What make consumer visit beauty supply?
It is of utmost importance for today’s beauty supply businesses to understand what cus-tomers want. More brick-and-mortar retailers are opening in your neighborhood while other non-traditional, heavy-weight competitors such as online retailers and cross border e-commerce are trapping your customer traf-fic. There’s still a chance though. If you know exactly what customers want, you will surely find a solution.
A Beauty Supply Dreamed by Customers?
You need to study what factors are most decisive for customers to perceive and rate a beauty supply through analyzing customer re-views. Those factors will serve as a reference point for your shop to improve customer review ratings.
Customer Wants Hair Product Variety: Various Styles and Colors of Wigs
When a customer evaluates a product range of a store, she usually think of the range of a wig collection. Despite some regional differ-ences, customers usually perceive a store offers a great selection of goods to purchase from if the store offers various styles and colors of wigs. In addition, in the Western states, the breadth of braids be-comes an important factor as well. The third aspect is the compre-hensiveness of coloring products. This factor is especially important in the East and the West. Though African American customers are also fond of colors, a larger population of Latin American customers in those regions likely contributes to this phenomenon. While taking inventory turnover into account, you should set stock-ing priorities that satisfy consumer desire, which is to maximize the range of styles and colors of your wig offerings and subsequently stock up braids and so on.
SALLY is the Standard for Good Customer Service
In many Google reviews, customers make complimentary comments for a store’s friendly and professional service as being an equivalent of “Sally’s customer service” or not on par with Sally’s for being un-satisfactory. For example, a customer reviewed a beauty supply in California for its professional and friendly customer service and com-mented using the following analogy: a bigger version of Sally Beauty. As such, many customers use Sally’s friendliness and profes-sional service as a standard for a good customer service at a beauty supply store. In other words, if you are better than Sally’s, you’re good. If worse than Sally’s, you need an improvement. You may want to visit a Sally Beauty location and find out how they greet you and assist you while shopping for a benchmark purpose. In addition, you can take heed of products marketed as hot items in a Sally Beauty store when considering procurement options.
Customers Speak Candidly in Google Reviews
As it is a human nature not to speak too frankly, customers can more candidly speak to a third party than directly to a person. Google Reviews plays the role of a third party in this conversation. Nowa-days, many people utilize Google Reviews in various ways such as choosing a restaurant or engaging a company for a service. As to beauty supply, more and more people are considering reviews before planning a visit to a retail store. It should be noted that wholesale companies are increasingly utilizing them..
A Single Sentence in a Google Review May Contain Various Information
Here’s an example of how we extracted various information from a customer review. Above review speaks of four factors, including huge selection, friend-liness, helpful staff, and good price, all in a sentence. Based on the positive feedback on those factors, the retail store received a five- star rating. Another review speaks of an “amazing selection for hair and related products … compared to nearby stores” but criticized employees who had “no desire to be there” and rather “being disconnected” with customers and irritating customers by their presence. Balancing the great selection and unsatisfactory customer service, the customer rated the retail store with a three-star. Extracting positive and negative factors mentioned in customer re-views, we found certain factors are much more frequently discussed than others.
Most Frequently Discussed Factors in Customer Reviews
Positive factors including (1) a wide selection, (2) low price, (3)friendly staff, (4) professional consultation and advice that go beyond being just friendly, and (5) attractiveness of ongoing promotions were among the most frequently discussed. There are more diverse factors that lead to negative feedback. Many customers complained (1) inadequate consultation and assistance while shopping, (2) nudging into buying more expensive items, (3) rude attitude, (4) suspicion towards customers for potential theft, (5) inconvenient store hours, (6) complaints related to returns, (7) disap-pointment in product offerings, and (8) overpriced items. We divided up a total of 90 Google Reviews regionally into the East, Southeast, West, Southwest, and Midwest and analyzed them per the above-illustrated methodology. Depending on the region, relative importance of various factors varied, and even the standard for each factors varied a little.
Important Consumer Factors by Region
Positive factors in all regions but the Midwest generally aligned simi-larly regarding the order of importance although the relative importance varied by region. For this analysis, we selected 20 pieces of Google Reviews per region except the Midwest. The average review rating was 3.9 in the East, and 4.0 in all other regions. The average review count was 85 reviews per store.
What Does Customer Say about Product Range?
