Crash Test of Top 13 US Beauty Salon Websites & Tips for Improving Them0

  • 6 June 17:24
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Building a website is half the work. Keeping it afloat among similar projects is the real battle. Fortunately, there are many digital professionals who have experience advertising websites of any type and complexity. We here at the 404 digital agency ensure extensive qualification of our staff in our area of expertise.  

Our track record includes: 

  • Over 400 audited projects (300+ audits have been made for beauty salon websites).
  • Over 200 completed turnkey projects (comprising landing page promotions).
  • Over 350 implemented marketing strategies
  • Custom system developed for auditing and more. 

In this copy, you will find the results of crash tests of 13 US top beauty salon websites made by the 404 digital agency. It’s meant to help you look at your website in a new way, and fix small flaws, if there are any. 

Let’s get it started!  

Crash Testing 13 US Top Beauty Salon Websites

First things first, we want to start with exploring what an audit is and why your website may need one. 

A website audit is a comprehensive review of everything that influences your site SEO. With a detailed auditing service, you can find the reasons for your lack of traffic, conversions, and sales. After reviewing your website’s technical part, content, and everything in between, the specialists get back to you with feedback and tips for improvement that may improve your business.

While reviewing all 13 websites for top beauty salons in the United States, we’ve come through specific criteria (e.g. what things the visitor pays attention to when opening the site), found drawbacks, and left short hints on how to eliminate the underlying problems. So, let’s see them in details.

Review of Celebs’ Beauty Masters’ Websites

The first category we’ve chosen to audit includes websites of the most expensive stylists working with celebrities. Here they are: 

1. Deborah Lippmann 

Deborah Lippmann is a celebrity and fashion manicurist who’s created her own line of nail polish named after popular songs, and uses them while working with famous stars. 

Here are the drawbacks we’ve found when we first opened the website: 

  • A pop-up window with a promotional offer, which is annoying for visitors, especially when it appears right after opening the site. 

A pop-up window with a promotional offer

  • Pages load too slowly, which will definitely make at least half of the visitors leave the site.
  • The CTA button is not brightly lit, and is hard to see, meaning it doesn’t lead to conversion. 

The CTA button is not brightly lit

  • Products lack color accents as well. Some of them are placed on the same-color background, which results in merging. 
  • The menu is not optimized. Specifically, the font is inconvenient and illegible, while the products and product videos are missing titles. 
  • Pop-up appears right after the customer adds a product to the shopping cart. People may not notice this, and thus will not understand whether they’ve purchased the product or not, clicking on it once again. Afterwards, seeing double prices in their shopping cart, they will feel deceived and leave. 

Pop-up appears right after the customer adds a product to the shopping cart.

  • Too much dark space around the products seems off-putting to the clients, which also leads to lower rates of conversion. 

Too much dark space around the products seems off-putting to the clients

  • The buyer’s data form is rather lengthy: because there are no indentations, the block seems merged, which discourages clients from filling in the form. 

The buyer’s data form is rather lengthy

  • The portfolio lacks descriptions: the visitor sees photos of celebrities, but has no idea what they are there for.
  • The website is old in general, and leads to no conversions, though the traffic is high enough.

A few tips on how to upgrade the website:

  • Combine similar products into one, giving the client an option to switch between them.
  • Improve and optimize the shopping cart system by adding more space to the form, and only keeping the fields with the most necessary information. 
  • Add titles to paragraphs, so that the visitors don’t have to puzzle over what page they’re browsing.

2. Julien Farel 

Julien Farel is a French celebrity hairstylist, founder of the anti-aging hair care program, and entrepreneur in the field of beauty and wellness. 

Back in 2007, Julien Farel has become the official hairstylist to tennis players at the US Open. Today, he owns four salons comprising 10,000 square feet, including the Restore Salon & Spa flagship at the Loews Regency Hotel in Manhattan.

When browsing the website, we’ve found the following drawbacks: 

  • ‘Gray-on-gray’ interface with few bright accents, which doesn’t draw the visitor’s attention, and doesn’t encourage them to stay longer.

‘Gray-on-gray’ interface with few bright accents

  • The site is not optimized: the design is blank, the pictures are not clickable, only the buttons are. 
  • Too much red-on-white distracting from the product on the page.

Too much red-on-white distracting from the product on the page.

  • Product descriptions are too long. The copy should be concise to encourage the customers to read it.

Product descriptions are too long

  • Useless buttons: social media shares are placed on the top of the blog page, as well as on product and checkout pages, which is quite annoying.

Useless buttons

  • Conversion elements are missing: seems like the design was made for its own sake, not for conversion. 
  • Slow page load results in an increased abandonment rate.

