No matter where you turn, you cannot escape talk about technology or the pace of change in the world today, whether talk refers to the social aspect or in the world of business. Salon services are luckily still performed by a live person, but many of the activities around the actual service have moved into the technology realm. Attracting the client through marketing, the booking process, delivering the client into the chair, and communicating with them after the fact are more technology based than ever before.
We’re just getting used to working with technology, and now we hear we need to go a step further by embracing the mobile world. Here are some statistics to consider:
- 1.2 billion smartphones will enter the market in the next five years
- As of 2012, mobile internet traffic has increased by 192.5% over 2010
- 86% of smartphone users have utilized their device to decide whether to visit a local business
These statistics and more were shared by our own Dan Chandre during his keynote address at the New York City SpaExec event earlier this week. In a room filled with owners and managers of high end beauty establishments, you could almost hear the collective sigh. Everyone said, “But we just don’t have any more time to learn more about how to use technology!” However, as Chandre pointed out, it’s not “whether” but “when” at this point. Those who will not embrace technology are going to be left further and further behind, and that’s not a position any business owner can afford to be in.
So yes, some time has to be invested in continual education on the technology front, but there is a silver lining, especially when it comes to mobile access and booking. Imagine that when you open your salon on Tuesday morning, your books are filled with appointments made via mobile and internet on Monday, when you were not paying a customer service person to man the desk. Imagine how your support staff will be able to spend time upselling and retailing to clients in your salon because they are not on the phone with a regular who needs to book their monthly appointment.
As a web-based platform, Booker has a front-row seat to the developments in mobile booking, and the growth is nothing short of astonishing:
- 358% increase in the number of mobile bookings from Jan ‘12 to Jan ‘13
- Currently, 14% of total monthly bookings come from mobile
So what are you waiting for? First, make sure your business has a mobile-friendly website, and then get ready for increased mobile usage by your clients. Train your support staff so that they use their newly gained available time to confirm appointments, complete retail sales, and pre-book at checkout, and get ready to ride the mobile wave.