How to Sell Retail Products in a Salon: A Beginner’s Guide

The idea of “selling” makes a lot of people feel uneasy. If images of sleazy car vendors or pushy perfume spritzers at the mall come to mind when you think of salespeople, it's easy to understand why the thought might seem unappealing. But fear not, you can start moving more retail by beginning to practice a few strategies that speak to the art of selling rather than channeling your inner used car salesperson. Here’s how.

How Can a Salon Increase Retail Sales?

Increasing retail sales in a hair salon is a collaborative effort that involves the salon owner, stylists, and even the clients themselves. As a salon owner, your goal is to create an environment where selling products feels like a natural part of the client's experience. Here’s a roadmap to get started:

Engage Stylists in the Sales Process

Your stylists are the face of your salon and have the closest relationship with clients. Train your stylists to educate clients about the conditioners, shampoos, and styling products they are using during appointments. Encourage them to share how these products will benefit the client's hair at home, making the stylist not just a hair stylist but a trusted consultant.

Curate a Selective Product Line

Choose a product line that aligns with your salon’s brand and ethos. The more your stylists believe in the products, the more authentically they can sell them. Educate your stylists on the product line so they can speak to clients about the benefits with confidence.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Leverage social media platforms to showcase products in action. Post before-and-after photos of a client's hair, highlighting the products used to achieve the look. Stylists can also share their favorite products on their personal social media, bridging the in-salon experience with a digital connection. Tagging the products also gives clients an easy way to purchase them later.

Make Retail Visible and Accessible

Create a dedicated salon retail area that is visually appealing and strategically located. This should be in a high-traffic area where clients can easily browse while they wait. This also normalizes the idea of purchasing products during their visit.

Offer In-Salon Promotions

Periodically run promotions that incentivize clients to purchase products. This could be a discount with a service, a buy-one-get-one-free offer, or a reward program that gives clients a free product after a certain number of purchases.

Empower Your Stylists

As the salon owner, consider creating a commission structure that rewards stylists for selling products. This not only incentivizes them but acknowledges their role in driving retail sales.

Educate Clients During Appointments

Turn the time a client spends in the chair into an educational opportunity. Stylists can explain what they're doing to the client's hair and which products they are using, why they are using them, and how clients can use them at home. This isn’t selling — it’s educating, and it’s a powerful tool.

Monitor and Adapt

Regularly review what is selling and what isn’t. Use this data to make informed decisions about what to stock, what to promote, and how to train your stylists further.

By employing these strategies, you are not just aiming to sell products. You are enhancing the overall client experience, adding value to your services, and ultimately increasing the revenue of your salon retail business.

In this way, increasing retail sales becomes a natural extension of the excellent service you already provide in your hair salon. It becomes less about 'selling' and more about enhancing your clients’ lives with products you and your stylists genuinely believe in.

8 Ways to Sell Retail Products in Your Salon

Here are eight secrets to selling more beauty products:

  1. Bring in a Product Specialist
  2. Perfect Your Product Placement
  3. Build Brands into Services and Checkout
  4. Focus on In-Chair Education
  5. Take Notes
  6. Show Off on Social Media
  7. Keep Track of Inventory
  8. Incentivize Your Team

Okay, let’s dive deeper into each one.

1. Bring in a Product Specialist

Most beauty brands have internal spokespeople or ambassadors who are intimately familiar with the selling points of every item in the line. Making sales isn’t about shoving products in your client’s face – it’s about being confident when it comes to answering questions they have. Empower your staff (and yourself) by bringing in an expert to train everyone on the ins and outs of the items you use most. With proper product education, talking about the products starts to feel more natural and less like a pitch.

2. Perfect Your Product Placement

Your salon aesthetic has to go beyond chic branding and stylish station setups. When you think about the visuals of your space, you may want to revisit your retail display and think about how you can update your merchandising strategically. The way you display items – think color-coordinated or grouped by use and solutions – will make it more enticing for customers to not only make a purchase but even to purchase more.