A few tips on how to upgrade the website:

  • Make an adaptable UI for companies or individuals: make the company field on checkout stage pop up only for big orders. 
  • Optimize copy by reducing long descriptions and adding more visuals.
  • Add more photos of the salon, works, and events, as well as titles and reviews.
  • Make the biography page more readable by avoiding copy written with a tiny typeface.  
  • Improve the history section: see the example of the chronology page made by 404 agency for Wizard.ua

Improve the history section

Translated from Ukranian:

Login

Our Story

2013 — Launch of own Transport logistics center

2018 — Online trading platform for B2B market has been created. 

Now, it is even easier and more convenient to be a Wizard partner and receive the full service.”

3. Dara Liotta 

Dara Liotta is plastic surgeon certified in facial plastic, reconstructive, otolaryngology, head, and neck surgery.

While browsing the website, we’ve noticed the following drawbacks:  

  • The interface is old in general: outdated social media sharing buttons that don’t lead to conversion, etc. 

The interface is old in general

  • The lack of a specific font that would draw the attention to the copy on the website. 

The lack of a specific font

  • The color scheme doesn’t fit the branding strategy: dark red may imply a connection to blood and pain, which should be avoided on a surgery website. 
  • There is too much extra information, which is sometimes meaningless. 
  • Proportions of photo banners are not optimized: the top banner doesn’t fit the width of the screen, etc.. 
  • A large number of subcategories, resulting in extra time needed to find the necessary information. 
  • Videos are not useful: the screensaver is of low quality, and there is no way to fast-forward through it. 
  • Short articles, meaning that the topic may not be fully expanded on.

A few tips on how to upgrade the website:

  • Consider the psychology of color, and choose a color scheme that would not have any associations with pain or blood. 
  • Align the text for better readability. 
  • Optimize the size of the ‘before-after’ examples, and ensure a focus on the differences using similar lighting for both photos.  
  • Update the typography to something modern, and make the paragraphs precise. 
  • Add more professional photos (during the surgery process, from conferences, with certificates), links, and articles, and ensure regular publications. 
  • Upgrade your website to a media blog comprising dynamic media and content. 
  • Use all the space on the site to make the content fit the width of the screen. 

4. Harry Josh 

Harry Josh is another celebrity hairstylist who has worked as a casting director for Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton in the past. He now collaborates with Harper’s Bazaar and British Vogue magazines, as well as famous fashion photographers like Patrick Demarchelier and Annie Leibovitz. 

We’ve combed through the website and found the following drawbacks: 

  • No product descriptions:when choosing the “Professional” category, you’ll be directed to the pre-order form without any kind of product description, only fields for filling in.  

No product descriptions

  • No target action on every page: aside from the description, there is no call to action, which leads to zero conversion.  
  • Not every video has a title. 

Not every video has a title

  • Low content quality on the media pages. Because there are four magazines in a row on the “Press” page, the pictures appear to be of low quality. 

Low content quality on the media pages

  • The phone number is not clickable, so there’s no chance to call right from the laptop.
  • The website is missing a blog which could increase traffic.
  • The website is old in general. 

A few tips on how to upgrade the website:

  • Add product descriptions to the “Professional” page. 
  • Add a blog and supplement the publications with professional photos and descriptions, such as ways of styling with a hairdryer). Pepper it with pictures with celebrities.    
  • Add CTA to all pages: every single page should convert to some action. 
  • Ensure website security by switching from HTTP to HTTPS.
  • Split the videos and add titles and short descriptions to them.  
  • Keep it to 3 magazine pictures in a row on the “Press” page. You may also add titles and high res photos. 
  • Update the website with newer information, and make it adaptive to various devices.

5. Rossano Ferretti 

Rossano Ferretti is one of the most expensive and world-famous celebrity hairdressers. 

Some cons we’ve located through the website include: 

  • The fonts are mixed through a single article, which makes it illegible.

The fonts are mixed through a single article

  • The text of the product description is not aligned.  

The text of the product description is not aligned.

  • The buyers’ data form is too long.
  • The slider has been proven to decrease conversion, because it offers too many choices for customers when ordering one product, overwhelming them.
  • The cover photos on product pages are too large, and load with a delay,which means that they are not optimized.

A few tips on how to upgrade the website:

  • Place the buttons at eye level and ensure they are clickable.  
  • Go with modern legible fonts, and make sure they are all the same through a single copy.  
  • Build content in the same style, making it more attractive to visitors.  
  • Make photos for products listed in the “Upsell” category larger so that they take up more space. 
  • Align text fields in product descriptions. 

Review of Franchises’ Beauty Websites

In simple terms, a franchise is a business method that allows the franchisee to legally launch a business based on someone’s professional competence, ideas, and technological processes. By applying to the franchising system, one (franchisee) has to run the business according to the agreement and model specified in the contract. 

