Flossie.com launched in Auckland in 2012 as a site which offered vouchers for salon and spas in the companies “quiet time.”
Customers were happy with the discount as it was a guilt-free way to treat themselves, and salons were happy to get more bums on seats.
However, Crossan says in October 2013, the Flossie team took a look at the market and realised consumer behaviour had changed.
“We realised price wasn’t the important aspect, convenience was,” she says.
“We were seeing lots of new companies like Uber looking at how to make life easier for people. With booking treatments, the customer lacked the ability to make an appointment on a last-minute basis. The consumer doesn’t want to book six weeks in advance – they want it now and they don’t want to ring around.”
Flossie founder Jenene Crossan
After 20 years working on websites, Crossan’s native landscape changed: the entire digital business pivoted to be mobile-based, as it catered to the modern day consumer.
“Look at consumers, it’s a mobile-savvy person that wants to make something happen with one tap,” she says.
Turning the Flossie brand into the Uber of hair and beauty became the focus and the website took a backseat.
The site is about to be relaunched to direct customers to the mobile app. Flossie Concierge expanded out from Auckland to include Wellington last week.
So far, there are 85 salons working with Flossie in Wellington, 30 installed on the app and new ones being added every day.
As for their customers in both cities, Crossan says they’ve just cracked 5000 app users.
She says getting ahead is hard for businesses that don’t keep up with changing consumer behaviour, such as shoppers’ increasing reliance on mobile.
“In retail, the consumer has so much choice nowadays, and they can buy things offshore as well as locally, it’s vital to get right,” she says.
“I’ve seen far too many offline stores shut up store and blame the internet, when the reality is it can help bring people into your store.”
She says Flossie Concierge is helping bridge that gap so businesses can stay up-to-date and relevant to consumers.
Flossie is also unique in that it was until recently very active on Twitter, but got rid of its account in February.
Crossan says the decision came after several Twitter users condemned a campaign the company ran, which was themed around 50 Shades of Grey. (See her blog post about the matter here.)
She says it was a matter of weighing up the time and effort spent versus what Flossie was getting out of it.
“[Twitter users are] throwing grenades and not caring what the other person wants to say about it. It’s not a conversation, or even an argument,” she says.
“I’m sick of having conversations with people with people who just want to take you down. I wouldn’t want to put any time or money or effort into it. You’ve got finite resources, use them well.”
She says the company now focuses its social media efforts on Facebook and Instagram.
The Flossie Facebook page has 10,548 likes and the Instagram page has 931 followers.
Facebook is particularly useful, she says, as it gives them referrals and helps them track targets they want to meet.
“We look at the road to purchase for customers and where it’s broken down,” she says. “Social makes up a big part of that communication channel for us.”
As for taking the app overseas, she says Sydney and Melbourne are on the radar and there’s a high chance the company will launch in the rest of New Zealand at the same time as Australia.
The company currently has 10 full-time employees on board, so Crossan wants to work out the best way to go about expanding without overstretching Flossie’s resources.
“We plan to take it offshore as quickly as we can without strangling ourselves in the process,” she says.