Second from left: Ronnie Appel, Aura’s Creative Strategist & lifelong artist/educator
The Data Driven Salon Summit was held earlier this week at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. Produced annually by Salon Today, the event brought together the brightest stars in the salon universe to discuss all things data. Throughout the two-day gathering, attendees took a deep dive into the metrics of successful salons and learned how to effectively use technology to their business’s advantage from a host of tech-forward seminars, workshops, and speaker panels.
The prevalent and overriding theme was undoubtedly the events of the past year, the impact on salons, and the shifts in operations that have come along as a result. Salon businesses have been forced to shut down, reopen, and in some cases, shut down again, often operating at half-capacity with a dwindling workforce. These shifts have forced salon owners to rethink almost every aspect of their business, but almost all of them point back to the need for improved technology in every salon. Former niceties have become essential as more and more salons go deskless, adopt online booking and introduce contactless payments. While the core of your business will always be behind the chair, the nuances have moved online.
Through it all, we’ve been reassured that salons are essential to the lives of customers – so much so that the most searched phrase in April 2020 was ‘When will my salon reopen?’ If there was any doubt that our industry wasn’t viewed with high regard, this is a screaming affirmation.
Major industry shifts have come along with this new salon economy including an increased need to make technology work for your salon. Aura’s team who attended the event were able to jot down their key takeaways, and we are thrilled to share them with you.
Aura Team’s Key Takeaways from Data Driven Salon Summit
Olivia Marolda, VP Customer Experience
“As someone whose daily life is creating great experiences for our clients, the Data Driven conference helped me better understand what our salon’s clients really want out of their salons. By taking the data that is already living within the salon’s software, there are endless possibilities of ways that client experiences can be enhanced and customized. Want to send a text to all of Tammy’s clients with thin hair who have had treatments in the past 3 weeks? No problem! That information all lives within your software, and that text can be sent in under a minute. Client’s want to feel special and remembered, and this is how you turn your customers into advocates.”
Ronnie Appel, Creative Strategist
“Salon recruitment strategies need a facelift to attract more applicants who want to work with you and for your salon. Salons can do this by updating their look on social platforms and by getting involved in the Instagram and TikTok communities. Salon owners and management cannot be afraid to ‘drop their towels’ in front of prospective employees. Find what works for your salon to get noticed and this will draw the attention of potential applicants.”
Adam Kennedy, NA Sales + Channel Partnerships
“I walked away from this weekend most impressed by how far social media has come in our industry. I thought Kati Whitledge’s discussion about neuromarketing was extremely interesting. By using behavioral science and making simple changes to your existing digital marketing plan, salons can increase client count, average spend, retention, and profitability. The marketing techniques described by stylist/influencer, Cameron Kepford, also highlighted that showing the fun and lighthearted side of life inside a salon goes a long way.”
Alysa Leland, Marketing Manager
“As someone who loves to visit my local salons on a regular basis, my biggest takeaway from this weekend was that salons need to keep up with the changing times that technology has gifted them with. If I can’t easily book online with a salon, or there isn’t an active IG page for the salon and stylist, I likely will find another salon that has those capabilities set up. Just about every form of business now has some form of technology that can assist them in their daily tasks, and the salon industry is definitely one of them. Today’s clients expect this out of salons, and we will soon find that the most successful salons have intuitive software that helps with their monotonous tasks. Making their lives easier, and the client’s lives easier. Talk about a win-win!”