Shopping Online Will Slowly But Surely Phase Out
Said no one in the 21st century, ever. Online shopping is here to stay especially when it comes to the hair business!
Slowly but surely beauty supply stores are raising their prices to stay open amidst the increase of online hair retailers, and that is pushing us to online hair companies even more. On top of that, online hair businesses can offer an infinite selection of hair types and textures.
E-commerce hair stores do not need a physical space, which enables us to achieve every sew-in, wig, ponytail, and clip-in slay imaginable. I cannot tell you how many times my favorite hair Youtuber has put on a wig that is not sold in a hair store with-in a 20-mile radius of my house! This is why selling hair online is such an attractive line of business; it opens your business up to so many possibilities (including exclusivity) because you can offer more to your target market.
Nevertheless, selling hair via an e-commerce channel is not as simple as you may think. Some misconceptions are going around about how easy is it to get your online business set up. Unfortunately, essential factors get downplayed when it comes to taking all parts of your e-commerce hair site into consideration to make the sales needed to be successful.
Keep reading to find out what common assumptions are fact and which are fiction when it comes to selling hair online.
1. You Must Deeply Understand Your Audience
When selling hair online, you need to identify the different types of buyer that you may attract to your website.
Remember, the wants and needs of your buyer will always come first. Some of you may think that this means you need to know the names, ages, and emails of your customers. That’s not all you need to know.
Focus on learning your audience through the type of content that they enjoy and the products that they use. For example, in the hair industry that might mean the kind of influencer that they like to see their hair on, who they would want to recreate a look after or the types of styles that they gravitate towards. Use this information to recreate similar images on your site to make it appealing to your target customer so that they want to buy from you.
If your customer realizes that you are catering to their “convenience factor” lifestyle, they will probably go ahead and purchase from you. Find where the audience’s needs overlap with your product and you have a sweet spot!
If you fail to do this, you could end up selling the wrong thing to the wrong person or not selling anything at all and have a lot of surplus inventory.
2. Nurture Your Leads
Did you know that 92% of customers don’t buy when they first visit a website they’re coming on the site to be nosey?
They want to look at your pricing, they want to see your product assortment, want to compare the pricing that you have to what they’ve seen out there in the market, and sometimes they’re really just looking.
What you have to do as a business owner is guarantee that the casual visitor comes back to spend some money on your hair. It is also vital that they are happy with the hair. Happiness means getting more money on more hair extensions either a different type or another form when they return to your website.
Sidebar: The good thing about the 92% is even if the visitor is just a casual browser that buys something one time you still made a one-time sale.
You may be thinking 92% is a lot. Yes, it is! To take advantage of that 92% you have to do a lot of nurturing to get at least half of them to come back. There are three ways to get someone to go back to your site.
All three come together to ensure that you are reaching out to that casual customer multiple times to close the sale.
You want to do some automated marketing:
Automated marketing is the traditional way of emailing customers a generic email after they have signed up for your email list.
Make sure you’re reaching out to the customers on this list with these blanket emails of new content on the site, product promos, and general information at least twice a month. Don’t overload their inbox to where they’ll unsubscribe from your list but make sure that you are unforgettable.
You want to do some personalized email marketing:
Track how your customers are interacting with your website. Invest in an abandoned cart system.
If you noticed that a customer has an empty shopping cart and their products include Kinky-Curly clip-ins, then you may want to send them a personalized email with some tips on how to care for 4C clip-ins. Give them useful content so that they remember that they did see 4C clip-ins on your site.
Also, that you gave them advice on how to manage that product so they should go ahead and purchase from you.
Make sure you’re hitting them up on social media:
If you’ve narrowed down your targeted demo, then you know where they’re going when they’re on social media.
If they are on IG, you know the pictures that attract them, the color schemes that they like, and what they respond to visually in regards to sales language. Take this information and make sure that your brand image posts in a manner to attract them to your page.
