Clicking with Consumers: Holiday Shopping Trends
HALLOWEEN IN DECEMBER?
This season vampires are stealing the limelight with their scandalous stories and fabulous style.
Twilight, HBO's True Blood and the new teen drama The Vampire Diaries have made these devilish beauties the hottest holiday commodity. With the second Twilight movie New Moon set to release just before Thanksgiving, retailers are taking note. Nordstrom has even created a special collection inspired by the haunting tale.
Although vampires don't have a specific style, they do have richly colored hair. (Maybe it's because it never fades from the sun!) Use the Twilight actors' perfectly colored tresses as inspiration for a holiday look book. These images can start conversations about the techniques you can use to create rich brunette and deep red tones.
In addition to hair and nail shades, holiday decorations are being influenced by these darker, richer tones. Consider accenting your displays with a subtle but romantic mix of mossy greens and sparkly cotton, accented with small, white twinkle lights. Even clients who don't follow the exploits of Bella, Edward, Sookie and Bill will appreciate your creativity.
HOLIDAY GREEN SCENE
As the issue of global climate change continues to heat up, many consumers respond well to an item that fulfills a need and helps the environment. To make the most of this need-to-be-green, evaluate your existing product lineup for opportunities to showcase plant-based, botanical hair care formulas and products, recycled packaging and energy-efficient appliances. Also look for ways to showcase your and product partners' efforts to give back to the environment.
Along the same lines, more clients are scrutinizing beauty ingredients head to toe, concerned about what's healthiest for their bodies. Consider offering a Natural Holiday package consisting of appropriate products. Also, many clients might appreciate a Healthy Holiday selection of goodies served with organic teas and coffee, in lieu of traditional candy, cookies and fudge.
IT PAYS TO BE PLAID
It's Grunge 2.0! Plaid is one of the season's hottest trends and your clients will be sporting the classic print on shirts, skirts and accessories.
Keep it tasteful, but consider spicing up your salon with plaid accents and gift bags. Send holiday cards accented with the print-of-the-moment to regular clients and the ones you haven't seen in a while. Your attention to the latest trend will reassure clients that their style is safe in your hands.
Along with the holiday season comes the eagerly anticipated parties. Give your client standout style for her big event. Offer to accent 'dos with plaid accessories like headbands, clips and ribbons. And don't stop on December 31st. Teens love to take trends all the way, and a little bit of plaid flair is sure to leave a lasting impression.
January and February are typically slow months, but it's common for high schools to have a winter formal or Valentine's Day dance. Plan ahead by pre-booking plaid-mad teens for all of their cold-weather events.
After a challenging economic year, do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are becoming more popular as people look for ways to "have" without spending as much. Many feel it's time to take charge, get creative and be fabulous without blowing the budget.
Tap into this trend by offering a class or two on holiday styling. Teach clients the basics of creating party-worthy looks ... and be sure to have the thermal tools and styling products on hand that they'll need to shine and shimmer.
Encourage each guest to bring a few friends-the more the merrier, and the more opportunities for new clients and incremental sales.
Create a new "gift-with-purchase" angle by promoting these special offerings from your product partners as "festive DIY kits." Point out that your clients can give them as gifts or keep them for their own at-home beauty day. Manicure sets with the hottest nail colors, luxurious at-home facial products, and pedicure kits with seasonally scented foot scrubs are sure to be big sellers. And don't forget to include your salon information with each package!
Don't hesitate to spread the DIY word by giving clients easy ways to get gorgeous. Come up with a few holiday style how-tos to send out with your holiday mailers. And be sure to let clients know that everything they need to create those styles is waiting for them-at a very special holiday value-in your salon!
Everybody's accessible 24/7 these days-thanks to everything from smartphones to the newest Nano iPod, maintaining a connection to the world has never seemed more essential. Take advantage of this digital trend by making the most of the internet. It's never been easier or more cost effective to promote your business!
Get the word out about your salon, your latest photo shoot or your biggest holiday promotions by signing up for Facebook. You'll be in touch with your clients every time you post a new status. (Not up-to-date on Facebook? Ask a co-worker to help you get started!)
Take a tip from YouTube and "broadcast yourself!" With relatively inexpensive video cameras like the Flip, it's never been easier to make home movies. Put together footage of your stylists creating the latest trends in your salon and post it on your Facebook page. Don't be surprised if it attracts new clients who are impressed with your work.
Finally, if your budget permits, buy one of those new video-shooting Nanos, Flips or another of the many digital must-haves of the season. Make it the center of a hot holiday promotion like a raffle, a "customer of the month" giveaway or even a pre-booking contest for your staff.