01 Oct How a Wig Shop Thrives on Tagless Wigs
“Hello, dear?” “Thank you, dear!”
We had the pleasure of meeting Margaret Lee of Hair World in Newark, NJ, who knows how to help and interact with her customers from the heart.
The store was elegantly decorated with polished floor and ultra-purple lighting, the Pantone’s color of the year, that softly illuminates the interior. Three out of four walls were covered with wigs and discounted items were placed on the table at the center.
Bright LED lighting to brighten up the interior from the center and near the entrance stands tall, glass shelves with all types of wigs welcome the customers as they walk in.
Employees with over 20 years of experience assist the customers and offer assistance as well as Mrs. Lee. Things got busier in the store when one of the team members, a beautician who’ve worked at Hair World for almost 15 years, have recently left due to personal reasons. With one less member, Mrs. Lee has to serve multiple roles in the store throughout the day: ringing customers up, cutting the lace on the wig, explaining the products, and so on.
A large mirror on the right wall let the customers check themselves out as they shop. They can try on the wig of their choice in front and chat about it with their friends. Everyone seems to be having a good time in the store.
“There’s nothing much to see here really. It’s my first time doing an interview like this… “Mrs. Lee shied away with a sweet smile on her face. The wig specialty store became more filled with people shopping for their weekend night out.
“You gonna take that one, Beautiful Beautiful~”
“What would you like? Let me cut the lace….”
“Lipstick is great, and mascara is also great….”
She became even busier because of our sudden visit but didn’t miss to answer both customers and our questions.
Customers trusting the recommended wig
Mrs. Lee usually let the customers freely browse through the store when they come in. She initially offers help or makes small suggestions like purchasing a cap with the wig, but otherwise, the customers freely look around the store. They often come with their friends to help each other pick out a style, take selfies to send to their friends, and enjoy their time shopping for a wig. Beauticians also help narrow down the options based on their need. Customers trust Hair World and its wide collection of items makes the shopping easy and pleasurable.
Mrs. Lee believes that people are willing to spend on items they’ve been looking for. That is why her motto is to “Sell what the customers want”. Because they have won customer’s trust, people usually buy the recommended styles without much hesitation. Human hair items have been recommended more often to the customers to help items move faster. Full lace wigs have always been moving well. For instance, It’s A Wig, R&B, and Soul Tress are some of the hair brands that customers trust and love.
Free gifts to attract online customers
Mrs. Lee, who also manages an online store, shares her tip on surviving the competition with online retail giants like Amazon. “We thought that there needs to be some sort of merit for customers to utilize Order online, Pick up in store service. That’s why we started handing out free gifts. These types of special deal not only contribute to our store’s sales but also help promote the cosmetic brands.
Customers are also satisfied to receive an unexpected present. They have the option to choose from eyeliner, nail polish, lipstick, and mascara. This applies to anyone who orders items online and physically come in the store to pick them up. The offer does not apply to those requested deliveries. There is an $8 fee to process and ship an order, but the free gifts can encourage customers to visit the store and save up on the shipping cost. Customers will gladly come in for a free gift and it becomes two birds with one stone. There is only a limited amount of opportunity to communicate and build a relationship with online customers. However, when people are attracted to come into the store, you can start a conversation, help with the styling, and get to each other to encourage them to return for future purchases.
In addition, a gift set with various types of cosmetics in a small, purple silk bag is also available at an affordable price.
R&B label on the wig, JSTRESS on the packaging
Mrs. Lee contacted and discussed with multiple companies before signing with R&B Collection, who offered to collaborate with JSTRESS to produce wigs for the online store. They have developed high-quality full lace wig with improved on shedding on a voluminous trendy hairstyle that became was well-received in the market. The R&B label on the wig is in black print to make it less noticeable since the items will also be sold at the online store. The kind gesture of the manufacturer turned out to be advantageous. “It helped with the wig sale during slow seasons. Without the strong brand presence, it’s hard to compare the price.”
$3000 out of pocket
Not a while ago, one of the employees was sued for coming into small physical contact with a shoplifter. They had to end up paying $3000 out of pocket for a wig, which included the cost for a lawyer and another processing fee. They never try to argue with the customers because it’s always a losing fight. There will always be those looking for trouble, those trying to sneak out unpaid items. Shoplifting happens in the blink of an eye and thinking back on the number of these cases can be discouraging.
