As 2012 draws to an end, I think most salon owners are focusing attention toward the new year and what marketing efforts they should be taking to insure success and prosperity in 2013. Just the other day I opened my email to find a Groupon message for 82% off salon services and I pondered is this really a good way to bring in new business. There is no question Groupon has a huge reach, you can really get your name out there but at what cost?
I decided to really take a close look at Goupon “featured deals” and break it down. For this particular featured deal there was an option for either a $31 haircut, style, and condition or a $56 haircut, style, and partial highlight. This first had reached sell out capacity of over 230 people while the second deal was still open with over 220 people who had already purchased. 450 new clients sounds great right…but look a little closer. Estimating the haircut takes 90 minutes and the partial highlight plus haircut takes 180 minutes you are looking at 25 solid weeks of business…that is half a years worth of new client bookings but what are you actually making? After Groupon takes their cut of the already deeply discounted fares you are basically doing this business for free if not losing money on each deal. Half a year of free business, how do you support that and still maintain the same high level of service? Not to mention all your loyal customers…do they suffer? And if you are able to handle all this new business are these bargain shoppers going to schedule their next appointment with you…chances are they have already bought a Groupon for next month at a different salon.
While I can understand the draw towards using Groupon for marketing, I believe that marketing efforts are better spent elsewhere. If you are dead set on Groupon it is much more beneficial to use the Groupon Now (only selling a very limited number that have to be used that day). Although the reach is not as great you can provide a high quality service to a client who is more likely to come back again and you will not risk the integrity of your salon. Quality is truly better than quantity.