E-Commerce Strategy for Barbershops

Local businesses like barbershops can make use of the web to increase sales and gain more customers. Here's an example of an internet strategy for barbers.

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The Strategy: Make it fun and easy for customers to choose a haircut.

If you make it easy for your customers to choose an appropriate hairstyle, that will increase the chance that they will visit your barbershop. Usually, people don't easily switch barbers because of the fear and uncertainty factor. The trick is to minimize that fear, and encourage the desire to experiment.

There are two tactics to help you execute this strategy:

1. Publish articles on different hairstyles. Educate your customers by revealing which buzz cut fits which kind of face, for example. When to get a barber's cut, why get a mentholated scalp treatment, how to maintain the hair as it slowly grows back... the list of ideas as well as the flow of questions is endless.

Encourage your existing customers to ask questions about their hair, and you'll have a truckload of topics for your online articles.

You can even encourage others to reprint your articles with the condition that your resource box (or "About the Writer" box) is included at the bottom of your barbershop hair care tips articles. That box will display (and promote) your web site where people may read even more of your articles.

2. Publish photos of various hairstyles. The twist here is to not simply post those photos online; rather, post the different haircuts created by each of your barbers. Let's face it, a crew cut made by Roger will look different from that made by Eli, because they still have their unique cutting styles. Cutting hair is also an art and not just a science.

When a customer chooses a particular haircut and barber, that person will visit the specific branch of your chain of barbershops. Imagine that, someone will go out of their way to experiment and visit your shop, because they liked what they saw online.

You'll need to get permission, though, from your customers because it will be their photos online. They might grant you permission if you pixelate their faces (so they're unrecognizable), or if you will post an advertisement under their photo that promotes their business (i.e., car wash, gasoline station). So yes, it will be a win-win situation.

Well, there you have it. Use the web to make it fun and easy for your customers to choose a haircut, and watch your sales and customer base grow.

Attention Local Business Owners: If your business creates value for your locale, you can make effective use of the web to increase your sales.
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[ First posted on 11/29/2005 by Manuel Viloria ]

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