Business Management

European Touch Logs On

While most businesses in the salon industry are attempting to get up to speed with computers that serve only within the confines of the business, others are using their computers to access the seemingly limitless information available on the information superhighway. Suddenly, the salon industry is in the commuter lane of the on-ramp.

While most businesses in the salon industry are attempting to get up to speed with computers that serve only within the confines of the business, others are using their computers to access the seemingly limitless information available on the information superhighway. Suddenly, the salon industry is in the commuter lane of the on-ramp.

The first in the nail industry to venture into on-line services were nail technicians with on-line bulletin boards and “chat rooms.” Taking the lead from them now are the nail product manufacturers. OPI Products and Creative Nail Design Systems, among others, have sponsored the Nail Tech Mailing List. However, the only manufacturer at press time that has constructed its own website is European Touch Co., based in Milwaukee, Wis.

Matt Walker, director of advertising and purchasing for European Touch Co., explains that the impetus for the company to invest in constructing a website was twofold. “First, because the Internet is accessible to users worldwide, we now can reach markets that otherwise are very expensive to reach, even just to print and mail a copy of our catalog. Putting our catalog on-line will save us money, and it will make our entire product line instantly available to those who want to see it.

“Our second reason for going on-line was to establish European Touch Co. as a leader in the professional nail care industry. Not only will we have the exposure — our site is indexed through six of the larger search engines — but we’re backing it up with information for both nail professionals and interested consumers,” Walker says.

European Touch Co. anticipates using its website to conduct its business with nail technicians, salons, and distributors faster and more cost-effectively. Walker says, “Right now, there is a delay with processing international orders via fax and regular mail. The: overseas distributor has to fax an order form, send a check, and wait for it to clear. We look forward to making the order form available on-line, so all the distributor has to do is download the form, fill it out, and e-mail it with a bank transfer.

“We will have that area of the website encrypted,” Walker says, which means that the only computers with access to that particular communication are the sender’s computer and the receivers. No one else can “hack in” to view the financial information. Eventually, European Touch Co. wants its domestic manufacturer’s reps to be able to e-mail orders that can go directly to the company’s shipping department for immediate processing.

 

Reaching Even More Massive Markets

 

Although the site is an educational and reference source for consumers, Walker is adamant that European Touch Co. will not be taking retail orders from anyone but professionals. “We will not be courting consumer sales directly. All inquiries from consumers will be rerouted to our salons and distributors,” Walker says.

The intention of European Touch Co. is to make available high-quality information about nail care and health, nail industry news, tips and pointers on product application, and updates on state board happenings.

Walker says that European Touch Co.’s goal is to reach a much larger retail market by informing consumers about what European Touch Co. has to offer. “Most nail product manufacturers target their advertising to professionals only, but these efforts don’t reach the end user, the potential client. Our website will not only expose them to our products but to the industry as a whole,” Walker says.

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