With respect to the product range, customers mainly focused on wig styles and colors when they evaluate their satisfaction as to product range. Especially, many consumer reviews in the East and the West mentioned the variety of wig colors. In addition, New Yorkers of the East and Californians of the West often showed their satisfaction for the wide selection of coloring agents. Another particularity of the West was that consumers evidenced ap-preciation for a great variety of braids as much as wigs, though not nearly as much. Complaints related to products such as a narrow product range and too much markup in pricing came next to the unfriendliness of staff. This type of complaint is more common in the East and the West where the retail stores tend to be small in size. Customers reviewed nega-tively because they could not find a particular product they are looking for especially in the West. The smaller size of a retail store and the consump-tion pattern focused on self must be related to the phenomenon.
Product Range and Friendly Staff are Top Positive Factors
In most regions, product range was the top positive factor, except in the Midwest where friendly staff turned out to be most important by a narrow margin. The next most important was price.
Chain Beauty Supplies are More Friendly?
Beauty supplies can be largely divided into chain retail stores and individu-ally owned retail stores. While there was significant variation across-the-board, chain stores generally received better reviews with respect to the staff friendliness and professional recommendations on products. While some chains received relatively poor consumer ratings, most chain retail stores received a more evenly distributed and higher review ratings. Although the sample size was not enough to make a conclusive finding, there could lie an answer to why the number of non-Korean owned beauty supply retail stores is on the rise.
The Top Negative Factor: Unfriendly Staff
Unfriendliness of staff was top negative factor, but this factor was not en-tirely due to racial or cultural discrepancy between the owner and the customer. In big cities such as New York City and Los Angeles, many African American customers complained of African American staff, and a large number of Latin American customers complained of Latin American staff. On the other hand, those big cities have a lower number of nega-tive reviews on customer service. In fact, the fierce competition makes it impossible to survive without good customer service. Most commonly, customers felt not welcomed, thereby feeling staff un-friendly, if nobody greeted them entering a store. This applies to all re-gions without exception. You must have a customer reception rule where employees make greetings even if they are busy working on inventory stocking and so on.
Inadequate Assistance and Product Advice Cause Dissatisfaction
Complaints regarding lack of professional help and consultation consisted 8.5% of negative factors. In comparison, chain beauty supply custom-ers had lower likelihood of complaining about this factor than individually owned beauty supply customers. This is probably due to the fact that chains have more organized education programs for staff.A point of interest with this respect is that the West Coasters placed a relatively low significance on the unfriendliness compared to the professional help and advice. This can be interpreted as consum-ers of the West have higher expectation for professional staffing in beauty supplies. In other words, you can say customers in the West are more meticulous.
Complaints about Outdated Return Policies
According to customer reviews, there is very few retail stores that of-fered no exchange or refund, including an offer of store credit, for un-opened items. In each region, one or two retail stores stick to the no exchange policy. However, most retail stores including chain stores placed a return policy allowing unopened products to be exchanged for replacement or store credit within five to fifteen days. Customers complained about return policy when the return policy did not include refund or when the store did not comply with their exchange policy written on a receipt. Amazon currently has a refund policy for hair products including open items. This shift of retail ser-vice calls for a change of course in the beauty supply industry.
Store Hour Causes Dissatisfaction in Big Cities
In New York City and Chicago, most beauty supplies closed their door around 7 pm to 7:30 pm. On the other hand, most beauty sup-plies in the Southeast and the Southwest region close at a late hour, leading to no complaint at all. With respect to store hours, customer complaints include disallowing customers from entering even before the store closing. For example, the store hour is till 7:30 pm, and the customer arrives at the store at 7:15 pm. The customer is denied of entering the premise because only the customers already in thestore are served. For this reason, last minute shoppers frequently complained about the unreliable store hour.
Google Review as a Free Promotional Tool
Google Reviews convey a lot of information about a retail store. Let’s take an example. This retail store has a Google Review rating point of 4.4 out of total 235 reviews. If you search an address of a retail store in a region, you will see photos of the front of the shop along with the interior, products, staff, and customers. Without making a trip, customers can predict their shopping experience beforehand. If the quality-price ratio was the king in the past, satisfaction-price ratio is becoming more and more important today. There are a myriad of ways to utilize Google Re-views for analysis on pros and cons of your shop and to improve competitiveness of your store against neighboring stores. You can also use the Google Reviews to learn the customer characteristics of your locale. Google Reviews are free. Let’s have it on our side.
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