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You’d think it was common sense. Display more hair and beauty products and your clients will be tempted to buy more retail.

Obvious really.

But you’re wrong.


Salon clients buy less retail when they feel overwhelmed

Of course, salon clients want a choice when it comes to buying take-home retail products. But there is a balance to be struck.

Research shows time and time again that if clients feel overwhelmed by too much choice they buy less, or not at all.


Keep it simple. Sell more.

Too many options can reduce retail purchases – when faced with too much choice customers get fazed and indecisive.

Researchers carried out an experiment with jam (yes, the sweet, sticky stuff in jars!). Faced with a choice of 24 different flavours of jam only 3% of customers made a purchase. Yet, when they had only 6 flavours of jam to choose from over 30% of customers decided to buy.


Our brains start to tire when constantly faced with decisions. The little grey cells get overworked and can’t reach a decision.

So our brain tells us to stop and we head for the salon door empty-handed. It’s easier than making a buying decision.


Make it easy for clients to buy in your salon

The marketing lesson?

Give your clients less choice.

Take a quick look at your retail displays now.

Are you grouping all your shampoos or moisturisers in one large display, making clients feel flustered and confused?

Why not break them into a series of mini collections with each one covering a different problem: dry hair, frizz, coloured hair or itchy scalp?

Remember: A choice of 24 jams resulted in just 3% of customers purchasing. But a limited choice of 6 jams meant 30% of customers bought.


Guidance increases salon purchases

Research shows that guidance and recommendation go a long way in helping the client reach a decision when faced with a bewildering choice.

Guidance reduces the feelings of confusion, then the recommendation gives a reason to buy:

  • Educate your therapists and stylists to give retail advice and make recommendations. Only 3% of customers bought jam when the selection was huge. But if someone had asked them a few simple questions about their likes and dislikes, then recommended the raspberry jam the percentage who purchased would have dramatically increased.
  • And don’t forget shelf talkers, labelling and signage can all help to guide and inform clients. You know what a particular shampoo or moisturiser does, but do your clients? Spell it out to them. Make it simple for those little grey cells to reach a decision and buy.

So, you see choice isn’t always good, and more choices can actually reduce salon retail sales.


Looking for more retail ideas for your beauty, aesthetics or hair business?

Try this blog if you’d like to sell more gift cards, find some Black Friday retail ideas here and this blog has 20 actionable Christmas merchandising and retail ideas.


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