John, as a leader in beauty industry technology, what types of trends can we expect in salons for 2017?
2017 will be the year where technology plays a larger role in our industry. There are undiscovered mobile tools that will transform the way salons utilize technology. I believe the trends you see this year will be focused entirely around mobile and apps.
We’ve already seen the shift from desktop to mobile, and a lot of consumer habits, such as purchasing, booking appointments, booking travel, and communication, are all mobile-based. The shift in 2017 will be, how your business can fit seamlessly into the world that sits in the palm of your client’s hand.
How do you bridge the gap between a customer’s mobile device and your salon? That’s the challenge and I believe the answer is in the app. Apps are all about convenience. They are faster, more user-friendly, and specifically designed to help your business connect with clients and potential customers. Combine the consumer app with loyalty points, offers, last minute bookings, gift cards and eCommerce and guests have 24/7 access to you.
The benefit to apps include building guest loyalty, communication to the guest about appointments, offers, and event notifications, and can be achieved through features such as geo-fencing and push notifications. Geo-fencing allows you to set virtual parameters surrounding your business. Once a client is in your area, the app can automatically trigger promotions, personalized messages, and more. Geo-fencing can also be helpful for auto check-in, auto check-out, ratings, etc. Push notifications are useful for sending appointment reminders, offers, alert messages and more, directly to the home screen of your client’s mobile device.
Apps will not only be for clients, but business owners as well. 2017 will be the year where mobile apps will help salons take their success a step further. Apps that can integrate with your software to provide powerful metrics will increase owner insight and help many make better business decisions.
Overall, I think technology will begin to sneak its way into every aspect of your business. Whether it be your front desk or behind the chair, expect to see technology that will transform the way you operate.
Millennium Systems International, Founder and CEO
About: John Harms, Founder & CEO of Millennium Systems International, creator of Millennium Software, has been designing industry leading salon scheduling software and educating the beauty & wellness industry since 1987. Today Millennium is utilized in thousands of businesses in over 38 countries and operating with approximately 150+ employees worldwide. Millennium currently runs its corporate headquarters out of New Jersey and its international office is based in the U.K.