Sell more salon retail with these top merchandising tips

Are your retail products flying off the shelves in your salon?

Or sitting gathering dust? (Never a good look.)

Let’s look at how to be a salon merchandising maestro and ensure retail makes a big difference to your hair or beauty business bottom line:


What is salon merchandising?

It means turning your salon retail products into must-have items and irresistible impulse buys.

It’s all about visual appeal and grabbing your clients’ attention. It’s all part of marketing your retail face to face.

Strong merchandising supports your salon social retail marketing:

Your retail products won’t sell themselves – but strong merchandising will.

It’s pointless making a splash on your social media with your retail if your in-salon product displays are boring and unappealing:

  • 63% of people who buy beauty and hair care products have greater trust in brands they can find on Instagram.
  • 52% say they are more likely to purchase a product if they see ads for it on Facebook.
  • Millennials are 40% more likely to use Instagram for inspiration than those aged 35 to 64.

*Stats source

Don’t worry. Hair and beauty merchandising isn’t rocket science – but getting it right will turn you into a retail star and boost that all-important bottom line.


10 simple steps to salon merchandising magic:

#1. Less is more for salon retail

Your clients want a choice, right? So you cram as much as you can into your selling space. Surely, there must be something there that they’ll want.


Retail studies have shown that when people are given too many choices they don’t buy anything.

It’s just too confusing for us and we can’t be bothered to weigh up the pros and cons of everything on offer. It’s easier and less stressful to leave without buying anything.

To avoid this common mistake:

1. Offer choice, but not too much

Your clients will want a choice, but the secret of successful hair and beauty merchandising is to limit that choice.

Strike a balance to ensure your clients don’t give up on buying because they are overwhelmed by the options on offer.

2. Limit numbers on your shelves

Display only a few items of each product on your shelves rather than cramming tons of bottles in. Five bottles look less cluttered and give a more premium feel which in turn encourages shopping and spending.

3. Group your products into a series of mini collections

For example, someone looking at moisturisers or products to deal with frizzy hair doesn’t want to be looking at a whole bunch of other products mixed in with them – it’s distracting and time-wasting.

So display different types of products in easy-to-view groups depending on what they are used for. Arrange each group of products in a similar way so the overall effect is not haphazard.

4. Offer retail guidance

Don’t leave your client gazing at the product display and wait for them to come to the till with their purchase. Talking them through what’s on offer and making recommendations is key to successful salon merchandising. Ensure your team are happy to do this too – there’s no need for a ‘hard sell’. You’re the experts and your confidence in the products will reassure them about buying.

Recommendations should also be part of every consultation when you can encourage clients to handle and sample/smell what’s on offer while explaining the features and benefits for between-appointment care and maintenance. People are more likely to buy a product they can hold than one displayed on a distant shelf.


#2. Encourage browsing

Never hide your retail away in a glass cabinet or on shelves behind your reception. No-one wants to ask to see something. It puts too much pressure on committing to a purchase.

Encourage browsers with easily accessible open shelves. And if you have a dedicated retail area then avoid seating here. Once clients sit they are going to scroll on their phone – not shop your retail.


#3. Salon retail signage

Use clear product signs. These are known as ‘shelf talkers’ and should show the product name, price and size. Most people hate asking how much something costs and would rather leave empty-handed without finding out, so make sure your pricing is absolutely clear.

Red stickers work well for prices as we usually associate red with a ‘bargain’ price.

Also – have you seen those little handwritten reviews stuck on the bookshelves at Waterstones? They’re personalised recommendations written by their team about their favourite books.

You could try this for your salon retail products – if a team member loves a particular product, ask them to write a paragraph or two about it for display alongside the product. Genuine recommendations are very powerful selling tools.


#4. Temptation by association

I’ve already explained in tip one above why it’s a great display idea to arrange your retail products in groups according to their use. Now you can go one step further and make sure complementary products are displayed nearby. This will encourage your clients to buy related products and could double or triple your sale.

For example, if you have a display of shampoos for oily hair, make sure your conditioners for oily hair are next to them. Similarly, have lipsticks next to lip pencils, sun protection next to after-sun care and hydrating creams next to retinols.


#5. Eye-height is buy-height for salon retail

Next time you’re in the supermarket, make a note of which products are at eye-height. I can almost guarantee that:

  • Eye-level shelves will be packed with the most profitable brands and premium items.
  • Budget and discount items will be harder to spot on the lower shelves.
  • Impulse buys will be placed between waist height and eye-level.

Supermarkets are genius at selling – so copy their methods in your salon business.


#6. Salon displays that deliver

Here are six more powerful pointers for product displays to really push your hair and beauty retail sales:

1. Odd numbers for displays

Display retail products in groups of three or five. This is because odd numbers are more appealing to the eye.

2. Visual balance

Place items with darker packaging lower down and light packaging higher up – this avoids a ‘top-heavy’ look.

3. Light up your retail

Use accent lighting (something as simple as a coloured bulb can work wonders) or strings of sparkly lights to draw attention to product displays.

4. Increase retail spend

Research shows that we look at shelves of products from left to right. Arrange your products in manageable price increases with higher prices to the right. Your client will then be more likely to buy one of the more expensive products from the right-hand side of your display.

5. Eyes right for better merchandising

Similarly, we often head to the right when going into shops. Take advantage of this tendency by placing your retail bargains and bestsellers in this area to entice your clients to start spending.

6. Window merchandising

Don’t forget to use your window space to display your retail product range. Keep a check on what works and what doesn’t by keeping a photographic record of your displays and a note of how well each one works to sell products.

Find more great tips about creating window displays that work.


#7. An easy salon retailing trick

One great merchandising tip is to keep a selection of tempting impulse buys in a basket at reception – for example, travel-size skin care products in the holiday season or ready-wrapped last-minute stocking fillers at Christmas.

Find out more about Christmas salon retail tips.


#8. Change it up

Everyone gets bored of looking at the same things all the time, so make sure you change your salon product displays on a regular basis. Monthly is a good rule of thumb.

There’s no need to make this into a huge job – you can make simple changes to reflect the seasons, for example, merchandising ideas include showcasing products relating to summer holidays, Christmas, Easter and special days such as Mother’s Day.

New products can also be used to regularly freshen up your displays. A new shampoo can be made into an eye-catching focal point surrounded by related items such as conditioners and styling products to encourage multiple purchases.


#9. A quick note

Here’s an interesting retail merchandising tip that you might like to experiment with – research shows people tend to buy more expensive items when classical music is playing.

You could try playing classical music in your retail area, or if you feel that’s not ‘you’ or your brand choose a playlist with a slower, softer beat.


#10. Don’t let the dust settle on your salon displays…

Dusty shelves and products should be a complete no-no in your spa or salon. It looks as if you’ve lost interest because the products never sell – after all, it seems they’ve been sitting there for years.

Make sure your product display units and the products themselves are kept pristine – create a rota so they are thoroughly dusted and properly arranged once a week.


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.

Are you getting the best deal from your salon products supplier? There are many ways they can support your retailing activities both online and in your salon. Get my practical ideas for squeezing the most from your suppliers here.

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