There isn't an industry, internationally, that the pandemic didn't affect in some way over the last 15 months, and the beauty world was no exception, from salon visits ceasing to shopping for beauty products in retail establishments coming to a complete halt. As Covid protocols continue to lift and life begins to return to "normal," it's clear that the beauty industry will not only be evolving to adapt to a new environment and better serve its customers in the short-term but will also need to adopt additional changes to operate successfully over time. Mirabella looks at the future of salons and what to expect when shopping for cosmetics as we move out of quarantine and begin to mingle as a community again.
The Future Salon Experience
Hair appointments and spa services will strive to excel with sanitation that will lead to a more personalized experience; however, a trend is currently emerging in these spaces as luxuries like magazines, coffee, etc. are no longer available to ensure cleanliness. Additionally, sanitation practices that employees often overlooked are now non-negotiable parts of the work day with certifications from manufacturer's like Barbicide proudly displayed at stylists' work stations showing completion of proper training within the last year. Furthermore, hand-washing stations and touchless sanitation dispensers are popping up in masses in salon and spa spaces as an added precaution.
Virtual Pre-Appointment Consults
As salons and spas are currently opening at full capacity in most parts of the U.S., precautions are still being made to ensure as little contact as possible while maximizing efficiency and customer experience. An abundance of salons are holding virtual pre-appointment consults rather than in-person meetings in an effort to eliminate client overlap, minimize communication errors that could occur with masked conversations in a bustling environment, and ultimately eliminate unnecessary contact. Additionally, this new development allows stylists to plan the best strategy for a hair color change or new cut before the client arrives in person. This new approach not only applies to hair and skincare treatments, but makeup artistry as well. Virtual consults give makeup artists ample time to discuss a bride or formal event attendee's vision and preferences in detail without the worry of possible contamination or spread of germs from meeting face to face.
The Wait is Over
Furthering efforts to minimize contact or large groups congregating, salons and spas opt for text/call check-in rather than sitting in waiting area prior to services. While this means that customers will be waiting in cars or outside before appointments, this is a fantastic time for salons to get creative.
"We are loving the idea of this new customized experience created after checking in at salons/spas," says Miranda Coggins. "Our retailers now have the opportunity to curate an experience for customers. We have been encouraging our retailers to use our Mirabella marketing tools in a digital format to send over with check-in confirmation texts to expose the brand to customers while they wait. We are seeing salons provide the digital version of our new Problem Areas sheet or Mirabella moment to get clients' thinking about cosmetics before they sit in the chair."Following services, the industry is now making following up a priority with texts and phone calls that once again bring cosmetics to the forefront.
The Future of Cosmetic Retail
The pandemic's effect on in-store retail of cosmetics was grave and left the industry's top professional working to reimagine brick and mortar makeup sales. Limited occupancy, strict sanitation precautions and the inability to use tester products during Covid made shopping for cosmetics in-person a difficult feat, but retailers' have found ways to make this shopping experience even better and more personalized. While a shift to heavier online sales has occurred, retailers are recognizing creative ways to keep the magic of shopping in-store. Pre-visit consults via tele or video conferencing allows staff to pull products and shades for a visitor before they arrive in an effort to keep things sanitary and also create a fully customized visit.