“Is this too much? Do we not have enough? How many of each should I have?” We are talking about the number of lotion SKUs on your shelves. This is a question I get asked very often by salon owners all over the country. What is the right number of products? What are the correct price points? This month we are going to discuss what I have seen to be the best approach to this subject.
Whether it’s Devoted or another lotion manufacturer, make sure you find a company that you like: not only the results and aesthetics of the products, but also the people with whom you do business. As a salon owner, you know that people don’t do business with businesses, people do business with people. Many companies employ fabulous trainers who offer online and in-store support. Many help you decide which of their products will sell the best based on your salon’s demographics.
Every market, every town, and every salon has different clientele. Make sure your products fit the needs and price points of each age, gender and tanning need of every person that could potentially tan at your establishment.
I believe that you should have three tanning product options at every price point. If your low end is $30, you need three options in the $30 range – consider a bronzer, an accelerator and a natural bronzer or unisex product. I recommend jumping up $15 from your lowest price point to the next level. So the next three products would be in the $45 range, the next three in the $60 range, and so on. The perfect number of tanning products varies in salons across the country, but in my experience, about 15–18 tanning lotions and three to six after-care options works best.
You generally need a couple specialty products – tingles, hypoallergenic formulas and male-targeted lotions. If your salon has a low number of male tanners, this is probably where you would put a “manly” product. If your salon is near a gym or has a higher number of male tanners (above 30%) you may need options at different price points.
We know your tanners will not buy new lotion at every session, which is why you need other products for them to buy. That can include tan-extending moisturizers, body washes, bronzing powders, sunless tan-maintenance items, etc. If you carry a variety of these products, make sure you have different price points, as well as some female- and male-related options.
The reason that the 20 is the magic number of SKUs is mostly because it’s the easiest to comprehend and train your staff on. When all your products are from the same brand, it’s simple to learn what makes each SKU different and why the higher priced products are priced as such. Generally, the higher you go in price, the better the skin care, tanning results and bottle size. When you have too few products on your shelves, it looks like a close-out sale. On the flip-side, when you have too many items, it looks like you don’t really believe in what you are selling. By simplifying the method, you not only make the sales experience easier on your staff, but also more understandable to your salon guests. ■
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