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There are truly three different customers in the Spray-tanning Market: the custom hand-held spray-tanner, the automated spray-booth tanner, and the retail sunless product user.
How you price yourself in these three categories defines your momentum for tomorrow. Let’s take a look outside the retail category, and dissect your pricing when it comes to automated and custom spray-tans.
You may offer one option or the other, but few of you currently offer both custom and automated options. For the most part, those seeking a spray-tan are days away from a special event – a wedding, class reunion, very special girls’ night out, etc. – they require special preparation. On average, a female will spend from $5-$700 in advance of a special event, anywhere from one to three times per year. This is our current clientele; can we build a business on seeing these female tanners a few times a year? Are we pricing our sunless services to cater only to event tanners, or to encourage weekly visits? What we really need to look at is tomorrow.
The current national average for a spray-booth session is $30, with an airbrush tan typically at an average of $45. Compare your pricing with these; depending on your location and competition, you may be a bit higher or even lower. Now, at an average of $45 per session and an average of less than seven days of “sexy color,” consider your pricing. How do you increase your sunless tanners while maximizing your profit and earning potential? Is it raising your price to a maximum and having fewer customers or only event tanners? Or, is it a pricing structure that encourages weekly tanning as opposed to event-tanning only?
As our industry grows and additional competition enters the marketplace, you must determine what sets you apart. When it comes to automated spray-booths, there can be little distinction between the unit you have and what your competitor offers. What are your differences? For the most part, it becomes price. What is that “sweet spot” where customers flock to your door each week?
If you recall, ten years ago, most females got a mani-pedi for a special event – paying in excess of $100-$150. Now, most places charge anywhere from $60-$75 with a glass of wine! The chairs are always full and you usually need an appointment. As an industry, the price gradually dropped due to the consumer and competition. As the price dropped, consumers decided that it was indicative of what they would spend to maintain their nails, as opposed to getting them done only for special occasions. We can adjust our pricing structures to that mentality. As we mature as an industry and understand how our products work on the skin, we can offer pricing at a level that is affordable for weekly color maintenance.
Typically, a custom hand-held spray-tan is usually priced $15 per session more than a booth spray. Keyword: “custom” – a trained and certified technician provides it; a person trained on skin-typing as well as pampering your guest. At a national average of $45 per spray, think about the investment one would have to make for weekly maintenance – nearly $200 a month! Imagine chatting with your spouse about that at the dinner table. Do you think lowering your price would make you less money per person or bring in more people per day?
Do not tailor your pricing to event tanners! Include multiple packages that are so enticing that no one who comes in for a spray-tan would ever want to buy just one. And, make sure that your packages are valid for six months or less, so guests don’t “bank” sessions for their next event that could be six months from now.
Always remember: people feel better with a tan, people feel thinner with a tan, and the reason they get spray-tans for special events as because it makes them look good! Do not second-guess that the reason we’re in business is not just to make money, but also to make people look, feel, and be amazing.
Senior VP of Sales & Marketing for Norvell Sunless - A Division of Sunless, Inc. With over 24 years of industry experience as a sales rep and manager of a salon distribution company, equipment manufacturer rep, and owner of multiple salons, Brandon is passionate about making spray-tanning profitable for your business.
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