Started by Tony Tjan and John Hamel eight years ago in Boston, Miniluxe is a chain of nail salons that is applying data and analytics techniques from other industries to disrupt the traditional nail salon business and operating models.
The company now has 20 salons across the US and uses a combination of non-toxic products, high hygiene standards and innovative applications of technology to enhance the customer and employee experience, delivering value to both.
How is Miniluxe using data?
Forecasting demand and calibrating supply
Miniluxe has built sophisticated analytical models to better predict demand in their stores. Inputs into their models include the weather, time of day and historical trends. These models have led to novel insights such as the fact that rain doesn’t slow business and that they can expect to see a 5% increase in traffic in their stores for every 10 degree increase in temperature.  These insights are invaluable to improving the operating model in an industry which has traditionally been incredibly inefficient in utilizing labor leading to many nail technicians to spend hours waiting for customers to arrive (all unpaid).
Miniluxe has further improved their forecasting capabilities and thus staffing level accuracy by introducing the ability for customers to book ahead of time online and choose their preferred nail technician.   In addition to improving the customer experience and reducing waiting times for the customer, this has also positively impacted the experience for employees by delivering more certainty that there will be work available when they are present at the store. As well as improving the productivity of employees (who won’t be expected to sit idly waiting for customers), this approach adds flexibility to the job, allowing employees to have control over their schedules. These improvements not only improve the quality of life for nail technicians but also allow Miniluxe to attract and retain the best talent.
Data determining expansion strategy
Miniluxe also uses its data to optimize its business model by determining the best locations for new sites.  They concluded from their analysis that ‘warmer temperatures translate into more pedicures’  and thus have chosen to focus expansion on the Southwest.
How can Miniluxe continue to harness the power of big data?
Miniluxe’s data-driven approach has allowed the company to deliver on a more efficient business model. It has led to a better experience for both employees and customers with reduced waiting times, higher utilization and more flexible working schedules for employees. To turbo charge this model, I believe that Miniluxe should consider rolling out mobile apps for both customers and employees that introduce further features and collect valuable additional data.
A mobile app that allows customers to book appointments, manage those appointments and be rewarded for their spending through a loyalty scheme would unlock further benefits for Miniluxe. The data generated from such an app would allow the company to understand their customers better, rewarding the most loyal ones and incentivizing those visiting less frequently to come again.
Miniluxe could also go as far as to introduce a ratings system which would allow them to identify their top performing nail technicians and then reward them through bonuses and promotions. In addition, the ratings would give new customers guidance over which nail technician to choose when booking online.
With regards to pricing, Miniluxe might look to manage the supply of nail technicians available by creating monetary incentives for them to work during peak periods. To pay for this, Miniluxe could implement dynamic pricing for customers based on time, location and service required.
Finally, Miniluxe could also use their POS data to better forecast trends in nail colors, allowing them to optimize their inventory management and ensure they never run out of a certain color.
Miniluxe’s use of data to better inform their business decisions and optimize the experience for both customers and employees means they are positioned for strong growth over the coming years. Their embracing of digital technology across all facets of their business has given them a competitive advantage over their fragmented and technologically unsophisticated competitors. Expect to see a Miniluxe near you soon.