Ink and Groceries? Adding Value to Tattoo Experience
Just about anything can be bought and sold online – from a grilled cheese sandwich to Justin Bieber’s hair clippings. Amazon even began accepting food stamps this summer in a move that may turn the grocery industry upside-down.
Despite this trend, 71 percent of U.S. consumers still prefer to buy goods from physical stores even if that same product is available online. Tattoo shop owners can take heart from this news.
Throw in the likelihood that the human anatomy is a long way from marrying cyber technologies, face-to-face interaction between tattoo artist and consumer isn’t going away anytime soon. Consumers in search of a tattoo must get physical.
That means those tattoo shop owners who can maximize customer visits and keep them coming back for more, will separate their business from an increasingly crowded field of competitors. The most astute tattoo artists know high-tech bells and whistles are only part of the equation formulated to attract sales and build revenue.
“There’s more to a successful tattoo shop than online promotions,” said Gustavo Mitchell, president of Monster Steel, a Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.-based e-commerce provider of tattoo products. “Beyond the ink and needles, the savvy tattoo shop owner understands how to compliment their artistic creations with services, tactics, and products that endear them to consumer experiences inside their parlors.”
Monster Steel addresses this strategy by a line of up-scale items, such as clothing and accessories including stainless steel jewelry, belt and buckles, and t-shirts, in addition to equipment for body piercing and tattoos.
Mitchell said customers still enjoy walking into a store and leaving with merchandise. Despite dire predictions, retail remains king. Almost 90 percent of retail sales in the United States are linked to brick-and-mortar locations. Generation Z – about 2.6 billion people who passed through childhood without smart phones or the internet in the mid- to late-1990s – still prefer shopping at a physical store, according to IBM and the National Retail Federation.
But that doesn’t mean shoppers will just show up. To extend beyond the status quo and offer a truly unique shopping experience, retail thought-leaders are proposing new products and services centered on their brand to meet the challenging lifestyle demands of consumers.
One of the more unique concepts to add value to body art purchasing is turning heads in Croatia, where visitors to the 4look Gentleman Shop can have a new tattoo drawn, or enjoy a traditional haircut, shave or beard and mustache trimming while indulging in a top-shelf alcoholic beverage. And when the pampering is completed, customers can browse through a wide range of fashion accessories including wallets, mobile phone covers and bow ties.
A a trip to Rijeka may be a bit far-fetched to even the most ardent tattoo enthusiasts, but that won’t prevent this growing community from finding some appealing new tricks closer to home.
Whole Foods, while announcing plans for a hipper offshoot chain catering to millennials earlier this year, mulled offering tattoo parlors, vegan restaurants, body care products and pop music shops to illustrate the limitless possibilities from up-selling at its new “365” stores. The company says its “365” chain will have a minimalist layout, affordable prices and third-party vendors who set up shop inside the stores, but no tattoos, yet.
“Even though the lines between physical retail and e-commerce continue to sway, up-selling can be a valuable strategy,” said Mitchell. opportunity to introduce a product here with link. “When integrated creatively, the more alternative value that is positioned with a shopping experience, the greater the potential to retain customers, and keep both seller and consumer happy.”