When considering US beauty salons, we’ve located the ones operating as franchises, and decided to audit them as well. Let’s move on with the reviews. 

6. Paris Parker 

Paris Parker is a full-service salon that provides guests with the best salon and spa experiences. 

  • ‘White-on-white’ interface is not user-friendly at all. 

‘White-on-white’ interface is not user-friendly at all

  • Titles are missing. It’s not clear where you’re redirected to after clicking on the menu. 

Titles are missing

  • Every single page has a different font and a poor description.
  • The content is a ‘roller coaster’: it’s hard to understand what’s going on on each page. This makes the user experience just unbearable.
  • The website logic is broken: you have to spend an eternity to find the blog, which is, for some reason, in the “About Our Salon” category.

The website logic is broken

A few tips on how to upgrade the website:

  • Change the color scheme to accentuate on your content. 
  • Align text fields.  
  • Ensure website security by switching from  HTTP to HTTPS.
  • Add titles and short descriptions to videos. 
  • Apply CTA to all pages to increase engagement.  
  • Avoid exclamation marks. 
  • Ensure custom design for the booking form to make it look modern.  
  • Work on the website structure to make it more logical.

7. Warren Tricomi 

Warren Tricomi is the brainchild of hairstylist Edward Tricomi and business guru Roxana Pintilie. Today, there are eight salons across the US, and each one of them is rightly considered to be a one-stop beauty destination. 

We’ve come through the website and found the following flaws: 

  • Pictures are not clickable: when browsing to the “Press” page, only titles and links are clickable.  
  • The visuals on the “Book Online” page are of low quality, meaning the photos are pixelated.

The visuals on the “Book Online” page are of low quality

  • The text is not aligned throughout the whole website. 
  • Videos and photos are missing titles and descriptions. 
  • The product page is built using an outdated card template, which, on top of everything else, is missing product descriptions.

The product page is built using an outdated card template

  • Both the in-salon and on-location appointment booking forms load slowly.
  • The price list is ill-conceived and challenging to find. 

The price list is ill-conceived and challenging to find

  • The menu has extra elements which don’t make much sense, like an “Us” subcategory in the “About” category.

A few tips on how to upgrade the website: 

  • Optimize mobile applications.  
  • Align text fields everywhere in the descriptions. 
  • Apply text and photos in a checkerboard formation to make the copy readable.  
  • Optimize the number of titles.  
  • Adapt the site to different screens and extensions.  
  • Ensure pressing content automatically opens up a new tab.  
  • Work on the price list structure and add photos to it. 

8. Orange Pearl 

Orange Pearl is another beauty and spa salon franchise in the United States that offers high-end services, including take-home care recommendations. 

Let’s take a closer look at the flaws that need minor improvements: 

  • The brown-priority color scheme doesn’t suit the beauty salon industry, since it isn’t associated with beauty procedures and their results. 

The brown-priority color scheme doesn’t suit the beauty salon industry

  • The photos make an accent on the masters’ hands more than on the process, or even the guests. 
  • Sliders are introduced without any target actions.
  • Every single category description is too short, which may not be enough to sell the service.

Every single category description is too short

  • The interface is poorly optimized: media, descriptions, prices, and the booking page load with a delay. 
  • The price list is missing buttons that would take the guests back to the top.  

The price list is missing buttons that would take the guests back to the top

  • The phone number is not clickable, which doesn’t let the client make a call online.  

The phone number is not clickable

A few tips on how to upgrade the website: 

  • Change the color scheme and focus to one that would better suit the beauty industry: lighter spaces, more focus on the process itself.
  • Add arrows or buttons that would take you back to the top of the page. This way you’ll be able to greatly improve navigation. 
  • Ensure the possibility to book from any device by making phone number clickable.

9. Solari

Solari is another franchise providing their clients with salon and spa services while sticking to the Aveda philosophy.

The website has a few points for improvement:

  • The site design is outdated, including a slider, which is not recommended to use today, and obsolete fonts.
  • ‘White-on-white’ interface, including white text put over light background, resulting in their merging. The same text covers the models’ faces in the photos. 

‘White-on-white’ interface, including white text put over light background

  • Every single page has different fonts, leading to an incoherent look. 
  • High-quality photo content is missing, for example, the photos on the “Location” page are pixelated.

High-quality photo content is missing

A few tips on how to upgrade the website: 

  • Leverage a modern font, and use it on different pages. 
  • Ensure product and services descriptions that would open the full potential of the salon by showing guests what they can expect.  
  • Add more padding to the copy. 

Review of the Largest Network Websites

A large network is a complex network of companies accomplishing similar objectives. The major company networks include Regis, Ratner Companies, Premier Salons, and Sport Clips. 

We’ve checked a few of them for drawbacks and are ready to provide tips for improvement. So, let’s read on!

