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Salon operators and staff can talk and engage with people, so how is it possible for a digital shopping cart that can’t even speak to steal product sales from us?
The three-word phrase “just Google it” could be a micro-statement as to why even dedicated beauty product professionals like me – as well as many salon professionals reading this article right now – have broken their own “bronze” rule and done the unthinkable: purchased a beauty product online! WHY?
Like all of us, I consult the great and all-knowing Google daily for answers to a plethora of questions and conundrums. I search for super-silly, trivial and even what I like to call “bet-settling” type of stuff; but, I also rely on our digital life-coach, “Dr. Google” for more serious and complex information.
No matter what I ask it, Google is always there, 24/7, and always ready with answers to every question imaginable, from “Can Chuck Norris divide by zero?” to “What makes a tanning product work?” to “Will the hemp seed oil in a product make me fail a drug test?” Truth is that we’ve been conditioned to expect that any and all info we could ever need is only a click or two away.
The sheer magnitude of our instant access to information makes it even more mind-boggling when we physically go shopping at a store and have even our most basic questions met with shrugging shoulders, blank stares and best guesses from sales associates. Even very simple, routine questions like, “Why does this lotion work?” or “What makes ‘Bronzer A’ better than ‘Bronzer B’?” are beyond their grasp. Far too many times in retail businesses like tanning salons, these types of questions are not answered at all or not answered thoroughly enough to generate an informed, confident consumer purchase.
It is the disconnect between lotion-seller and lotion-buyer that forces more and more of your guests to seek products online!
Most salon owners will adamantly point to price as the smoking gun that drives tanners to buy products online; but research shows that nine times out of ten, it’s the lack of information that drives them to the web in the first place.
Once your guest asks Google for info on a specific product, we all know what they get: an answer that may or may not be true, and ten different sites where they can buy it right then in just a couple of clicks.
David McFarland is a National Educator for Sun Evolutions, offering brands including Supre Tan, ProTan, Fiesta Sun and Playboy. He is a face-to-face sales and beauty product fanatic who gauges his success solely on his effectiveness at selling real product to real, live salon customers.
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