You’ll also want to consider the flow of your salon. Is your display situated in a high-traffic area or stacked up in a corner that clients can hardly see? Sometimes just being in plain view can start to spark interest as the more exposure your clients get to a brand, the more likely they are to buy in... but more on that below.

3. Build Brands into Services and Checkout

Name drop the shampoos, serums, or scrubs you're using on your clients so they start to get familiar with the products you trust as a professional. Many marketers stand by the Rule of Seven – it’s the average number of times a consumer needs to be exposed to a brand or idea before they adopt it. Offering some samples at the end of the service is an easy way to tick off another product touchpoint. Mention a brand here, drop a trial size there, and quickly get closer to that lucky number seven with minimal effort or awkwardness!

4. Focus on In-Chair Education

Your regulars return time and time again because they love what you do. Part of that magic is in the tools and tinctures you use throughout your services. You might be surprised how eager clients are to learn about what’s going on with their hair or skin, and you also have the benefit of a captive audience whenever they’re in your chair. In between asking about their kids or the hot date they went on last weekend, take the opportunity to talk about the products you’re using and why.

Share insights into why you’ve chosen certain things for their specific hair type, skin, or structure. And don’t even think of it like selling – it’s just a low-key flex that proves why you’re such a pro.

5. Take Notes

Once you’ve casually shown off your skills as an expert, take a few minutes after each appointment to jot down some notes on the products you used or discussed with your client. With GlossGenius, you can set up notifications to check those records before you see them again, so you can ask what they thought of the results or be reminded to slip them a sample they can try in between sessions. If it’s a hit, all you have to do is ask them if they’d like to take some home and you’ve just become a one-stop-shop for service and sales.

6. Show Off on Social Media

In the same post where you’re already sharing your wow-worthy before and afters, why not evangelize the supporting products that made it possible? You can weave in a mention of the items used to create the look and casually drop in that you carry them at your salon. You can also use products to create educational content on your page or share feedback from your network as social proof you can sprinkle throughout your feed.

By dropping product knowledge in relevant posts, all this product talk organically becomes part of your collective branding and salon social media marketing rather than an intrusive sales tactic.

7. Keep Track of Inventory

You can’t sell what you don’t know you have. When you start tracking what’s in stock, you can quickly and easily tell what’s moving and what’s not. Review which items are practically selling themselves versus the ones that might need a little more help. Then you can figure out which products might need priority placement on your retail display or a little extra love when you’re raving to those in the chair. If you’re not properly maintaining both your retail and your back bar products, you may end up losing track of inventory and ultimately losing money. Don’t get caught gushing about your favorite serum and then be out of stock when a client asks to take some home. With GlossGenius’s seamless salon inventory management system, you’ll receive low inventory alerts and be able to access Retail Sales reports in seconds.

8. Incentivize Your Team 

If you have a team at your salon, you can share the responsibility of selling retail products. As an owner, you can encourage your staff to get on board with cash bonuses, fun prizes, and some healthy competitive energy. Try putting a SPIF (Sales Performance Incentive Fund) on the table to encourage employees to ramp up their selling efforts and meet new goals. SPIFs are usually short-term, incentive-based initiatives that can help motivate your squad to reach salon goals as a team – but with a little friendly competition.


In conclusion, integrating salon retail products into your beauty business is not merely a strategy to boost your profit margin; it's a comprehensive approach to meeting your clients' needs and enhancing their overall experience. As business owners in the fast-paced beauty industry, it’s essential to continually adapt and innovate.

Our top tips for selling retail products in your salon can play a pivotal role in improving your bottom line. From carefully selecting hair care products that align with your brand to educating your staff on new products and how they cater to clients' needs, every detail matters. Not only can retailing contribute significantly to your profit margin, but it can also be a powerful tool for client retention, fostering a deeper relationship between your salon and the clients who entrust you with their beauty needs. Thus, embracing salon retail is not just a sales tactic; it’s a holistic strategy for thriving in today’s competitive beauty industry.

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