Male grooming is booming and it’s good news not only for those looking to achieve some kind of balance in the bathroom, but also for bricks-and-mortar retailers.
According to recent research by Euromonitor, Western Europe forms the largest part of a male grooming market expected to reach US$60.7 billion by 2020, and 91% of sales are currently through physical stores, in fact online only accounts for 5% of total sales worldwide.
Male grooming products are not traditionally the province of electrical retailers more used to selling TVs and toasters, but as more CE brands jump in to shave themselves a slice of this market, it could be an opportunity for electrical retailers to scrub down and face up to the affluent metro-men looking for a neat machine to nip-n-tuck their well-loved chin-curtains.
Product knowledge is critical for this one, so anyone who’s going to be selling the latest electric grooming gadgets must be fully confident operating them. This might sound obvious but if you want to get the most from a market in growth you can’t afford to trim back the basics.
Make sure you understand the benefits of each product you’re ranging.
It’s possible that most of your customers will know exactly what they want but they might not have seen every variation in your range, and there may be something they’re not aware of which could turn a morning’s chore into a slick routine worthy of uploading to YouTube. So don’t forget to ask those all-important open questions to understand a chap’s grooming routines before suggesting what the best fit may be.
It’s a great one for creating a rapport with your customers. Is it a cliché that men love to talk? Probably, but we at T21 know plenty men who love to talk about their beards. Maybe you have a beard too and can swap interesting stories relating to their origins and the adventures you’ve shared?
Normally we’d tell sales people not to make snap judgements based on appearances, but in this case we think you’ll be able to gauge the level of care and attention a fellow lavishes upon his push-broom as soon as it sweeps into view. Is the growth as smooth as a silken hairy waterfall, or is it a tangled bird’s nest containing more fragments of undisclosed age and origin than a trucker’s driving seat? Perhaps you’re already thinking what the perfect partner for your customer’s bristles may be at this point (a vacuum cleaner?) and have a chance to prove yourself an expert by anticipating his needs. But seriously don’t rush it, take your time, let them answer some questions first so you can refine your recommendations and make them count.
After all, maybe it’s not just the beard. Eyebrows, nostril hair and sideboards might also be considered worthy of attention. Which means there could be different combs, grips and angles to consider. Back to the product knowledge. Do you know what they all do, what the benefits are and how they all fit together?
Don’t forget the add-ons.
There’s a whole suite of products which could provide a gentleman the means to buff his well-groomed lip-sweater to an enviable cut and shine wherever his travels take him – from luxurious ointments and unguents designed to impress and attract, to carry-cases, adaptor plugs and spare batteries for long nights away from home.
Merchandising is also key, and we don’t think there’s any point hiding male grooming goods beneath the counter. Be proud and get them out! We’ll leave it to you decide whether or not you’re going to have demo stock available for use in-store, or whether you decide to go the full Salvador Dali and transform some of your retail space into a salon, maybe creating a bit of theatre with professional barbers or a singing quartet?
Maybe that’s going too far so we’ll stop there.
But whatever you do with your male grooming range, we think the key to selling it successfully is to know your products, make sure they’re visible, give some advice and have some fun.
Just don’t shy away from them purely because they’re not your traditional type of product. Make yourself into the experts, stand out and be different!
An earlier version of this article was previously published in Innovative Retailing Magazine, June 2018