Where's the Loyalty? Extremely irritated with esthetic lines.

There's seems to be a shift that has occurred recently in our business and I'm not too happy about it. I came to this realization as I was walking through my local mall and noticed that an Aveda "store" is scheduled to open up across from Sephora who carries traditionally esthetic lines such as Glymed and Murad.

What I don't understand is how they justify expecting line loyalty from us and only selling backbar and pro-only products if we buy into their line, then deciding to by-pass us completely and sell directly to the consumer despite that we've spent several thousand purchasing into their line. Does this mean they're going to sell professional backbar to us without requiring commitment? Because I would be totally cool with their "stores" if I can walk into a local beauty supply and get my backbar like hairstylists do.

And also...stop calling yourself "professional" if you're no longer requiring "professionals" to sell your product...Ulta and Dermalogica that means YOU.

SORRY RANT OVER. I'm fully expecting to be able to get my favorite Decleor Deep Cleanser, Dermalogica Multi-vitamin Peel, and H2t pumpkin mask wherever supplies are sold. I should be able to mix and match my favorites too.

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Thanks.  I used some of their products, they were great about giving us gratis products (full size) to try.  I thought they were a pretty decent line and the anti aging products seems to get good results.  But they were also selling a 25% acid peel to anyone who walked in the store without any real training on how to use it.  I didn't like that at all. 

Agreed. Ulta's esty's are hardly ever actually "on staff". More frequently they have sales people/managers working those areas and selling product. The esty's are there to perform the facials and they don't want them there unless they are selling because Dermalogica pays their wages (minimum wage by the way). I actually liked the concept until I discovered how they run things. Very disappointed in it as well.

Samanatha---wow, your retail sales is impressive. Can you help me get better in that aspect? What's your secret? Some people only want to buy over-the-counter because it is cheap no matter how much I explain the differences. Thanks.

Each client gets a full skin-care regimen planned out.  When I say "each", I mean "all".  Even if they're in for an eyebrow wax, I have automatic "are you using retinol" type questions that lead into skin care product discussion.  I offer three products (always) to new clients and I regularly inquire into how the regimen I've already sold them is going.  I switch up products they're using on seasonal basis due to needs-based changes.  For example, I tell them to shelf this moisturizer and glycolic treatment that they use in the winter for more summer-friendly products and vice-versa.  I always check to see what I've sold them in the past on my records and have that info ready to go before they walk in the door.  If they're long time clients on regimens, I always showcase new product for them when it comes in, sample it out, and apply it to them.  Sales is fun.  :)

I find your approach to be very impressive. Question: what do you find the reorder rate is? What percentage of clients repurchase when they run out of products? Do you call on them periodically to refill their products?

I don't call. I do send them a card or call them a couple of days after a purchase to see how it's going. My regular clients will come in and purchase when I'm not there which has been an issue because front desk will sometimes take credit for it and I won't catch it till a month later. Occasionally one of my clients will suddenly try a new brand from somewhere else but they return full circle back to my products in a year or so. When they stray I remind them that my service is personalized to their needs and always am there for them if they have a problem. Im not sure what the percentage is but out of my return request clients probably about 50-60% if I had to guess.

That's fantastic. And great input as well as a great way to handle the sales end of the business.

Thank you.

What about when a client tells you that your product is higher priced then what they found on the internet (Amazon). When my client did that I went to my products website and copied this and emailed it to the client.  After she got my email she told me she was going to send it back to the online seller.

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Good idea.

I am not sure what the big deal is

Once upon a time, AVEDA was THE line, since it was one of the early "green" brands and was innovative -- but like so many great things became over saturated and it lost its luster and became class for the mass

ULTA is no different the the catalog stores the local photography stores cater too -- sure they have low prices, but no one can even show you how to load the film (sorry for dating myself).  People will pay more for good service -- in this case skin education.

This isn't true about Ulta.  The retail prices for Dermalogica are the same as spas charge, and there is never discounting, Dermalogica simply won't allow it.  And I'm sorry, as an esthetician who worked at Ulta for a year, I take offense to your comment about sub-par skin education.  Yes, they may get that from the regular retail employees, but when the esthetician is on duty (usually 30 hours a week), the education is just fine. 

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