However, just as hairdressers get back on their feet, research by L’Oréal Australia has found that 95% of customers are worried about the rising cost of living, with over a quarter of Australian hair clients predicting they will spend less on salon services in the coming year.
L’Oréal Australia’s Business Development Director, Professional Products, Alison Lim, welcomed the timeliness of the research. “It’s exciting to find out what customers want in their hair and beauty services. Now we can figure out how to deliver those experience in a way that delights them,” she says of the findings.
According to L’Oréal’s research, clients are increasingly seeking personalised salon experiences, with 9 out of 10 respondents wanting to customise their experience ahead of time, knowing how busy the salon will be, climate and lighting control, choice of music and volume. Future salons could achieve this customisation through zones, offering a physical space or a time slot where client experiences could be specialised, ensuring that salons are more inclusive, especially for those with sensory issues.
With remote working as the new normal, time-poor clients also want to work from the salon chair to overcome difficulties finding time for their appointments. Future salons should include workstations to meet this demand, offering power points, charging cables, easy Wi-Fi access and laptop-friendly surfaces.
L’Oréal’s findings also revealed that clients want more out of their visits, with 85% interested in additional in-salon beauty services, such as massages, nail, and skin treatments. Thanks to social media filters, three-quarters of those surveyed also want a virtual ‘try-on’ of cuts, colours, and styles before their appointments. While the technical capabilities for this have existed for some time, salons of the future may look to have software overlays built directly into workstation mirrors to achieve this.
Clients also want to feel ‘rejuvenated and refreshed’ long after their in-salon pampering sessions, with 75% of those surveyed wanting their salons to feel more like a day spa that is luxurious, calm, and relaxing as opposed to a busy pub vibe.
With three in five respondents needing to carefully consider how much they can spend ahead of booking, salons must ensure they get the basics right so clients can book as effortlessly and efficiently as possible. Salons should transparently communicate the duration and cost of their services via online platforms to ensure time-poor clients can plan ahead.
CEO of the Australian Hairdressing Council, Sandy Chong, is encouraged by L’Oréal’s findings saying, “People want a comfortable, customisable, and convenient hairdressing experience. L’Oréal’s data takes the guesswork out of prioritising your resources. Small changes can be made immediately for easy wins, while others can be factored into medium and long-term plans.
“The Australian hair industry is needed and wanted by clients and is sure to adapt and flourish, especially if we focus on the customer-led experience of tomorrow. I can’t wait to see what we create next.”
L’Oréal has further plans to help hairdressers and salons continue to adapt and flex to implement changes to help them survive and thrive.