Tips for Upselling Your Salon Services

Tips for Upselling Your Salon Services
There are plenty of ways to organically upsell services and products in your salon. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
by Square May 13, 2024 — 5 min read
Tips for Upselling Your Salon Services

Let’s face it: It can feel clunky and uncomfortable to try to upsell or cross-sell as a hairdresser or beautician. You’re a salon owner, not a salesperson.

But upselling isn’t just about increasing the amount of money you earn (though that is a very good reason to do it). It can also add to the salon customer experience and help you develop deeper relationships with your clients. There are a wealth of less-salesy, more organic ways to upsell your salon services.

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the whys, the hows, and the overall art of the salon upsell. So, without further ado, let’s get selling.

The benefits of upselling in a salon

First up: Why upsell in the first place? There are three main reasons:

Make more money. The first and most obvious reason is that upselling makes your business more profitable. By upselling extra or more premium products and services, you put more money in your pocket.

Add to the experience. What makes a great salon experience? Often, a customer won’t know about a new or existing product or service. Educating them on something that may better suit their needs can create a far superior salon experience for your customers, or at least give them some product ideas to consider.

Get to know your customer. Upselling should be viewed as the art of asking questions to gain an understanding of the customer’s needs and wants and to figure out how your salon can help meet them. In the process, you get to know the customer in a deeper and more meaningful way, which can lead to a better and more fruitful relationship.

Key moments to upsell in the salon

Now that you have a few compelling reasons to upsell in your salon, the question becomes how. The good news is that when you know how to upsell, it should feel organic and helpful for clients.

Upselling through marketing

One simple way to educate and upsell clients on the products and services you offer is through email and text marketing. Let’s say you’ve identified a group of customers who come in for a regular cut and color. One month, you might send an email offering a special offer on a blow-dry, a styling, or another add-on service. The following month, you might suggest a new shampoo, conditioner, or serum that will keep their hair looking better for longer.

For those who might feel a bit of anxiety around upselling, email or text marketing can be a low-stakes, easy way to tell your customers about new or complementary products and services. Using tools like Square Marketing makes it easy to send personalized, one-time email or text campaigns to your entire customer base or a specific group of customers. You can even set up automated, recurring email or text messages to customers to market new products, special events, promotions, and more.

Upselling through your online store

Every modern salon should have a website. Potential customers will likely go to Google when searching for a new hairdresser, and a website greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll come up as a result when a user types in “hairdresser [location].”

Your salon website is also a strategic place to promote and upsell products and services to customers. Using tools like Square Online, you can showcase the products you sell in your online store, highlight new products or promotions, and even suggest products to customers based on their purchase history. 

If you use social media to connect with customers, be sure to link to your online store in posts  discussing certain products, tips, or tutorials. Customers can easily navigate to your website, explore your online store, and discover more about what your salon has to offer.

Upselling during booking and in the salon

Along with offering a place to showcase and sell products, your salon website should allow customers to easily book appointments online. According to Square Future of Commerce data, 25% of global clients prefer to book their beauty and personal care appointments through an online booking platform.

When clients book their appointments through your website, you have another opportunity to upsell. Consider suggesting add-ons, upgrades, or other premium services at the time of booking, allowing clients to upgrade or add to their appointment at their discretion.

Finally, we come to the in-person version: when clients are in the salon. Upselling in your salon should never feel forced; it should always be an organic and relevant suggestion based on what you’ve learned about a client’s needs or goals. This can happen throughout the salon experience, including while they’re waiting, during the treatment, or during payment.

  1. While a client is waiting: If you sell any beauty, personal care, or other retail products, be sure to have them showcased in an aesthetically pleasing display in clear view from where your clients wait. If you offer samples or sell items that clients can experience during their service, the waiting period in your reception area is a good time to offer them. For example, if you sell a specific brand of tea, offer a tea menu to clients while they wait so they can sample what you’re selling.
  2. During their treatment: Many clients want your expertise, and during their treatment, it is an organic and seamless way to provide it and tie in the products or extra services your salon offers. Ask clients about their hair, nail, or skincare routine, pay attention to any issues they bring up, and offer advice and solutions. Walk them through each product you’re using during their treatment and its benefits, and give them tips on how they could incorporate new products into their routine.
  3. During payment: When a client’s service is finished and they’re checking out, show them the products that were used during the treatment and ask if they’re interested in including any in their purchase. Depending on the client and what you’ve learned, it’s smart to offer products or additional services at a range of price points. Again, be sure that all your products for sale are visible and easy to browse at checkout.

For more pointers, explore our ebook on how to use retail to boost your beauty business profits.

To understand whether upselling is appropriate in a given situation, ask yourself:

  • What products and services truly complement your client’s service?
  • Does this upsell truly benefit your client, or are you just suggesting something for the sake of it?
  • Is your client comfortable with spending more, or are they on a tight budget?
  • If your client wants to take advantage of an offer you’ve made but is on a budget, do you offer flexible payment options like Afterpay?

4. Upselling with in-person events or online tutorials

Customers want your expertise, and many are interested in new and different ways to get it. Square 2024 Future of Commerce data found that 49% of global consumers are interested in offerings outside of traditional services from beauty and personal care businesses, including specific events or tutorials. That number jumps even higher for younger consumers: 78% of Gen Z and 69% of millennial consumers are interested in new offerings and experiences at the beauty businesses they frequent.

Whether you’re hosting an in-person event in your salon, streaming a live online tutorial, or providing your services at a group event, use these events to upsell your services. Offer specific products that you’re using at your event or in your tutorial, and make it easy for clients to purchase them, whether that’s in person or through your online store. Educate clients on the additional services your salon offers that complement the services at your event. 

Finding opportunities to upsell to clients during these events or tutorials is especially important given that they’re already engaged — they’ve either paid for or taken time out of their day to learn from your expertise, so they’re likely to be more interested in the products or services you’re offering.

What specific salon offerings present the best opportunity to upsell? Find out in our 5 Ways Salons and Spas Should Expand Their Offerings, According to Customers.

Upselling can be an effective way to accelerate the growth of your salon, connect with customers, and allow opportunities for new revenue streams. What’s more, when it’s done the right way with the right tools, it can be a far more comfortable experience than you might imagine.

Square offers a complete suite of tools for businesses in the beauty industry, so if you’re ready to sell, we’re ready to help.

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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