How Salon Owners Can Make the Most of Back-to-School Season

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With fall now upon us, students of all ages are getting primped and prepped to return to their classrooms to start a new year of learning. In that process, students and parents alike are upping their spending; in fact, total spending on back-to-school for students in K-12 schools and colleges is projected to reach $80.7 billion in 2019, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). And while salons may not be the go-to destination for back-to-school shopping, the increased spending consumers tend to make during this time of year presents an opportunity for business owners to increase foot traffic and revenue. To make the most of the back-to-school season, salon owners should put an emphasis on external marketing, internal efficiency and tailored promotions.

Here are some of the ways salons can ensure a successful, profitable season:

Tailor promotions

Salons can use this time of the year as an opportunity to offer promotions to students, parents and teachers alike in order to secure more appointment bookings. For students, a “freshen up” promotion for a cut and highlight. For parents, an “impress the PTA” up-do with a product sample. For teachers, a discounted “appreciation appointment” to celebrate their hard work. If located in a college town, a “welcome back” pampering with a coupon for returning students. No matter who the customer is, salons should continue to create promotions that will encourage everyone to book an appointment as they transition from summer to fall. 

By implementing a software solution, salon owners and stylists can make executing on this type of tailored promotion even easier. Stylists can utilize tools, such as note-taking on mobile devices, to make note of what colors and products they have used on their clients. They can also input key indicators from their conversations that can determine whether or not their customer could be a good candidate for the salon’s tailored promotions. If a customer is a good fit, the software can schedule automated, personalized emails that will let customers know about the promotions ahead of time.

Offer back-to-school products

When most people think of back-to-school, they imagine school supplies and clothes shopping. To tap into this market, salons can create products that provide customers with the beauty items they didn’t realize they needed this time of the year. For example, salons can create back-to-school beauty supplies in travel size bags for students who are going off to college or even for a gift to bring to teachers on the first day. 

Keeping customers educated on the importance of hair care can also entice more product sales and/or a follow-up consultation. With that in mind, now is a great time for salon owners to emphasize the importance of keeping hair moisturized as the seasons change from a humid climate to colder, crisp weather.

Create convenience

The start of the new school year is busy for parents, students and teachers alike, which means salons should make the process of booking services as simple and convenient as possible. By implementing a software solution with online booking, customers will be given the freedom to book an appointment at any time -- even when the salon isn’t open. Salon owners can also set up automatic appointment reminders to let customers know about their upcoming scheduled services. This frees up time for salon operators and stylists to focus on in-store customers and can eliminate the dreaded appointment “no-shows.”

With the right promotions, products and solutions in place, every salon will be able to leverage the peak spending opportunities that back-to-school season brings. By doing so, salons are likely to not only increase foot traffic and sales during a pivotal time of year, but also create repeat customers to keep revenue up through year-end. 

About the Author: Jeff Dickerson is CEO of DaySmart Software, the makers of Salon Iris, a leading salon business management software for appointment booking, staff management, payment processing, marketing and customer communications for salon professionals worldwide. He has 25+ years of experience building software companies and developing technology that empowers and drives real business results for customer