If you work in a salon or spa, product upsells can help you grow your business.
Upselling can increase your profit margins because repeat customers spend more and cost less than acquiring new customers. Particularly if you rent a booth at a salon, developing a strong strategy for how to upsell products can increase your earning potential.
What is an upsell?
An upsell is an invitation to buy an additional product or service at the time of a sale or visit. This might be in the form of a new product or service offering or something that adds value to the client.
In a salon, upsell opportunities include premium hair products and accessories.
In a spa, clients might be interested in purchasing products that include masks or skincare items.
In any situation, an upsell will be most successful if you are offering a product that provides benefit, is something that is reasonably affordable, and complements clients.
Understanding these needs will help you develop a way to upsell that feels natural and results in a happy customer who keeps coming back.
1. Listen to customers’ needs and problems
If you want to learn how to upsell products, start by listening to your clients’ needs. It’s possible that, in the course of a service, they will open up about products or items they could use more of.
The balance lies in when to offer an upsell and when to listen. You don’t want to spend all your time with a client trying to encourage greater spending. You do want to offer a natural solution if they provide information about a want or need that you can help with. Making yourself available to answer questions and offering something that a client wants creates additional value.
Here’s an example of a client flow: A client books an appointment and you skim through the client notes to find that they like specific products with no perfumes or dyes. You select products to use during the visit that meet the client’s needs and then provide information about these products and availability at checkout.
Square Appointments even allows clients to make notes about their preferences for colors, scents, preferred products, and more, so that you can use this information to provide helpful recommendations during their visit.
Square Appointments’ dedicated point-of-sale system makes it easy for you to schedule clients, manage their appointments, and pay for products and services. Accept contactless payments of any kind, allow customers to pay in installments with Afterpay, and provide a single checkout experience for products and services.
2. Consider urgency and scarcity
An element of an effective upsell is to explain that an offer is only good for a short time or while there are limited supplies.
If you know that an item is exclusive to your location, low in stock, or a special edition, this can be a solid sales tactic. At the same time, it’s important to remain authentic rather than overusing the scarcity tactic in upsells, because then nothing will look important and it can appear gimmicky.
The best items for this type of upselling include more popular or expensive products, especially if they aren’t available in other salons or spas.
3. Offer a free sample
The greatest opportunity for an upsell comes from experience with a product. If a client likes a product you are using during a service, they are more likely to want that item to use at home.
With that in mind, use products in the salon during your course of treatment that you want to upsell. A free sample provides a conversation starter if a client likes the product, with an opportunity for the upsell just around the corner.
4. Benefits of using discounts to upsell
Make the opportunity to buy a product even more enticing with a discount for buying a product at the time of service. With a percentage off discount, you can combine products with services to make the checkout experience easy for clients and make them feel like they are getting something special.
For example, if a client loves the smell of a product that you use in the course of a service, make sure to let them know that item is available to purchase and use at home. As a best practice, use products in the salon that are on discount to help showcase a special offer—and upsell—for clients.
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5. Bundle your upsell
Just like with a discount for buying a service and product together, you can bundle products to offer extra value for clients. (Everyone loves to get a deal!)
When putting together bundles, consider products that are similar and may be used together, such as shampoo, conditioner, and styling creme for a specific hair type.
Square for Retail provides a point-of-sale system that lets you package products, manage inventory, and provide clients with a great shopping experience in the salon. You can also take payments at the register or your booth for quick checkout and pleasant client interactions.
6. Use the rule of 3
Clients like choices. When figuring out how to upsell a product, provide multiple options to generate maximum sales opportunity.
One of the classic rules of sales is to upsell with three options. These options might vary in price, size, or variety. Remember that customers will often pick the “middle” option when presented with variations, so it is a good idea to offer choices that don’t have a wide price range.
7. Send customers a follow-up email to reinforce the in-store upsell
The upsell opportunity does not have to end when a client walks out the door.
Square Marketing allows you to continue that sales opportunity with a follow-up email or text message that can persuade clients to make a purchase. Marketing tools also allow you to notify clients about upcoming offers, special events, or other opportunities to get them back to your location.
The best part is you can automate the process with a one-time setup that allows you to send notifications to clients based on interactions, such as a recent visit or nudge to set an appointment.
8. Tie upsells to milestones
Milestones such as birthdays or client anniversaries are another way to drive product upsells and foot traffic. Entice clients with the opportunity to get special offers on their birthday or after one year with your salon or spa to ensure they opt into email or text message marketing.
Square Loyalty allows you to track clients from your Dashboard or website and automates the process for loyal customers. It’s interesting to note that Sellers who use Square Loyalty see a 26% increase in customer visit frequency, plus those customers tend to spend 33% more.
9. Use social proof
When a client sees your product or service somewhere else — such as in the social media feed — it serves as a reminder for them to contact you.
Square Appointments integrates with Facebook and Instagram to make it easier for customers to discover and book with you.
Showcase products on social media that you sell, and help ambassadors show products or services with a link to your location to provide inspiration for a future visit.
Social media can be a great place to use digital photo books to help clients imagine their next hairstyle. This social element provides value in helping a client understand the options available to them and provides you an opportunity to offer that consultation.
The social element of these interactions helps a client feel like they are engaging in an opportunity similar to others, providing a little push to schedule an appointment or create additional desire for a product that you sell.
10. Don’t over promise or oversell products
One of the most important rules to keep in mind when you are thinking about how to upsell a product is not to over promise or exaggerate the features or benefits of the item.
Be honest about what the value of a product is and is not. Clients will appreciate the transparency and will be more likely to continue buying from you in the future if you set realistic expectations for products.
Product upsells can be a great way to generate more earnings through your salon or spa. Square Appointments has everything you need to upsell successfully. The booking and point-of-sale system keeps track of client information and enables a seamless checkout experience for items and services.