Features: What's Your Store-y?

Everything has a backstory. What will your store's be?

Think about some of the most interesting companies in the world and their unique stories. Imagine what Ford Motor Co. would be without tales of Henry Ford and his assembly line. Or how Coca-Cola started out as a cure-all tonic. Think, too, about the gregarious personalities of Steve Jobs and Apple, or the intellectual intensity of Bill Gates and Microsoft. These companies and their founders have been built on stories - some true, some embellished - and perhaps a few that are somewhat contrived. In any case, these stories are widely known by employees and customers alike.

Features: Are You Mobile-Friendly?

If you think becoming mobile-friendly costs a fortune, rethink your stance. It's actually affordable.

Beauty stores looking to quickly establish a mobile-friendly presence on the Web can take heart: There are scores of mobile template providers and conversion services that can now make your website mobile-ready for $100 or less.

Once a passing consideration, going mobile is now considered imperative for beauty stores looking to stay abreast of the unbridled popularity of tablets, smartphones and other handheld computerized devices—all of which demand websites designed for small screens.

Skincare Spotlight: The Changing Face of Spa

You've heard of Massage Envy. How about Skin Laundry? Face Haus? The new HeyDay? They're also disrupting this sector.

No one would disagree that the U.S. spa industry suffered significantly during the Great Recession. And most people would agree that the spa industry is back on track. Numbers from the International SPA Association's 2014 U.S. Spa Industry Survey indicate as much.

Features: You Can Have Affordable Web Video. Really!

Think you can't afford web video with analytics? Think again.

If you're looking for an inexpensive way to add video to your beauty store website - complete with analytics on who's viewing that production - YouTube ( has an enticing offer: "We'll do it for free." In a move to remain the "de facto" platform for video on the Web, the company has rolled out a series of free tools that enables any beauty retailer to edit, post, and analyze viewership of a promotional video at absolutely no cost.

Features: How to Get a Better Merchant Account

Think you've already snagged a good merchant account? Here are tips on what to look for when comparing contracts.

Your customers love to pay with credit and debit cards. Unfortunately, merchant account fees can take a hefty slice out of each sales transaction—sometimes to the tune of 3% or more. And that, in turn, can place a costly dent in profits. But the news isn't all bad in the credit card world; for starters, merchant accounts are becoming more economical. "Price compression in the credit card industry has been going on for years," says Paul A. Rianda (, an Irvine, Califonia-based attorney specializing in the bankcard industry.

Features: Mr. Retail—Shawn Tavakoli of Beauty Collection

With four locations and growing, Beauty Collection is making its mark on the beauty-retail landscape thanks to strong brand partnerships, in-store events and a super-savvy Web presence.

Though Shawn Tavakoli, CEO of Los Angeles-based Beauty Collection, was born into the beauty biz—both of his parents were involved in the industry—he originally became a CPA fresh out of college. But when he finally surrendered to the lure of beauty, he was ready to make a splash. Since opening his first Beauty Collection in 1998, the business has been able to grow to four locations—with another two on the way this year—while keeping customers enthralled through its online and social-media presence, special events and carefully curated product selection.