who were not interested in that treatment beforehand. You might create curiosity and get a bunch of clicks... but in most cases you won’t get their booking.

With Google ads by contrast you can set relevant keywords so your ads are shown when people are actually Google searching for that treatment (or perhaps something very close to it).

6. If you’re running leads-capture ads, the best time to contact your leads and best way of contacting your leads is...



By phone, as quickly as possible after they submit their details. We’ve received plenty of feedback from both salon owners and customers to confirm this.

Strike while the iron is hot. They’ve become a lead for a reason. They’ve seen your offer or incentive, liked what they saw, and taken the next desired action.

So try and reach them while it’s fresh in their mind. And a confident, friendly, helpful phone chat will ALWAYS create a better impression that a text message or email.

So that’s 6 learnings that stick out for us in 2021.

I hope this information helps you have a prosperous year ahead.

Here’s to a kicka*** ’22!

Scott Dance
Founder
January 2022

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