For decades, tanning businesses have looked for ways to introduce new revenue streams and appeal to different clientele. With both services and merchandise, if you can name it, a salon somewhere has probably tried it.
But, is there an opportunity right under your nose that you haven’t fully embraced?
Before you spend too much time thinking about what else you can bring in to make more money, consider if you’re making the most of the variety of retail products already available to you from your tanning industry vendors. Just like when you introduce a new service, you need to treat sales of skin care, bath and body, sunless retail and other products almost like its own business entity. If you want to make these products major profit drivers, it takes commitment.
“I hear salons talk about diversifying services, but what a lot are doing is chopping off a room and making their retail area bigger. It’s a very new, cool thing that salons are realizing. This is truly a retail beauty business. Let’s make it look like that,” says Sun Evolutions Global Sales Trainer David McFarland.
“Instead of going into other things like lashes and massage, they’re going, wait a minute, we’re sitting on top of a retail beauty opportunity we’re not taking advantage of because we were so stuck in a model.”
You have access direct access to more products than ever that relate directly or tangentially to your core purpose as a tanning provider. Outside of your typical bronzers, intensifiers and accelerators, there’s a multitude of face, leg and other specialty products specifically for tanning. Then, you have at-home products like moisturizers and extenders that directly impact tanning results, but are also important for general skin care, as well as a plethora of skin care products that will help refine a customer’s overall look and meet their beauty goals. And, in the same way those products complement UV tanning results, there are countless products that clients should use to supplement the sunless tanning services you provide.
Additionally, just because you’re enhancing your focus as a beauty retail business doesn’t mean you have to steer clear of other diversification options. More salons than not today already offer some sensible ancillary services like red light therapy, infrared wraps or saunas, wellness pods and cryotherapy. And, there are products that accompany many of those services, too. Many salons might also be failing to maximize the retail opportunities tied to those amenities. When you represent those products as an integral part of the process, just as you do with lotions for UV tanning, you can both enhance results and multiply revenue.
“Most successful salons I see are the ones differentiating product offerings as well as equipment. They’re drawing in different clientele because they’re offering other services and at home stuff, so it’s more geared toward overall wellness, health and beauty,” says Devoted Creations Director of Brand Development Lisa Parson
With skin care, sunless retail and products tied to other services, you have a great opportunity and built-in advantages over other types of businesses that offer similar merchandise. You already have clients that obviously care about how they look and feel. Your industry vendors provide a variety of products with comparable ingredients to other beauty and wellness brands for a fraction of the price. And, you should already have the trust of your clients and be adept at a consultative sales approach they won’t experience at big box stores. With the right product selection, marketing, positioning, and sales approach, you can easily become the go-to for all the beauty and wellness needs of both tanners and non-tanners alike in your community.
“Product diversification is important to me because you have many different clients coming in with different needs. The more options we have, the more needs you can cater to,” says New Sunshine Regional Sales Manager Jason Brooks. “We are selling a total body package of head to toe color. Indoor tanning has become a smaller segment, but we are beauty and we are selling a finished look. All these products come together to create that tan and look they’re going for.”
In Part 1 of this series, we’re taking an in-depth look at what it takes to establish a thriving retail business with skin care, bath and body and specialty tanning products.