If there is a missing wig, Hair World just raises the price of the item. If the $50 worth item is gone missing, then they raise it to $55. Price often goes up to $2 to $5. The price adjustment is possible because many of the products are no-brand. Since it’s difficult to compare the price, customers are willing to pay for them. Mrs. Lee feels bad for regular customers, but because too many items have gone missing, there is no other option but to adjust the price.
Learning when to let things go
The store once received a letter from the court about a year into the business. A customer has claimed that the wig that she picked up was falsely advertised. After a closer look, the product that the customers brought attention to was different from the item sold in the store which had much higher quality. So initially they initially refused to come to settle the case. Fortunately, the clerk handling the case was a regular customer of Hair World. He tried to persuade Mrs. Lee several times to reconsider her decision since it would be almost impossible to win against the customer. “It’s better to pay $300 for the item rather than paying $600 when you lose the case.” Eventually, Mrs. Lee agreed to it and invited the customer to visit the store with an offer worth $300. She came in and ended up purchasing $600 wig. In the end, the store didn’t owe anything to the customer and a valuable lesson was learned. You need to be aware of the right time to settle in a conflict when running a business. In a curious way, sometimes losing can be winning.
One Step further: marketing tip to get your customer spending
It’s not easy to convince your customers; they are already experts in comparing prices. Special attention to detail and attention-grabbing packaging are some of Hair World’s strengths.
It is hard to find brand names on the product at Hair World. That’s because the items are taken out of its original packaging before they get displayed. In other words, customers can solely focus on the quality of the product and nothing else.
Another tip to maintain a spacious, clean interior to provide a pleasurable shopping experience for the customers. Mrs. Lee chooses not to compete with the competitors’ price; in fact, she cares less about how much the same item is sold at a nearby store. Instead, she focuses more on delivering a quality product to her customers.
She takes one step further to justify the prices slightly higher than other stores. Because it’s important for the wig to preserve its style and color after the hair is shampooed, Mrs. Lee tries to wash all the wigs before displaying them. She uses a special conditioner, hair serum, and air-dry the hair before selling. Wigs shown and sold out of the box have already been shampooed. Higher-end wigs are washed and stored in a box. If the customers want the product in its original condition, the store also reorders the item for them.
Boost your confidence at the Wig Specialty Store
Customer’s final decision all depends on how you talk to them. For instance, properly instructing people who came to buy a $10 wig on maintenance can increase the lifespan of the product. Price point doesn’t always dictate how well the item sells. More affordable options are always needed in the store, but not always the best option when considering other expenses and the net profit.
That is one of the reasons why register is located at the back of the store. Synthetic and blend hair items are displayed near the entrance while the human hair and items that need customizations are further in the back. The strategic positioning of the items are carefully planned with the customer’s need and want in mind.
Higher-priced items tend to move slower, but people often want to come specifically asking for products within that price range. Because the store is located near New York, a lot of the tourists from Europe and other parts of the world come to visit. There are quite a few Caucasian customers as well, and It’a A Wgi’s Full Lace wigs are popular among them.
People attending shows and events at Prudential center also stop by to shop. There are also regulars who have been coming to the store for years and some of them surprise the employees as they walk in with more matured look. Seeing little girls shopping with their mom also warm up the heart. Mrs. Lee is glad that her store can provide a place for an entire family to shop together at. She also loves that she gets to interact more with kind-hearted customers than the rude ones.
Work hard, Live Young
Retirement age is approaching for Mrs. Lee. She came to the states when she was 15 years old and was introduced to the beauty industry when she was helping her friend’s business out on the weekends. She absolutely loved what she’s doing, and 30 years went by quickly. Her business initially started off selling smaller merchandise item, shoes, and accessories. As the business expanded, the store became crowded with customers especially during the Easter season. Mrs. Lee would finish an outfit, from head to toe, for her customers with wigs, accessories, and shoes. She adds that the secret to living young is to work hard.
She is unsure if her two daughters will continue the business, but she believes that they can make the best use of their parents’ know-how from years of experience managing the business and be working in the hair industry and yield even greater results.
With a soft but with confidence in her voice, Mrs. Lee has shared her story and a piece of wisdom that will help the retailers to fight through the slower season. She continues to find the best wig and cut out the lace for her customers. The laughter-filled Hair World is surely the Wig Specialty Store for everyone.