We know that re-opening after the lockdown is fraught with anxiety over just how long it will take for customers to return to your salon, but according to experts, offering discounts to lure them in won’t end well.

“Offering discounts from the get-to creates a herd mentality for freebies,” says finance expert, Janice Cussins. “Often in business, the ones who can’t afford to give away freebies are the ones who tend to think they have to. You’ve been closed for two months. Can you really afford to be using your products and staff time and getting no payment for it? My guess is that you can’t.”

According to Janice, holding your price will send the message to customers that you’re back and that the treatments are of the same standard and quality that they were pre-lockdown. “People don’t expect something for nothing. But they’re also never going to turn down a discount. Do yourself a favour and bypass the whole situation.”

Hold a competition
An alternative method to encourage your customers back is the possibility of winning a prize. Entry, however, comes with a paid treatment. “Suggest to your database that every paying customer goes into the draw to win a treatment, or something similar,” says Janice. “That way, you’re getting paying customers through the door and parting with one free treatment. Those are better numbers.”

Advertise pay-later opportunities
Just like you, your customers’ income may have taken a battering, we know. And that’s where pay-later arrangements can help your customers while ensuring you don’t miss out on immediate payment.Once reserved for online fashion and homewares, the beauty industry has caught on to the benefits of the pay-over-time options, particularly at expensive times of year.

There’s zero risk to the salon owner – they receive full funds immediately from the lender, such as Afterpay, ensuring that your bottom line isn’t effected by any delays in payment.

The likes of Ella Bache, Dermalogica and Australian Skin Clinics have partnered with Afterpay, allowing clients to purchase products directly from their site, while paying off the total over four fortnightly payments.

When it comes to in-house services though, Afterpay has developed Salon Pay. “Salon Pay is a payment solution for the hair and beauty Industry,” says a representative for the company.  “With hundreds of salons across Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA, Salon Pay is a movement to bring an industry who has been doing business the same way for centuries into the now. It offers your clients multiple ways to pay including booking fees, recurring payments and pamper-now pay-later, powered by Afterpay.”

Visit the #BEAUTYSTRONG hub at https://www.professionalbeauty.com.au/beautystrong/

For more news and updates, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.