Gender neutral pricing has been all the buzz lately, but is it profitable for your salon business? It isn’t simply a difference in price for short, medium, and long hair. It positions your brand in culture, and a specific perception with existing and new clients.
Gender fluidity or gender neutral is a progressive idea that many see as a human rights issue. Some argue that ‘sexist’ pricing, women’s cuts being more expensive than men’s cuts, is a violation of human rights. They say; “Why should my short haircut cost more than a man’s short cut?” If pricing were simply based on the cost of a stylist’s time this holds water. Some suggest that clients pay for expertise and time. For example; they pay for a professional to give them a dusting versus a cut and the price should be the same. Why? Because they are paying for a stylist to cut a dusting, that’s paying more for their expertise versus just a time cost.
Many salons that have made the change report that it has been good for business because some women that have short cuts are coming in more often because of the price decrease. Some salon’s are providing a price range for short, medium, and long hair. This is especially true for a Summit Salon that has different price levels for their stylists.
For others, introducing gender neutral pricing in the salon is seen as fighting the ‘pink tax,’ a term describing elevated prices for women’s goods that use the same ingredients as men. Articles A Plus cited a 2015 study conducted by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) that found women paid more for the same products 42% of the time and were charged on average 7% more than men for the same products.
So, how do you implement gender neutral pricing? With the claim that gender neutral pricing has been smart for business – improving profits, scheduling and client loyalty. Salon owner Tricia Sherpe shared how new pricing helps run the business smoothly in a Modern Salon Article. Here is a quick summary of those points:
1) Length-based pricing optimizes the salon’s appointment book: Downtime and appointment run-over for stylists is reduced, when appointments are booked based on hair length versus gender.
2) Prices are customized for every client: Women with short hair returned quicker once prices were customized for hair length rather than a base rate for women’s cuts. More salon visits per year resulted in increased retail sales.
3) Transparent pricing lead to increased client loyalty: Clients appreciate that their price is reflective of the amount of time it takes to complete their service and the amount of product used. They appreciate that big changes, such as chin length to a Pixie cut is more time consuming and requires a different price than a maintenance price on a short pixie. Trust increased and stylists gained confidence to communicate price differences.
Beyond the economic value, gender-neutral pricing is part of building a welcoming and inclusive culture. “We do everything we can for the customers to ensure what they’re presenting to the world is what they feel inside,” said Jackie Youg, a stylist and barber at Alicia’s Salon.
A move to gender-neutral pricing can be good for business is many ways.