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70pc of Great Clips online check-ins happen via mobile

Hair salon chain Great Clips is seeing success with its online check-in service, particularly on mobile when consumers need to squeeze in a quick haircut.

Great Clips rolled out digital check-ins across its mobile and desktop properties in 2011. The company recently hit 10 million online check-ins and has also rolled out an iPhone and Android application.

“Whether it’s through our mobile Web site or our apps for Android and iOS, more than 70 percent of check-ins online use a mobile device,” said Tammy Nienaber, director of communications at Great Clips, Minneapolis, MN.

“Convenience is important to our customers,” she said. “Finding new ways to use mobile technology to improve the customer experience just makes sense.”

How it works
Online check-in is available at more than 3,000 salons in the United States and Canada and lets users log-in to view the wait times at nearby salons.

The check-in feature is prominently placed at the top of Great Clips’ mobile site. The site uses a mobile device’s built-in GPS to ask if it is okay to use a consumer’s location.

The site then displays a couple of nearby salons that consumers can click on to view a map and directions to the location.

When consumers click-through on a location, they have the option to call a salon or view a list of promotions and services that individual salons offer.

Great Clips also uses its online check-in service to build up its SMS efforts.

The promotions section prompts users to type in their mobile phone number as a way to enter a contest. There is also an option to let consumers check off a box to receive further SMS messages from Great Clips.

Consumers can also check their gift card balance by typing in the 19-digit number that is associated with the gift card.

Great Clips locations are also increasingly rolling out monitors inside the salons that show the order of appointments, how many users have checked-in online and how many online check-in users have not arrived yet.

Great Clips claims that more than 800,000 customers use the online check-in feature. Based on the uptick of consumer adoption over the past two years, the company anticipates to rake in its one millionth check-in this summer.

The Great Clips Android app

Appy check-ins

Great Clips also has a mobile application for iPhone and Android devices.

The app uses similar GPS technology as the company’s mobile site to locate nearby salons.

Interestingly, Great Clips is seeing that a majority of consumers who use online check-in also want to download an app.

Per Great Clips, 70 percent of online check-in users download the company’s app.

Additionally, the app has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times, and the company expects to rake in two million downloads by the end of 2013.

Given Great Clips’ focus on quick services, the company’s mobile initiatives center around utility and driving users to locations.

“Our customers often think of a haircut as an errand,” Ms. Nienaber said.

“A haircut is something people prefer to fit between work, school, grocery shopping and other daily activities,” she said.

“Mobile technology allows us to connect with our customers while they are out and about, and when their intent to purchase is highest.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York