10. Bubbles 

Bubbles is a division of Ratner Companies, the largest family-owned chain of hair salons in the US. The Bubbles salon provides an individual approach to meet the hair style needs of each guest. 

Let us move on further to see what flaws are there on the website:

  • The slider looks cheap, and the social media sharing buttons are not converting while the marketplace has a poor design.
  • Pictures on the “Offers” and “Shop” pages are not clickable, only the buttons are, the hyperlinks are missing.
  • The site is built based on an old template.
  • Pages load slowly, which is usually the reason for leaving the site.
  • Text highlighted in blue seems not legible at all.  

Text highlighted in blue seems not legible at all.

  • The booking service is outdated and inconvenient to use.

A few tips on how to upgrade the website: 

  • Ensure website security by switching from HTTP to HTTPS.  
  • Align text in the descriptions through the whole site. 
  • Make text size and fonts the same style throughout. 
  • Work on the website design to make it look modern, which may even require a full upgrade.

11. Hair Cuttery 

Hair Cuttery is another US-based large network and the brainchild of Dennis and Ann Ratner. Hair Cuttery now works with about 12,000 associates comprising 850 salons in 16 states. They follow the latest hair trends, offer professional hair care products, and high-class services at their salons. 

While browsing the website, we’ve located the following flaws in design:  

  • A pop-up window asking for visitors’ location is very annoying. This is particularly incompetent because the site should automatically detect the visitor’s location.
  • There are too many poorly-designed buttons on the site. 

There are too many poorly-designed buttons on the site

  • Photos used in the slider and around the site are low-quality and pixelated.

Photos used in the slider and around the site are low-quality and pixelated

  • Fonts on the “Services” and “Shop” pages are too small. 

Fonts on the “Services” and “Shop” pages are too small

  • The interface is inconvenient, making it hard to navigate.
  • The site is old in general, and based on a template on top of that.

A few tips on how to upgrade the website: 

  • Re-build the site from scratch. 
  • Use analytics to see what buttons are pushed the most often to understand their purpose, and place them in the most prominent places on the site. And, of course, make them convert. 
  • Use the latest development technologies that ensure using fast-loading high-quality content.

12. Sport Clips 

Sport Clips is a hair care company focusing on men’s haircuts. Let’s check what flaws their website has: 

  • The mobile app interface placed in the slider is not readable: the photo of the mobile app and the button to download it are on opposite sides of the slider.  

The mobile app interface placed in the slider is not readable

  • The photos on the slider are cut.
  • The menu is hard to understand: the “Haircuts with a Heart” subcategory has multiple articles with different titles and fonts, all in different styles, or highlighted in different colors.

The menu is hard to understand

  • After clicking on a category and being redirected to it, you have no chance to choose a subcategory from there.
  • Some photos are low-quality and pixelated.

Some photos are low-quality and pixelated

  • Pictures on different pages, including “Products” and “Services”, are not clickable, only the buttons are.
  • The price list for services and products is missing. 

The price list for services and products is missing.

  • The booking system is quite complicated, taking a lot of time for registrering and checking in.
  • The website design is good for 2014, but very outdated for 2019. 

A few tips on how to upgrade the website: 

  • Apply a booking form to service pages.  
  • Ensure optimization for the size and placement of buttons. 
  • Make the partner website open in a new tab.  
  • Add suitable freeze frames in the video, ensuring their quality. 
  • Re-design the website. 

Wrapping Up

A website is a business card of your brand, especially when it comes to the beauty industry. People that visit your site want to find everything they may need at a push of a button, whether it’s services, prices, or your story. Whether they have to wait long for the page to load, or face difficulties finding the necessary information, their on-site experience gets worse, which makes them leave. 

If you take care of your brand name and want your visitors to stay satisfied with browsing your website, keep the following takeaways in mind:

  • Leverage the latest development technologies while building or updating the site. 
  • Ensure the pages are legible, lightweight and load quickly. 
  • Ensure the text and photo content is aligned to the grid. 
  • Apply high-quality photos that would fit the full width of the screen and reflect the topics of the beauty salon website
  • Add titles and short descriptions to any kind of content on your page: information, photo, video, blog, etc.
  • Ensure forms leading to purchasing process, such as shopping cart, data forms, or the booking form, are clear, easily accessible, and short. Design each of them in accordance with the latest technologies. 
  • Make sure that the price list and blog are easy to find on the website. 
  • Add one style and one color scheme elements to the website that correspond to your corporate identity. 

If you need any assistance with your website audit, refer to the professional 404 digital agency with high expertise. With an audit, you’ll get solutions to the underlying problems, and will be able to upgrade your site to reach better conversions. 

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Previously, we wrote that “If consumers do not see anything unique in your brand, you have consumer goods”

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