21 Christmas salon retail tips that work

Are your salon’s December retail sales a rip-roaring success?

Or a bit of a washout?

Successful Christmas retail sales start with strong visual merchandising. Here’s why…

Stunning festive merchandising will:

  • Increase your average retail invoice.
  • Boost the average number of units per client.
  • Grow your salon profits.

Get your tills ringing this December with these 21 merchandising ideas, tips and tricks guaranteed to help you sell more hair and beauty retail products over the coming weeks. And remember:

The easier you make it for your clients to shop at your salon, the more they will spend.

Let’s dive in:


Dazzling displays sell retail at Christmas

Don’t just rely on your salon team to sell retail this December. Give them, and your profits, a helping hand.

Strong visual merchandising converts browsers into buyers.

Your salon retail marketing should:

  • Grab their attention (‘that’s new’)
  • Arouse their interest
  • Create desire (‘Clare would just love this new eye cream for Christmas’)
  • Motivate them to buy there and then.


21 festive holiday salon retail merchandising tips…


#1. Avoid mixed marketing messages

Are your retail displays and shelves sending mixed or conflicting salon marketing messages?

Let me explain:

If your retail message is ‘inexpensive stocking fillers’, then piling similarly priced low ticket items together sends a message of ‘good value and easy-on-the pocket’.

Don’t confuse your clients by adding a set of high value ghds to this particular display.

On the other hand:

An expensive electrical gift is best displayed on its own, with perhaps some accent lighting to indicate it’s an indulgent Christmas present for someone special.


#2. Merchandising magic

Small retail items benefit from careful treatment otherwise they can get lost or look cluttered.

Give them more impact and structure by massing them together in a stunning collection.

Five lipsticks look insignificant. But 35 make a statement.


#3. Salon signage

1. Sign everything

At this time of year clients are in a mad rush. Use salon signage to show where everything is to help them pin down what they’re looking for and prompt additional purchases.

2. Be FAB

Shelf/display signs should include features, advantages and benefits (FABs).

And never have a ‘Do Not Touch’ sign. It screams ‘Do Not Buy’. Instead encourage clients to interact, touch and have fun with your hair and beauty products.

3. Celebrity endorsements

Retail product endorsed by a celebrity? Make sure you place this endorsement next to the product on the shelf as celebrity endorsements do help sell hair and beauty retail – as I explain in this salon marketing blog post.

4. All wrapped up for Christmas

 If you offer a gift wrapping service then advertise it around your salon, on social media and on your website.


#4. Colour affects buyer retail behaviour

Colour psychology is very important in visual merchandising as our brains are hot-wired to react to it.

Attention-grabbing festive red is a dynamic colour which evokes strong emotions. Yet it does have discount or deal connotations.  So think before using it too liberally in merchandising pre-Christmas. That said, it’s useful for highlighting impulse buys.

Silver, black and gold make us feel luxury, prestige and sophistication so ideal for your premium hair and beauty ranges.

Lavender, romantic pink shades and purple are known to be more appealing to women salon clients. Don’t use this palette for selling to guys.

Royal and dark blues invoke feelings of trust, reliability and calm (that’s why so many banks and insurance companies use it).

Orange is a marmite colour – you love it or hate it. It’s assertive, like red, and oozes affordability. Not a particularly festive colour and better suited to your January added value offers.

Green is firmly associated with eco-friendly and organic in our minds. It’s relaxing, calming and easy-on-the eye.


#5. Accent lighting for top salon sellers

The right lighting draws attention to retail products and makes them pop. Try something as simple as using a different coloured bulb to bathe a shelf in a warm glow of light.

Like to boost your Gift card sales pre-Christmas? This blog is brimming with practical ideas you can implement right away.


#6. Odd numbers work best for salon merchandising

Odd numbers are more appealing to the eye than even numbers.

So when you group hair or beauty products together create groups of three, five or seven. Not two, four or eight.


#7. Eye level is buy level for retail

Take a look when you’re next in a big retailer or supermarket and you’ll see:

  • their most expensive, profitable lines are at eye-level
  • discount brands are relegated to the lower shelves
  • impulse buys are placed between waist height and eye-level
  • and so are any retail marketing messages/signage.

Follow these patterns when creating your festive displays in your salon. Because they work.


#8. Clear product pricing is good salon merchandising

Make it comfortable for clients to buy from you. No-one likes to ask the price as it may sound like you can’t afford much. It’s embarrassing.

