MODERN EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Pat Parenty, President, L'Oreal USA PPD, on eCommerce Solution on StyleSeat
Through its collaboration with StyleSeat, the all-inclusive salon solution to book, engage and sell to clients, L’ORÉAL USA Professional Products Division (PPD) recently announced an additional feature on the platform that supports salon professionals.
For the very first time, salon professionals have the opportunity to sell Essie Professional, Kérastase, L’Oréal Professionnel, Matrix, Mizani Pureology, Redken, and Shu Uemura Art of Hair online through their StyleSeat profiles. Without having to worry about storage, packing, distribution or returns, salons will reap the benefits of an additional retail channel.
“We want to ensure that our salon partners have the right digital platform to engage their clients when and where they want as well as ensuring they continue to get the professional services they want, thus allowing salons a 360 degree engagement with their clients,” says Pat Parenty, president, L’ORÉAL USA Professional Products Division and SalonCentric. “Our collaboration with StyleSeat enables us to do just that.”
MODERN SALON spoke to Parenty to get more details on how StyleSeat is contributing to salon and stylist success.
MS: What challenges will StyleSeat address for the salon stylist and beauty professional?
PP: If you’re a beauty professional today you’re in competition with every channel and every product that is out there; this is the age of the consumer. They have so much data and so much choice; they want what they want, where they want it, how they want it and when they want it. They also don’t have any issue being contacted or engaged. So the problem is that salons are available only during their business hours but the consumer, their client, is finding their opportunities for beauty at all times. The consumer has changed the way they are operating.
In the old days, you went to the Yellow Pages but this next generation picks up their phones, goes on Instagram or gets opinions from their friends. This is how they are searching and finding. Most independent salons don’t have the resources to really compete at the highest levels of digital. StyleSeat is the way to help the independent salon stylists and the salon to compete, 24-7.
If you want them to come to your salon you have to be where they are looking. Today, mobile bookings account for 60% of appointments made through StyleSeat and 43% of clients book appointments through StyleSeat after business hours. We needed to find a solution for the salons to be engaged in ecommerce that kept the stylists at the center of every conversation. And the reason we chose StyleSeat is because they are the largest, fastest growing and they have great technology and very similar vision of the professional beauty business.
MS: How will StyleSeat help L'Oréal reach the independent owners?
PP: Because of our model, we are connected to over a million professionals and StyleSeat, because it can be used by an independent, would connect them to us, too. More than 285,000 stylists in over 15,000 cities across the U.S. use StyleSeat and there are millions of total clients on the platform. If they want to find out what we’re doing it is right there on StyleSeat.
MS: Given advances in technology, what will the salon environment look like in five years?
PP: The salon market didn’t bounce back as fast as the luxury and consumer markets and one of the reasons is that the salon environment hasn’t changed much. The average remodel in the beauty industry is about every 15 years compared to the restaurant industry which is about every four or five years. We need a facelift. We have to involve the latest technology.
MS: How can stylists stay relevant and important to their clients? Will StyleSeat help in this?
PP: The StyleSeat platform has all the tools they need to engage with existing clients, all the data to run their business, with appointment trackers and reminders. It hooks into all the social media platforms and gives them a real plan so they can organize.
The whole idea for the industry is about stylists maintaining their expertise at the core of the service but learning to stay relevant to consumers in today’s age.