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Supercuts grooms mobile strategy via same-day check-ins

Salon chain Supercuts is attempting to extend its reach and book appointments via a new capability enabling customers to check-in for same-day hair services online or through its mobile application, underscoring how the service industry is becoming increasingly reliant on mobile to drive last-minute appointments.

The salon brand’s mobile offerings are launching in addition to a new in-store feature, which will offer guests a complimentary Hot Towel Refresher, and an advertising campaign built around the art of the mobile-enabled selfie. Supercuts’ booking options will likely spur competitors in the service sector to roll out similar offerings if they have not already, as millennials and plenty of on-the-go consumers appreciate having the convenience of booking a last-minute appointment through a tablet or smartphone at their discretion.

“Convenience is always a top priority for consumers, and mobile apps offer a great way for marketers to meet that expectation, particularly in service industries,” said Erik Burckart, chief technology officer at PointSource, Raleigh, NC. “Mobile apps provide another channel through which marketers can engage their most loyal customers and create a more personalized experience.”

Spur-of-the-moment sales
Supercuts’ mobile check-ins will likely help the brand drive more mcommerce and sales, thanks to the ability for consumers to partake in impulse buys and book immediate services with the tap of a finger.

Users can leverage the salon finder to locate a bricks-and-mortar location in their vicinity, and view estimated wait times for local salons to maximize time. Once a customer has selected a salon to visit, he or she may choose their appointment time and also select their hair stylist of choice.

Available options include appointments for hair cutting, coloring and waxing.

Guests may also check-in upon arrival, check-in up to five friends or family members, receive directions to the location and opt-in for mobile alerts prior to their hair appointments.

After a profile has been created, the app automatically saves it for future reference to ensure that customers have a process as streamlined as possible.

The Supercuts mobile app is free to download for both iOS and Android platforms.

Selfie advertising
To ramp up awareness of its mobile features, the brand is rolling out the “Ready to Go” advertising campaign, featuring three television spots.

In the commercials, guests are shown taking a selfie with their smartphone after receiving a haircut from Supercuts before the video transforms into a time-lapse to follow the individual through his or her life before it is time to return to Supercuts and get “Ready to Go” again.

An additive part of Supercuts’ new experience is the complimentary Hot Towel Refresher for consumers after their haircut. Each stylist will use a tea tree oil-infused warm towel to wipe the guests’ hairline and neck free from stray hair.

Ultimately, service marketers would be well-poised to leverage mobile as a way of directly catering to guests’ needs when they want it, wherever they want it. Busy consumers often are able to find impromptu, small windows of time for running errands such as receiving a haircut, offering a new sector of mcommerce for brands to tap: last-minute bookings.

Hotel brands are also taking a crack at this tactic, with one app, HotelsByDay, offering consumers the ability to book flexible room stays for several hours during the day, should guests require quiet rooms between flights or for company presentations (see story).

“By offering online check-ins through its mobile app, Supercuts is highlighting its dedication to providing superior customer service,” Mr. Burckart said. “Supercuts’ new mobile service will help them retain existing customers and likely attract new customers as well, especially younger consumers who are increasingly mobile-dependent.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York