This story is one in a series of stories on Glossy about the future of the experience, examining all the ways that face-to-face interactions in beauty and fashion are changing. You can read more stories from this series here.
While Americans plan a post-Covid-19 summer full of social gatherings, events, and vacations, their prep beauty treatments may look a little different.
Instead of being in a salon, it is generally expected that services such as nail and hair care will stay at home, as people are constantly adopting a habit at home that they have picked up for over a period of time. quarantine. But, when they choose to go to a salon, the environment may be more subdued due to the health precautionary measures, while being more technologically advanced. On June 23, nail care brand Dashing Diva launched their new Glaze product designed to draw consumers from gel salons to the in-home gel version of Dashing Diva, which offers easy application and removal for $ 12-14. $. Dashing Diva saw its sales increase 5 times between 2019 and 2020 between wholesale and DTC sales, in addition to a 5 times increase in its DTC ecommerce sales alone. Meanwhile, Glamsquad introduced haircuts in June 2020, which helped attract male clients. It also saw manicures become the # 1 service (dropping from # 3 behind rashes and makeup applications) in the second half of 2020, said Giovanni Vaccaro, founding member and creative director of Glamsquad.
“Trade shows of all types will have to evolve. All businesses suffer from a huge [Covid-19] impact. Evolution is essential here, ”said Giovanna Coluccio, Senior Director of Marketing at Dashing Diva. “Consumers have found the benefits of this self-care treatment time by getting their nails done at home. They will also find that the cost is cheaper. Typically, a gel manicure can cost around $ 40, or more if they do artistic designs. So there is a huge saving compared to a $ 12 to $ 14 product like Glaze. “
US salons began reopening in June 2020. According to third-party trackers like Kline, there have been signs of a recovery, which noted a 98% increase in sales of professional hair products in October 2020, compared to closing. trade fairs from March. 2020-May 2020. In the United States, the beauty salon and spa industry numbered more than 1.2 million companies generating more than $ 62 billion in sales between 2018 and 2019, according to a 2020 report from the Professional Beauty Association.
From a salon perspective, customers come back with varying levels of comfort, said Rosi Ajjam, Aveda North America gm and svp. But, she said, they all expect the same Aveda experience, which is based on a holistic approach to wellness. It includes free drinks, free hand and neck massages, as well as premium hair, face and body treatments. There are over 6,000 Aveda lounges in the United States and Canada.
“Customers are more concerned with cleanliness and safety. Security is the new luxury and customers are keeping lounges to a higher standard even though its restrictions are lifted, ”Ajjam said. “Meanwhile, the role of data and technology is also on a whole new level. [Covid-19] unlocked new opportunities that we weren’t even discussing before the pandemic. “
Independent Aveda Lounges respond to this in a number of ways. An Austin, Texas-based Aveda salon requires masks for clients and stylists during the shampoo portion of a service, given the close contact between people. Additionally, one Atlanta-based salon offers free hand massages at a client’s request, while another in San Jose, California offers clients to do it themselves using the hand lotion. Aveda. Vaccaro said Glamsquad also requires clients and stylists to wear masks during services, while stylists can choose whether or not to wear a previously mandated apron.
Technologically, Aveda has added the curbside pickup option to its e-commerce site, contactless check-in and payment, mobile appointment scheduling, and the ability to order products online. of a specific show. Aveda revamped its customer loyalty program in April, which focused on some of the new tech additions. Between June 2020 and April 2021, 180 independent Aveda lounges in the United States and Canada closed permanently, while 175 new ones opened. five Aveda-owned stores have closed, but 15 more have opened, a spokesperson for the brand said.
Non-Aveda salons have also become more tech savvy, with the help of white label services like the Shortcut technology platform. Shortcut, founded in 2016, launched a plugin for salons in early 2021 in response to the pandemic, which allows customers to book in-home services online from a specific salon. Likewise, Sally Hershberger Salons developed their own in-home service in June 2020. According to Will Newton, COO of Shortcut, partner salons have increased their revenues by around 10% by offering in-home services and have expanded their customer base by about 20 miles. About 70% of Shortcut users are new customers at a particular salon. Shortcut has partners in 20 markets including New York, Atlanta and Seattle.
“Shortcut automates operations, and we do the marketing to attract new customers who want to do home services,” Newton said. “After Covid-19, the hairdressing salon sector is going through a real shortage of jobs. The owners are thinking about how to create a culture that is more appealing to a modern stylist.
Newton said that a third of stylists leave a salon after six months because they can’t build a client list quickly enough. Part of Shortcut’s pitch at a trade show is that it helps retain talent that wants or needs more clients. Vaccaro said Glamsquad has not experienced a shortage of stylists, but noted that as more events, galas and parties begin towards the end of 2021, Glamsquad is preparing to strengthen its workforce to deal with this deluge.
As Coluccio pointed out, salons will need to find ways to differentiate themselves by adding to the experience of a service, rather than focusing on the bottom line. These could be, for example, high quality and well-being elements of an Aveda service. Salons will also need to consider changing their pricing structures, as in-home alternatives are generally cheaper. Overall, the dust has not settled yet and the salon environment, its workforce and the ease of home services will continue to evolve rapidly in a post-Covid-19 world.