Just like restaurants and travel companies, the beauty industry is beginning to make use of virtual resources to increase revenue. Many salons now accept online bookings, reducing the amount of phone calls they receive and creating a useful tool for busy customers.Although we’ll always enjoy the experience of a bricks and mortar salon, needing to pick up the phone and negotiate a mutually beneficial appointment time can be gruelling. Booking online feels like a very natural progression. From the same site, prospective clients can establish what’s close, investigate costs and see photos of the premises. More importantly, those all important reviews are available for inspection. We wouldn’t visit a hotel without checking it out on Trip Advisor, and now it’s possible to assess a salon before committing to a cut. We can read about others experiences, but also check out the stylist’s response. A couple of negative comments followed by a direct response to each, indicates a stylist who takes customer service seriously. A huge selection of other treatments is on offer along with hair styling: waxing, pedicures and facials can be booked from the comfort of home at anytime of the day or night. Clients can prepare for that all important date, be set for a girl’s night out and arrange last minute grooming – even when the salon is closed. Plus, through reviews, regular updates and shared images, beauty professionals get the chance to build on the relationships they have with their clients. This kind of arrangement feeds directly into that powerful marketing tool, social media. Although it’s only been around for the last 12 years, ecommerce is now defining how consumers look for and obtain goods or services. It began with the ability to pay by credit card online, but quickly saw the appearance of companies like Amazon - which simplified the entire purchasing process. The launch of PayPal in 2002 saw even more companies forge a web presence, beginning a dialogue with their audience which would become a crucial marketing tool. A friendly, useful website is a robust method of attracting attention to a business, although it requires little financial investment and minimal knowledge to maintain effectively. Ecommerce has given a tremendous boost to the retail and service industries, moreover, the choice offered to consumers is vast. It’s also a great leveller; with a good web presence and a well designed interface, tiny companies can compete with the big hitters, generating revenue and driving conversion 24 hours a day. Booking haircuts and other commodities online is a trend that attracts an appreciative audience, keen to use their time efficiently. Evolution of the markets and traditional offline businesses into the online world has been relatively swift. Spending money virtually has proved to be just as secure as conventional shopping, but more cost effective and convenient. Positive experiences on digital platforms have led consumers to try out new services - those which are less associated with the internet - using just the click of a mouse.