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Square’s 2024 Future of Commerce report offers inspiration, tactics and tools to help you future-proof your business. Produced in partnership with Wakefield Research, the report surveys consumers to uncover insights about the current state and the future of the beauty industry.

The key beauty findings from the 2024 report include:

  • Automation and Communication are key for consumer satisfaction. Consumers prefer businesses to use automation in various areas of their operations in order to receive the best customer experience.
  • Consumers prefer a one-stop shop. Consumers are turning to beauty and personal care businesses for offerings outside of services.
  • Appointment booking patterns are consistent. Across the world, consumers have similar preferences in how they prefer to book appointments.
  • Consumer loyalty has varying elements. Consumers take many factors into consideration when choosing and staying with providers.

Consumers have grown accustomed to interacting with businesses that use automation throughout their operations. Across all generations, consumer prefer that salons, barbershops and spas use automation for sending appointment reminders (42%), booking appointments (34%), managing customer loyalty programs (20%), tracking product orders (18%), providing information on the products used during the appointment (16%), and chatbots for customer service requests (12%).

Square discovered that 72% of consumers also expect certain communications from beauty and personal care businesses, including appointment reminders (50%), loyalty program updates (25%), email newsletters (15%) and feedback surveys (14%).

As consumers continue to prioritize beauty and wellness within their everyday lives, they’re interested in the following offerings outside of services from the beauty and personal care professionals they frequent: in-person classes (21%), online tutorials (21%), at-home DIY boxes (19%), live virtual classes (13%) and off-premise services (12%).

The report revealed that 63% of respondents reported purchasing retail items from a beauty or personal care business, and that Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X consumers indicated that availability of products is a leading purchasing factor, so making products readily accessible during appointments is an easy way to drive consumer confidence and sales.

Across the world, consumers have similar preferences in how they prefer to book appointments, but after booking the appointment they have different preference in how they receive appointment reminders, with 62% preferring text messages, 31% wanting an email confirmation and 23% still wanting a phone call.

Who are the most loyal clients? The study found that Boomers (at 57%) and Gen X (at 45%) wouldn’t switch providers for any reason. What ultimately drives consumers to switch, include appointment times that don’t align with their schedules (25%), overly long wait times to secure an appointment (23%), and when their preferred provider leaves the business (23%).

Consumers also have strong opinions about what would make them avoid certain beauty and personal care businesses, with Gen Z avoiding businesses that don’t have websites where they can view services, prices and customer photos, and Millennial, Gex X and Boomers avoiding businesses that require a deposit to secure an appointment.

To access the detailed report, click here

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Originally posted on Salon Today

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