Panico Salon — a full-service salon and medical spa located in Ridgewood, New Jersey — has been in business for 35 years. The salon is known for a reputation of high standards, professional excellence and results-based treatments. To maintain that standard, they needed a state-of-the-art digital makeover to personalize customer journeys, increase retail sales and provide access to valuable consumer data. Because the salon, which is a L’Oreal Platinum training facility, values professional development, they needed technology to support their in-person and virtual classes.
"We have a much more educated consumer coming through the door.” - Jack Panico, owner of Panico Salon
Panico Salon, a luxury hair salon and spa in Ridgewood, New Jersey, has become known for its L’Oreal Platinum training facility and five-star customer experience. The full-service salon, which has been in operation for about 40 years, also offers spa treatments, such as facials, waxing and peels. With a focus on continued professional development, Panico’s internal training academy and advanced education programs ensure everyone on staff is always up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques.
Staying on top of the thought leadership game
A longtime thought leader in the beauty industry, owner Jack Panico wanted to drive awareness of the salon’s various services, increase retail sales and provide a seamless, convenient experience for clients. Their location on a scenic Ridgewood street is ideal for an upscale salon, but their former display solution — paper posters in the front windows — didn’t generate the type of attention and foot traffic Panico wanted.
Inside the salon, Panico used more paper posters to advertise seasonal messaging, which was switched out manually, and placed paper promotional materials like business cards in the shelving units between stylist stations. The stations looked and felt cluttered, which conflicted with the salon’s sophisticated design and Panico’s desire to institute more sustainable business practices. Still, the salon needed to be able to give customers up-to-date information about their products and services.
Panico intimately understands how critical it is to plan for business growth. Long-term, he envisioned the salon would become a technologically advanced facility where clients could gather, shop or simply relax in a serene yet modern atmosphere. He also had big plans for his salon to be a training facility where students could receive high-level training.
“As a training facility, we need to be able to educate large groups and offer web-based education as well,” Panico explains.
Finally, Panico knew he wanted direct access to more consumer data in order to provide small, personalized, meaningful moments for salon clientele, both inside and outside the building.
“There was always a missing link because it was difficult to get information to everyone,” Panico says. “I’ve always had strong business plans. The challenge is following up on a constant basis and staying connected to clients and staff.”
A massive client-focused technological upgrade
To realize his vision of a state-of-the art salon and training facility, Panico knew he had to go big. So he implemented 40 Samsung LFDs in various use cases throughout the salon.
Beside the parking area, clients can enter the salon through a scenic courtyard, where a Samsung Pro TV Terrace Edition broadcasts rotating content such as fashion shows and cross-promotional ads. This area is also used for special events and bridal parties, during which personalized messages and slideshows can elevate the mood and cement customer loyalty.
Inside the salon, each styling station is now outfitted with 4K displays that share images of stylists’ work and Instagram accounts, as well as before and after photos of clients. Using the Samsung tablets that are located through the salon, clients can browse stylists’ individual lookbooks or pull up images of the hair styles they want. The content can then be mirrored onto the larger displays for easy viewing by the stylist.
Samsung’s 50-inch QMR displays are positioned inside the color room to showcase hair products available for purchase in the salon. These displays, along with the ones throughout the salon, are leveraged whenever the salon hosts training events for its stylists. A Samsung Flip 2 digital flipchart supports hands-on learning and can be moved from room to room, transforming any part of the salon to an immediate classroom.
In the retail area, clients can shop on their own devices through QR codes and Lift and Learn technology. If they pick up a product they are interested in, motion technology triggers the display to show details about the product and a 30-second video about its benefits.
“This kind of interactive retail allows the point of sale [POS] to become the point of decision,” Panico says. “It doesn’t take away personnel from other areas, and it gives clients what they want — convenience.”
Samsung’s proprietary content, device and data management system, MagicINFO, makes it easy for staff to create, publish and manage content on individual devices — a game changer for busy salon managers. FastSensor data analytics incorporate heat mapping technology to monitor foot traffic, revealing patterns about how long customers linger in certain areas of the salon.
Panico Salon has also connected the customer journey to their online site through their partnership with INOVSHOP USA. By utilizing AI marketing tools, Panico Salon closes the loop on client engagement to capture the client’s attention when they are not physically at the salon. Customers can schedule appointments, receive automated appointment reminders, reorder products for home delivery or salon pick-up, connect to their loyalty program and so much more. Combined with the data from FastSensor, Panico now has a full-picture view of customer visits, new client growth, revenue and average basket size, and can pinpoint critical messaging and client actions every step of the way.
“It’s important to understand how people interact inside the space,” Panico says. “Do they spend a lot of time in the retail environment? Do we give them the opportunity to stop and shop, or are we taking them directly from reception to the chair? Are we educating them throughout the entire experience?”
Better customer experiences and increased engagement
A massive technological upgrade transformed Panico Salon into the digital destination its owner had always imagined, and this reinforced the salon’s reputation as an industry-leading facility.
Gone are the days of expensive print orders and time-consuming poster placement. Now, management can establish and execute marketing campaigns for their services and products intuitively, with just a few clicks.
“With digital, we can get information to the masses almost instantaneously,” says Panico. “We have a much more educated consumer coming through the door, and they are better able to understand our company culture.”
The displays enhance the personalized service Panico Salon has built its reputation around. As clients walk in the door, the vestibule can detect motion, triggering a welcome message — or even a happy birthday message on clients’ special day — to play on the front desk display.
At the end of a client’s appointment, their stylist can snap a picture of the finished look and present it on the wall-mounted display. Then, they can send the photo to a designated salon number, automatically adding it to the salon’s website and social accounts.
Clients can use the salon’s tablets to shop for hair care products, pay for services and schedule future appointments — right from their chair. If they’re in a rush, clients can breeze past reception and go right on with their day.
“This saves considerable time and gives better customer experiences at the stylist level,” Panico says.
The ability for clients to add hair products right to their bill for their haircut also helps Panico Salon expand its e-commerce platform and drive retail sales. Additionally, the heat mapping data from FastSensor tells Panico exactly where to place his retail shelves to get the most eyes on products and maximize sales.
The salon’s training capabilities also increased dramatically due to the displays. In addition to their weekly classes, stylists can now grab a tablet and set up a mannequin head at their station during their downtime, or even on their day off, for self-study sessions.
“We can also bring in top educators from around the world via video and accommodate 60 people for hands-on training,” Panico says. “Everyone has clear, crisp views, which allows our instructors to focus on technique.”
Upgrades have been well received by staff and stylists, who say they feel less stressed, more organized and more excited about working and learning in an innovative environment. And clients love the personalized care and attention.
“The ultimate lifestyle experience includes service,” says Panico. “The more educated clients are about what we do and offer, the more they understand the culture of our salon — and the more we can help elevate the beauty industry as a whole.”