The fact that the Isle of Wight is a popular tourist destination is certainly not news, however, record numbers are expected to be recorded when all the data shakes out at the end of 2021. From the 8th of March 2021, COVID-19 restrictions in the UK began to ease, however, for many people, the uncertainty of overseas travel led to the rise and rise of the UK staycation – and a huge number of these holidaymakers chose the Isle of Wight for their well earned breaks.
The Wight stuff
During normal times, the Isle of Wight generates a whopping £360 million in direct tourist expenditure – with an additional £25 million from visiting yachts. For an island of just 390 square kilometres and a population of 141,606 people, this kind of tourist traffic offers significant challenges – and never more so than during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, weary UK residents arrived in their thousands to enjoy a little R&R while exploring attractions such as Ventnor Beach, Compton Bay and, of course, The Needles – three giant chalk rocks which are watched over by the island’s famous lighthouse. As you would expect, this meant that the Isle of Wight’s many fabulous restaurants, bars and museums saw a considerable increase in business during the summer months, however, they weren’t alone. The island’s barber shops and hair salons also saw a surge in appointments as visitors flooded these salons in order to look their best for those all important staycay selfies. For an industry which had been under the cosh during the pandemic, lots of salon owners struggled to meet the increased demand while maintaining the government’s guidelines for social distancing. Within a relatively short time, the island’s salons underwent a sea change with a number of amendments, including:
- The removal of waiting areas and reception desks
- The removal of retail walls
- Fewer seats and stations
For salon owners, the most significant challenge has been in serving enough customers to pay the bills while minimising contact with fewer stations. Some forward thinking salon owners like Dan King, founder of TRIMZ in Brading, have turned to technology to help them to manage their premises and their customers more effectively. Salons like TRIMZ have been getting onboard with Booksy’s appointment booking platform and app which harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to optimise custom while minimising risk and expense. Why Booksy? Created specifically for hair and beauty salons, this innovative software offers a huge number of benefits for customers and salon owners alike, including:
Pocket power – Customers are able to book and manage their own appointments through Booksy’s mobile phone app. This super efficient app means that customers don’t have the hassle of making a phone call and, for salon owners, it saves on cost and time and removes the need for a dedicated receptionist.
Counting the cost – Salon owners are able to request payment and prepayment through the app- which makes for more efficient budgeting as well as cutting down on those annoying no-shows; after all, customers who have prepaid are much more likely to cancel or rearrange appointments rather than ditching.
People power – While a salon is only as good as it’s people, staff wages are a considerable drain on budgets. Booksy can help salon owners to better manage their staffing levels by intelligently calculating the number of customers and the length of each appointment based on average data and previous visits – meaning owners get to keep more cash in the till.
Point of sale – With retail walls disappearing from the island’s salons, potential sales of products and additional services can be lost. Booksy performs a workaround for salon owners by allowing them to sell and upsell products and services through the app for the ultimate convenience.
Reaching out – Lots of salon owners struggle to focus on marketing and promotion while having to juggle several other tasks. Booksy’s handy marketing tools, including email outreach, helps to streamline this tricky task, leaving salon owners to focus on the most important part of their business – their customers.
Customer Support – Booksy’s customer service is top-notch! According to data from Number For Live Person, Booksy has one of the most effective support teams in their database. So if you want some more proof that this company cares about its customers and wants them happy with what they have purchased then here it goes: Brand24 conducted sentiment analysis for all mentions of the app where users gave positive feedback or negative comments about Booksy.
With the pandemic far from over, hotels, apartments, restaurants and salons on the Isle of Wight are still taking in record numbers of bookings for winter breaks and, even for summer 2022. This is, of course, great news for business and, with the help of Booksy’s platform and app, barbers and hairdressers can rest easy knowing that they’re well prepared for the onslaught.
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