The Pros and Cons of Mobile Beauty
Posted on August 10 2017
What is the distinction between mobile beauty and beauty salon?
The rise of middle-income class and increasing penetration of mobile devices has created bigger opportunities in the global market for beauty and personal care brands. Consumers today are becoming smarter and savvier in the way they consume products and services. Beauty brands no longer just sell products but also need to consider aspects from users’ physically and emotionally standpoint.
Easy access to the internet today has led to a change in beauty behavior, therefore consumers are expecting products and services to be delivered on demand. What if an app can notify you of your daily skin condition, helps you book beauty services, then arrive at your doorstep and bring along personalized products for your beauty care? Beauty brands are improving products are services while personalizing consumer’s needs by harnessing the power of technology to achieve greater results.
We see the rise of mobile beauty especially in cities like New York, Beijing, and China. More beauty apps are developed to help customers save time by sending beauty services to the doorstep. Can the mobile beauty cater to the unique needs of consumers? Let us dive into the pros and cons of mobile beauty.
There is no doubt mobile beauty provides ultimate convenience. Spending time is optional but wasting time is totally undesirable. Depending on location, people living in city areas usually take a considerable amount of time traveling due to traffic and parking hassle. Money and time spent may cause you lose potential gain if you have had spent the additional 2 hours efficiently. Imagine having facial at home service while your kids are having evening nap, or book makeup and hairdo service at home so you have extra time to choose the best outfit for dinner event? Getting an appointment at the salon is not as personalized as having professional who knows your preferred style or skin type before they arrive at your doorstep.
Prices of mobile beauty follow pay-as-you-go model in contrast to the beauty salon that charges upfront payment because they need to sustain fixed expenses like shop rents, staff commission and purchase of equipment. As beauty freelancers are always on the go, they have lower overheads, therefore these are savings that they can pass on to customers. Mobile beauty also keeps up with new trends easily as they are flexible enough to let customer try varieties of new products as opposed to the beauty salon who carries limited brands.
3. Booking Process
The booking process is much easier with mobile beauty. Customers can choose to text message directly or through an intermediary beauty app who manages communication between professional freelancer and customer. A manager helps to arrange the best fit based on matching skills, preference, and location. Whereas beauty salon has limited capacity due to space and manpower constraints. When this happens, customers will have to postpone appointments and this affects their personal schedule.
It takes deep trust to let a stranger enter into the house especially during the first time experience. Security is an issue not just to customers but also to the mobile freelancer who usually travels alone. Security measures need to be put in place, therefore, this requires an intermediary managing on behalf of both parties. Proper identification needs to be verified to assure both parties have a genuine interest.
2. Physical environment
Being pampered in home certainly, lacks the relaxing ambiance and sophisticated equipment that beauty salon has to offer. It has always been the retail advantage in providing unique physical experience to customers. It is a trade-off situation in which customer make a choice between enjoying personal space and experiencing a better environment.
3. Tools and equipment
In terms of tools and equipment, beauty salon has the complete range including heavy duty machines that provide better results after one treatment. On the other hand, mobile beauty uses skincare device that is smaller in size and portable for easy traveling. These are light duty machines who are as effective but requires more frequent usage, especially for the facial massage purpose. As for makeup, embroidery, hairstyling, the tools are generally the same across mobile beauty and beauty salon.
The question is how can the beauty salon leverage technology to drive more traffic while personalizing customer experience wherever they go? With the rise of digital disruptions, consumer needs have been changing rapidly on a daily basis. Will there be an integration of mobile beauty and beauty salon to serve various touch points enabling better engagement with consumers? “The salon experience has definitely changed within the last five years alone, with convenience trumping exclusivity,” says Megan McIntyre, Beauty Director at Refinery29. Ultimately, it is the total experience, all-inclusive and on demand service that will be the winner in this space.