Editor's comment: addressing the challenges of online product distribution
An increase in the number of pro brands being sold via shopping channels or online marketplaces was named among the biggest challenges facing salons during our recent focus group.
The salon owners and independent therapists we met with felt that the issue is escalating as professional brands continue to be bought out by large, and traditionally consumer-facing, cosmetics businesses. Find out more in the August issue of Professional Beauty.
Meanwhile, for the suppliers, it’s sales of grey market or counterfeit product via other online channels that’s causing the greatest concern. As Louella Belle director Jamie Crook says in our brand view feature in the current issue, it’s not just consumers who are shopping around for the best price. Some professionals are sourcing product from third-party retailers who offer no guarantees or ongoing support.
This can become a vicious circle as, ultimately, these sales take business away from the official distributors and impact their capacity to invest in the level of training and support that salons have come to expect.
Some good news comes this month in the form of a pledge by the European Commission to crack down on sales of fake cosmetics online and to work with these marketplaces to adopt business models that support licensed distribution only.
As well as tackling the challenges, this month we also explore new ways to embrace the opportunities that online platforms offer the industry. The number of salons and spas working with recognised social media influencers is on the rise (see our Insider stats in the August issue) but smart operators are also factoring the selfie generation into their design, with highly instragram-able interiors that get clients snapping, tagging and marketing their businesses for free. Check out our interiors feature in August for three truly inspiring looks, plus some ideas on how to translate them into your own business.
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