User reviews of salon software
Client segmentation is becoming an ever-more important tool to help spas and salons personalise marketing and increase sales, discovers Georgia Seago
CASE STUDY: THE HIGH STREET DAY SPA
O SPA, SOLIHULL
INVESTMENT: £3,500 ONE-OFF PAYMENT, £39.95 PER MONTH FOR SUPPORT
Mixed into the standard treatment menu at O Spa in Solihull are a range of holistic and wellness-based therapies, such as acupuncture, osteopathy and naturopathic nutrition.
With this spa-style menu, it was important to the salon’s director, Sarah Smith, that O Spa’s software was suited to its comprehensive needs. “We chose Premier as our software provider because they seemed to have the main market share in software for spas, whereas many of the other options seemed mainly tailored to hairdressers or beauty salons,” she says.
Premier has been its software of choice since opening. In terms of client segmentation, aside from regularly using Premier to target particular client sectors for treatment promotions, Smith finds the client card feature particularly useful. This allows the user to record previous purchases and past appointments along with a client’s details, and based on these spends the software will recommend products. So, if a client was recommended a product used in a treatment but didn’t purchase at the time, staff can follow up on the client’s next visit.
In this way, the software multi-tasks as a sales tool, helping to boost O Spa’s retail sales. O Spa uses the software’s integrated SMS facility and recently benefited from a free upgrade (included in Premier’s support packages), which included an automated email feature that can be configured to use stored information to send out “happy birthday” messages or welcome emails to new clients. “
It actually saves a lot of work, rather than having to export data and sift it into an external mail server,” Smith says. O Spa also makes use of the automated email function for its “recommend a friend” scheme to attract new clients by segmenting first-time visitors and following up the appointment with a “thank you” message and an offer to receive a discount on their next visit if they bring new business via a recommendation. The offer will then be flagged up on their history in the system, so that the new client can also be discounted.
O Spa regularly holds events with its brand partners, and the new email update has made it easier for Smith to send event invites to the right clients in an efficient way. In May, the spa held an Environ Visia skin analysis day, where clients were invited to have their skin analysed using digital technology, followed by a taster facial.
Smith was able to segment clients using different criteria – clients who had attended previous events or who’d had an Environ facial in the past – before Premier sent out an email to these clients, offering priority booking ahead of inviting the remaining client database. “We actually looked around recently at other suppliers and decided to stay with Premier because there were other companies that charge monthly for their software, which wouldn’t be good for us financially,” says Smith. “The technical support is also very good. It’s rare that anything goes wrong but they have always been very helpful when we’re stuck.”
CASE STUDY: THE TANNING SALON
THE SUN CENTRE, ORMESBY, MIDDLESBROUGH
SOFTWARE: SALON TRACKER
INVESTMENT: £499 FOR PACKAGE, PLUS £199 FOR ANNUAL LICENCE
Middlesbrough-based tanning salon The Sun Centre has been using Salon Tracker since 2008. When owner Kevin Conway wanted to add nail and beauty services to his existing tanning offering, he says Salon Tracker made it easy for him to adapt his software to accommodate this.
“They were very helpful from the beginning. They went through everything in detail with me so I fully understood the system,” he says. Salon Tracker’s marketing function is essential to Conway, as is the ability to segment clients by annual spend. “Since we’ve had the software, every year I go through my top 2,500 spenders and send them out a Christmas card with a special offer in it.
It takes about five minutes and we see complete success from it. Post- Christmas is usually a quiet time but when you’re sending out those cards with an offer it becomes a busy period. We get a lot of money coming through the tills in December and January when we usually wouldn’t,” he says. Conway occasionally uses the function for SMS marketing to target specific clients for promotions and get the word out about new services. The Sun Centre recently purchased a new Mega Sun sunbed, so Conway used the system to filter the highest spenders on existing Mega Sun services and send them a text to let them know about the arrival, which resulted in a wave of bookings.
The salon retails tanning creams and teeth-whitening products among others, and generally has multiple promotions running at any one time. Salon Tracker allows Conway to manage these offers (such as 25% off a £25 spend) by deducting a percentage from the product’s RRP at point of sale. When a customer comes to purchase, the offer will be instantly recognisable by barcode. “There is also the ability to add a product alert to a client’s account to record what they may be interested in product wise, based on their treatment and retail history,” says Conway.
This way he can suggest a relevant retail product to each client as they leave. He can also track the benefits of this using Salon Tracker’s daily, weekly and monthly sales results charts. In The Sun Centre’s case, these have improved drastically since Conway has been focused on pushing retail sales through the software. “I’ve been using the functions more in the last year than I had in the past. Salon Tracker showed me that my retail sales weren’t particularly strong and now retail is up to about 30% of revenue, from 5%. It’s really helped,” he says.
CASE STUDY: THE MULTI-SITE OPERATOR
ANITA’S BEAUTY CENTRE, MILTON KEYNES
INVESTMENT: £72 PER MONTH
When you have a salon group with more than one branch, the ability to book and manage appointments and clients across several locations via a single software
system is key. “There is one system in each of our two locations; each can see the other’s diary, and you can also access them over the internet.
This means I can see what is going on in the business through the online portal,” says Raj Deokar, director of Anita’s Beauty Centre, which has two sites in Milton Keynes. Anita’s Beauty Centre has been using software from Jelly since around six months after the business opened in 2011, and for Deokar it is vital for safeguarding revenue.
“The software provides us with the ability to segment data of clients who have not visited for a certain number of weeks or months. We can then send them a great offer to encourage them to come back,” he explains. The salons use Jelly’s automated SMS feature every day, which allows staff to send reminder texts the day before an appointment.
The system also records no-shows, so staff can keep tabs on which clients are more likely to not attend an appointment and schedule an extra reminder. “We get a lot fewer no-shows because of the messaging. If a client cannot attend an appointment it reminds them to call us beforehand rather than just not turning up.
They can also send a text back to reschedule,” says Deokar. “Recently, I wanted to promote an offer to our regular nail clients, so I filtered all clients who have had a nail treatment with us recently and sent them an offer for £5 off if they booked within 30 days. We saw a lot of rebookings immediately after.
Most of the marketing I do through Jelly is SMS marketing,” Deokar continues. An average nail appointment costs £20 at Anita’s Beauty Centre, and if Deokar is able to reduce even one no-show per day through the use of SMS reminders or marketing, what would otherwise be a loss is actually, in a way, paying for the Jelly software licence, as he puts it.