Always label individual retail products clearly, or use shelf talkers showing the price, name and size of the product. It saves clients’ blushes and increases hair and beauty sales.


#9. An effective merchandising tip from the big boys

Supermarkets know a thing or two about consumer buying habits. They put inexpensive last-minute retail items by the check-out to entice spending.

Do the same in your salon, clinic or spa. Pop a tempting basket of ‘ideal stocking fillers’ on your reception desk. And watch them fly out the door.

Christmas retail sales infogaphic


#10. Balance your seasonal retail displays

Create a festive display that is visually balanced and doesn’t look top heavy.

Place dark coloured products (which appear heavier than light ones) lower in your display and lighter coloured ones at the top. Simple, but effective.


#11. Clever retail psychology for salons

Retail research reveals the majority of people head to the right when they first enter a shop. We do it unconsciously – it’s probably because most of us are right-handed.

Make the most of this by putting your Christmas gift packs and holiday deals on the right side of your salon or spa. If you’re interested in the psychology behind buyer behaviour try this post.


#12. Delight all the senses

Salon retailing doesn’t just stop at visual displays.

How about:

  • Stimulating your clients’ sense of smell with fragrant Christmassy candles.
  • Refresh your festive playlist. Endless repeats of tired festive favourites wear thin after two hours in the chair having a colour service.

Your salon music affects your clients’ buying behaviour and can make them subconsciously purchase more. My blog here looks at how you can harness this music psychology to boost retail sales.


#13. Salon retail housekeeping

It’s December and you’re all rushed off your feet, but don’t let basic salon housekeeping standards slip.

Hair salons in particular are dusty places. Set up a weekly rota for cleaning every bottle and shelf. You don’t see dusty shelves in the big stores, and clients don’t expect to see them in your beauty or hair business.

Now step outside…

FREE retailing space: your salon windows

Are your salon or clinic windows working hard advertising your hair and beauty business this Christmas?

Do they appeal to your target audience and set the scene before they walk through your salon door?

Do they encourage passers-by to pop in hunting for last-minute gifts?


It’s crucial to get your windows ‘selling’ for you in the countdown to Christmas.

Let’s look at some practical ideas…


#14. Breathtaking holiday windows

Avoid plonking a bit of everything in your salon windows – nothing will stand out and draw the eye.

Instead, be BOLD.

Pick a story. How about ‘winter wonderland’, ‘party time’ or ‘family fun’? Theme everything to this story from your decorations and colour choices to your merchandise and lighting.

And include the things clients want rather than just need. Engage their emotions.


#15. Shimmering Christmastide retail

Introducing some movement is an easy and effective way to perk up your window displays. Try:

  • Fluttering festive ribbons
  • Quivering decorations (use a small fan to create a wafting breeze)
  • Rotating stands

…all introduce motion into your salon window. Add twinkling lighting for extra oomph.


#16. Two audiences for your salon windows

Use a mixture of different sizes and shapes in your December window displays.


Because passers-by on the pavement can spot a bottle of shampoo or a lipstick in your window. Drive-bys cannot.

Using a combination of large and small items means you catch both pedestrians and car drivers’ interest.


#17. Use your merchandising space in interesting ways

Layer salon merchandise at different levels in your window and introduce height. Row upon row of shampoo bottles in boring straight lines are never going to steal the headlines.


#18. Mirror, mirror on the (salon) wall

I love using mirrors when decorating salon and spa windows to:

  • add sparkle and depth
  • increase the light
  • and expand the retail space.


#19. Striking lighting boosts holiday retail sales

Shoppers are out late in the run up to Christmas so ramp up your salon, clinic or spa lighting.

Add some visual drama. Theatrical lighting effects don’t have to be expensive. A few well-placed spotlights showcase your business and retail products.


#20. Take salon photos for future reference

I like to take photos or a video of each Christmas display and window.

They are a useful record of salon displays you’ve tried, plus you can note how well merchandise sold from each display.

Use the photos on your salon social too, they’re perfect for promoting your seasonal hair and beauty gifts.


#21. An eye on what sells (and what doesn’t)

Check what’s selling and your stock levels daily.

If a hair or beauty product is flying off the shelves you need to be on the phone re-ordering as the Christmas retail opportunity is short.

If a product isn’t selling don’t give up immediately. Try rearranging your display or move the product to a different location within your salon or clinic.


Brilliant salon merchandising boosts profits


The easier you make it for your clients to shop at your salon, the more they will spend.

So add some va va voom to your retail merchandising and watch your sales (and profit) leap this December.

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