Your Biz: E-Solutions and Virtual Stores
With a virtual store, you can retail thousands of products with zero inventory investment.Photo 1 of 2
Loxa Pros can create their own profiles for their virtual store.Photo 2 of 2
Today, there are more business-supporting, digital or “e-solutions” than ever for renters. You can upgrade paper reward punch cards to electronic ones with FiveStars, take credit cards with Vagro, Square, Uswipe or PayPal, and even manage taxes with Turbo, Quicken, Waveppps or Quick Books for the self-employed. All can save youtime and paperwork. But only one can actually make you money while you sleep: the virtual store.
Mindy Stegall, Stylist Coordinator at Loxa Beauty, explains: “A virtual store can help salons—and renters in particular—in several ways. It can extend your inventory to thousands of products that would never fit in one salon, let alone near a booth station or in a suite. It extends your shelves, but it doesn’t replace them. It also gives you exposure to new clients, and lets you sell to them and make commissions. Now, you can tell your clients and even friends that they can shop with you online anytime, and have professional products shipped directly to them.”
When using a virtual store, you can make money 24/7, but specific tactics help boost your sales considerably. Here are the top four ways Stegall says Loxa users realized virtual-selling success:
- Share the link to your store on all social media platforms. “This opens sales outside your chair or suite to friends, family members and others who want to support you but don’t live nearby,” says Stegall. “Pay $35 to boost your Facebook post, and hundreds who want to buy professional products will see it.”
- Use an iPad in the salon to register clients to shop at your store; then walk them through the process. Stegall suggests that color-processing downtime presents the perfect opportunity to act as a “concierge” for your store by showing clients how to shop and making sure you get commission on the sales. “First, go through your own store up to the point of check-out, so you are familiar with what the consumer will experience.”
- Offer an incentive. Tell your clients that if they show you they have ordered online through your store or text you evidence, you’ll give them a free reconstructing treatment or brow wax. You can also offer $5 off the next service, which may cover the client’s shipping costs.
- Sell thermal tools. “A huge money maker for Loxa Pros has been selling high-priced tools,” says Stegall. “You don’t have to stock expensive inventory, and because Loxa is backed by manufacturers, salons and stylists with a Loxa profile and virtual store have no worries about returns or warranties.”
At Loxa Beauty, any licensed professional who is over 18 can sign up. Then, a coach will help you create a profile that is branded to you—or you can simply upload your info. You can show photos of your work space, write a profile about yourself, list your prices and contact information, upload a short “Pro Solution” product-related video, and even run virtual specials. Not only can your clients shop and direct the commission your way, other consumers can find your store by zip code (or your social media links) and credit you for the commission. (At Loxa, renters get 12% commission; salon owners who sign up get 8% and stylists the salon owner registers can receive 4% commission on sales.)
With zero hosting fees, virtual stores can practically replace costly websites—you have Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for photos of your work anyway.
“It’s a revolutionary idea, but at one time, stylists thought clients wanted personal calls, not text messages,” says Stegall. “Turns out, clients do like to do it all electronically.” For more information, visit www.loxabeauty.com