Do you have an online retail store for your website? Sounds like a good idea but is it? Your website designer will be all for it since an e-commerce website can set you back an additional $1000 – $10,000 depending on what you are wanting.
Then of course there are those extra sales, which means an increase in your purchasing power and then greater discounts from your suppliers. Lot’s of positives…. but what about the negatives?
I have already mentioned the website designers costs, what sort of return are you going to need to cover that? Then there is the initial outlay to have stock on hand to send to buyers. You will need to have a staff member to pick and pack the orders, take them to the post office or have them ready for a courier service to pick up. Then what if they aren’t the right products or are damaged? Your out the cost of replacements.
Now don’t forget the nature of buying online is that people are after the cheapest item, so your margins are lower, and no matter how low you go, there is going to be someone cheaper!
Would I recommend it? As a salon business consultant – No! As a website developer – No! Will you get sales? Yes, of course. But it is my experience that with the competition in this arena they will be minimal and never return your investment. There are solutions if you still want to sell online that is to become an affiliate for a larger online retailer. You can expect to earn about $10 per order that comes via your website, as long as it is around the $200 mark. Not enough to entice me I am afraid.
But I read everywhere I should be making money from my website? The answer is yes you should and you can. There are ways to do that don’t involve a large investment in e-commerce. Especially if you use a WordPress site there are plenty of plug-ins available to handle simple sales.
So what should you sell? First thing that comes to mind is Gift Certificates, once setup these can be sold continuously with minimal work on your end. Prepaid packages are also another option that can be simply implemented into the average salon website.
These will allow people to purchase for others or to self gift, a trend that is becoming increasingly popular.