Taylor Talks: Online bookings for barber shops

I’m proud to be a barber. I’ve worked within the industry for more than 25-years and have seen hundreds of fashions come and go. With barbering’s recent resurgence I’ve watched technology boost many different elements of this ever-changing industry: from new tools to new ways of sharing our work. However, there is still an essential service that many barbers seem to be missing out on – online bookings.

Recent research conducted by Mojo, who makes next generation software for barbershops, and The Bluebeards Revenge has revealed that despite just 8{44647368ea155128d94cd7d0dedf9bedf567023d92af0d66be48457fdba38a27} of UK men (aged 18-40) currently booking their haircuts online, a massive 54{44647368ea155128d94cd7d0dedf9bedf567023d92af0d66be48457fdba38a27} of customers in the UK would prefer to book digitally. In London, the results are even more staggering, with an enormous 66{44647368ea155128d94cd7d0dedf9bedf567023d92af0d66be48457fdba38a27} of men preferring to book online.

Undoubtedly, there seems to be reluctance within our industry to adopt these services, mainly because walk-in appointments are what barbering was founded upon. Strolling into a barbershop of your own accord is super satisfying. It’s like getting your tyres changed – there’s no nonsense beforehand. You just rock up, tell them what you want, enjoy a little chit-chat with those that are waiting alongside you and leave. It’s effortless.

But here’s the issue: the modern man wants to add a little more structure to his life. He keeps a regimented diary; he has dinner plans and scheduled gym sessions; he takes his work home with him. All of these things mean that a walk-in appointment just doesn’t suit him anymore.

Mojo (imagery)
Image supplied by Mojo

We currently work with a customer base that is in the middle of a transition – the older generation of men prefer to stick to their traditions, while youthful modern men jump on any technological advancement like a louse to a child’s hair.

The reality is that it’s all about finding a balance for you and your customers. You’d be daft to completely remove the walk-in option and alienate loyal customers that have been sitting in your shop for generations. But you should also cater to the modern man, who will be the future growth of your business.

Depending on the size of your barbershop, consider dedicating a chair (or two) to digital appointments, while the other chairs handle walk-ins. This way, you cater to both markets. Technology is only going to become a bigger part of our lives as we move into the future, so you might as well embrace it now and digitalise your barbershop.

Check out Mojo for more information on how you can grow your revenue, reach new customers and more: https://www.mojo.london/barbershops.