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Failure to digitise sees UK beauty industry lose £1.2Bn in lost opportunities

The failure to digitise booking processes is threatening the profitability of the multi-billion pound UK salon industry, as new research shows that £1.2bn is being lost every year as clients fail to keep their pre-booked appointments.

The new data, from Powered by Flossie, shows that a third (30 per cent) of women in London admit to not showing up to a hair appointment, leaving salons to swallow the costs.

More than 75 per cent of salons currently use paper booking systems, which are increasingly being shunned by consumers, with one in three millennials saying that they booked their most recent appointment online.

Having raised more than $7million NZD in its native New Zealand, Powered by Flossie, a UX software start-up backed by the industry’s most prestigious venture capitalists, is launching into the UK market with its single API enterprise booking software. The ambitious launch has seen Powered by Flossie target the UK’s largest hair and beauty companies to disrupt their legacy salon technology.

In an increasingly crowded market it’s crucial that salons are able to capture the millennial demographic, particularly as they book treatments more frequently than any other age group. The research found that 18-24 years olds visit salons on average once a month, in comparison to the overall average of one appointment every 6 to 8 weeks.

Given the propensity of young clients to book online, a smooth online user experience is crucial to attracting this demographic. More than a third of millennials (38%) aged 18-24 booked their most recent treatment online, but an additional third (36%) were unable to as their salon did not have an online booking option. A further fifth (20%) said their online experience was frustrating, and ultimately put them off booking.

Alongside requiring quick and easy online booking experiences, the younger generation of consumers increasingly demand flexible payment options, including buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services. Internal data from Powered by Flossie also found that customers are significantly more likely to attend beauty appointments if they have paid in advance, as it creates a financial repercussion for missing their bookings.

Traditional legacy salon software can’t provide this for salons, but opportunities exist for incorporating single API software with these features directly into existing systems. Powered by Flossie’s software accesses calendar data displayed on the salon’s website (like services, times and employees) and processes the information, resulting in appointments that are merchandised similar to how you would buy fashion and apparel online, allowing customers to pay upfront.

The software works alongside most calendar software systems as a plug and play solution that extends the capabilities of the existing technology with modern tools that increase online booking rates and supports various pay-in-advance solutions providing guaranteed revenue.

Jenene Crossan, CEO and Founder of Powered by Flossie said:

“Salons in the UK face a number of challenges, but one of the most widespread is the impact of a lack of digitisation. Whether it’s causing them to lose revenue via no-shows or preventing their customers from easily accessing the services they want, legacy technology is hurting the hair and beauty industry.

“However, having spent more than 20 years in the technology industry, I’ve seen first-hand how new, innovative software can be used to change entrenched business practices. Powered by Flossie provides enterprise salons with software that enables them to offer their clients the best booking solutions; incorporating innovative payment options, easy to use interfaces and a way to end the no-show status-quo.”