For example, you can post generic pictures of the celebrities that your customers follow, but don’t do this haphazardly. Ensure that celebrity is wearing a type of hair that you would sell and play up the fact that your website offers that customer something similar to the starts look!
Always meet your customer where they are!
Do some sort of party or brand activation event:
Even though your hair business is going to make its bread and butter online, you can still create a direct sales strategy opportunity.
Collaborate with a local Boutique so that people can see that you are out in the environment and looking to meet your customer. People will trust someone who can collaborate effectively with a brand that is already known and credible.
And your audience will also connect more with you personally, more than they would just through your website. Then use that direct sales opportunity to make sure that the people you are meeting go to your website after purchasing from you directly or vibing out with the product.
Kill two birds with one stone; get those hits to your site, and they can stay in touch with you to be a repeat customer.
3. You Have to Experiment with Your Pricing
How many times have you clicked on a product just because you saw the price tag of it?
I bet that number is low, and that’s because seeing the price of something does not make you click it. When first starting out it’s definitely going to be a challenge to price your hair where you think that it should be. We all know that the hair market is saturated.
There is hair sold at both ends of the pricing structure. Luckily for you Private Label Extensions does have a list that you can look at to help you with a retail value. You are also lucky because when you are starting a business, it’s okay to experiment with pricing.
At the same time, you cannot be changing the pricing of your product every other week!
Don’t Worry; We Got You!
Let’s start off with some pricing basics: if you price something too low, you will miss out on profit.
Naturally, if you price something too high, you’ll miss out on sales. You need to find that spot in the middle that will encourage people who may be a little more frugal to spend the extra money on the quality. People who are accustom to blowing their cash fast, won’t have a problem paying a little less and keeping some of their coins!
Justify your pricing decisions by labeling the products that you have with key buzzwords like “High-quality” or “Best Seller“ you can then price the hair a little higher. Use words like “PROMO” to try pricing something at a lower price point than you initially thought. Experiment with your pricing until you find the right price that moves it off of the shelf.
You can also use things like coupons to lower pricing and make your consumer feel like they are getting a good deal. Bundle deals are also a way to experiment with pricing and selling inventory in sets like two bundles, and a closure can work too.
There are different types of ways to test with pricing to ensure that you are appealing to your consumer. Pick one or two!
4. Customers Have a Short Attention Span
Customers have the attention span of seven seconds. Meaning, you need to get their attention within the first seven seconds of them coming to your site, or you will lose them forever. Do this by making sure that your branding is on point!
- Primary and secondary colors need to mesh well.
- Your written content needs to be both engaging and of high quality.
- Images should not be blurry or sparse. (Be sure to have product shots and model shots to fill in your site.)
Ensuring that you have all of these components will not only keep a potential customer on your site for longer than 7 seconds.
But it will also establish some credibility. Think about it; you know when you go to a website, and it looks like an amateur made it. A lot of the times when that happens you no longer want to purchase from them because you don’t trust where you’re giving your money.
When you’re able to capture your customer’s attention, and they are clicking around you have them one step closer to making a purchase.
1. Registering a Domain Name Means You Own It
The first thing I want to clear up here is to have a website you have to have two things you have to have a registered domain name and hosting. It’s important to know they are not the same thing.
Web Hosting: A web host stores your website.
Owning a Domain Name: The domain name is your actual web address, and to own it you have to have it registered with a domain registrar.
A lot of people are confused by these two because most companies that offer web hosting also enable you to purchase a domain name from them.
Pro-tip, I would not buy the domain name with the same site that I am hosting with just because if something were ever to go wrong with the host, I want to be able to take my name and run for the hills. You don’t want to have to worry about the issue of your hosting company holding onto your domain name and taking forever to release it to you.
So, keep this in mind when you are looking to build your website initially.
The Domain Name
It takes so long for a lot of us to settle on a business name, trust me I know!
