Boulevard Survey: Consumers Seek Value, Reputation, and High-End Experiences When Selecting a New Salon

Availability, recommendations, and online portfolios top list of factors influencing choice of new stylist; online self-booking critical to both acquisition and retention

Boulevard (www.joinblvd.com), provider of the client experience platform purpose-built for appointment-based, self-care businesses, today announced the findings of a new consumer survey aimed at helping salon owners and stylists better understand how to attract new clients and keep them coming back. According to the Boulevard survey, value, reputation, and the ability to provide a high-end experience, in that order, are the top attributes clients seek when choosing a new salon or barbershop. When it comes to choosing a new stylist, clients are primarily influenced by availability, the recommendation of friends, and the work they see in a stylist’s online portfolio, respectively. Online self-booking, meanwhile, is seen as critical to both client acquisition and retention.

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“Whether it’s finding available service providers, viewing examples of a stylist’s work, or quickly and easily self-booking appointments online, every aspect of the client experience matters. The more comfortable, effortless, and enjoyable the experience is for your client, the more likely they are to return.”

Boulevard surveyed 800 beauty service consumers to better understand their behaviors, motivations, and preferences regarding the salon experience. The survey findings will help salon owners and stylists develop offerings to both attract new clients and retain existing ones. On average, survey respondents are in their 30s, come from middle-class households, are college-educated, and have at least one child. More insights can be found in the full report, titled “The Perfect Salon: A Data-Drive Guide to Creating the Ideal Client Experience.”

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Choosing a new salon: price point top of mind, but not alone

Pricing is the most critical factor when picking a new hair salon or barbershop, with 40 percent of consumers citing price point as their top consideration—more than twice as much as any other factor. Among respondents who listed price point as their top priority, 60 percent were men. Price consistency is more important than finding a one-off deal, as only 3 percent of respondents say discounts or deals are crucial to their decision-making process.

Though pricing remains the key consideration for many, other consumers gravitate toward reputation and experience. Among survey respondents, 18 percent indicate that a salon or barbershop’s name brand and reputation is their top consideration, while 13 percent are primarily influenced by a salon’s ability to provide a high-end experience, followed by how friendly the staff is (9 percent) and how local the business is to their home (6 percent).

Choosing a new stylist: the best ability is availability

When it comes to selecting a new barber or stylist, availability is the top consideration, cited by 33 percent of survey respondents. Among that subset, 70 percent are men. Twenty-seven percent of respondents rely primarily on the recommendation of friends, while 22 percent are primarily influenced by a stylist’s online portfolio. Other factors include the stylist’s social media following (7 percent) and stylists “who match my vibe” (6 percent).

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