A lot of the times we like to personalize the title and put our identity somewhere in the name of our business. After that, we purchase our domain name, and we get up and running with building our website and printing branding materials because we think that domain name is our forever.
However, what a lot of people don’t know is just because you paid for that domain name doesn’t mean you actually own it! You’re renting it, and that can get you in a lot of trouble if you forget that you’re renting that domain name and let the time lapse on the name of your website. Someone else can purchase it from under you and then your customers are getting a redirect to their site.
You could also have your customers going to a non-existent web address. I don’t know which is worse!
2. “Build It & They Will Come”
People think that once they build their website, they are going to get orders right out the gate.
Family, friends, and perfect strangers will be lining up to purchase whatever they’re selling, but that’s not the case. It does not matter how excellent your hair quality is, how amazing your lashes are, or how sticky your edge control is.
Honestly if you not market your site prior to launching no one will come because no one will know it exists. Interest surfers reach 40% of websites through Google. Meaning, if you’re not really into the whole SEO campaign or link building thing you’re definitely going to have to find someone who is so that you can get your website ranked on Google and people can see it who don’t know you.
Getting on the first three pages of Google is coveted space and takes a lot of time marketing and patients to break in.
3. Free Shipping Costs Too Much
Did you know that free shipping is the number one incentive for customers to purchase through an online website? It really is unbelievable!
A customer could have $400 worth of hair in their cart but when the shipping and handling reach over $10 they seriously consider putting everything back and changing up their hair plans for that week. Nevertheless, a lot of e-hair businesses refuse to invest in the free shipping offer.
Honestly, I get it! When you’re first starting out, you don’t have the money as a business to sacrifice the shipping cost, but there is a way for you to take advantage of this promo tool still.
You can always use something to persuade the customer to want to receive free shipping. For example, making a minimum purchase of $150 before their order qualifies for free shipping. Something like this shows that you have an appreciation for the customer’s dollar and you want them to receive some discount, which is a winning quality to have in the customer’s mind.
It also allows you to recoup some of that free shipping cost and you won’t take as big of a hit. A different variation of this promotion would be to offer seasonal free shipping or free shipping for a week that means something to the company like Mother’s Day or the company’s one month anniversary.
That way you’re ramping up your company, connecting with the customer, and able to afford the promotion but not for an extended period.
4. Revenue is the Only Thing You Should Focus On
Marketing is always going to be an essential part of a business, whether it be for a brick-and-mortar store or an e-commerce platform.
Nevertheless, what a lot of people don’t realize is that marketing strategies do not always result in increased profit right away. Every marketing strategy is implemented to help you get to your end goal. Do not shy away from a marketing opportunity that will not give you an automatic return.
Yes, sales are what keeps a company growing and in business; however, you need other measures of success to ensure that your company withstands short periods of stagnant bundle sales.
For example, once you start your business, you may benefit from reaching out to a local blog or influencer to promote not just your hair as a product but also your company. Push your company narrative and mission because doing that and telling the story behind why you started your company will increase brand engagement. Brand engagement is critical because it is one of the ways that you touch a potential customer before them actually purchasing from you.
This is one example of a marketing technique that cannot be measured in sales but is still extremely important to the growth of your brand’s audience.
Fact vs. Fiction In The E-commerce Sector
With beauty supply stores either closing down or increasing their pricing to ensure a profit, the e-commerce sector in the hair industry has a lot more growing to do.
Small business hair retail sites that take advantage of this growing time can really benefit from being in the market before its boom! Nevertheless, we would never want you to rush into starting a business without knowing everything that you need to know to flourish as a contender.
When it comes to the hair business, people are shopping small now! Potential customers want to know and trust who they’re buying their hair from, and they want to be able to keep coming back there to get the hair. Keep all of this in mind and build your business using consistent practices to make you the e-commerce source that a lot of women go to when looking for premium bundles.
Comment below and let us know some tried and true steps you took before launching your online hair boutique!