What’s the Target Market for Tanning Salons?

target market

Share This Post

What makes a successful tanning salon? There are many steps to success, but one important factor is having a thorough grasp of your target market. This includes knowing who your clients are and why they patronise your business.  

The primary target market for tanning salons is white females between the ages of 18 and 39. Generally, tanning salon clients are interested in health and beauty, and are active on social media. 

Understanding your audience means that you can tailor your business to appeal to potential clients. Read on to discover the target market for tanning salons and how this knowledge can help increase your profits. 

What Industry Is “Tanning Salons” Part Of? 

If you’re thinking of opening your own tanning salon, understanding your target market is vital. It will influence many of your decisions as a business owner, such as:  

  • Your branding (name, logo, tagline and design choices)  
  • Which marketing strategies you choose and where you advertise 
  • What kinds of products and services you offer 

These aspects of your business, and their relevance to clients, will directly affect how successful your tanning salon is. 

The tanning industry is a niche belonging to the beauty trade. Therefore, tanning salon clients are likely to share certain characteristics with people interested in beauty as a whole.   

So, how much is the tanning industry worth? While it’s hard to give an exact figure, it’s certainly a big business. Over 10% of adults use tanning salons each year. There are between 3,500 and 5,000 tanning salons in the UK alone.  

Who Are the Customers for a Tanning Salon? 

The target market for your tanning salon can be broken down into segments: geographic, demographic, behavioural and psychographic. Understanding these will give you a broad view of your key clientele. 

The geographic segment refers to where your clients live and work. This will, of course, depend upon where your salon is located. Geographic analysis will reveal statistics such as your clients’ median income.  


Demographic analysis explains who visits tanning salons: for example, their age, race and gender. 

While all genders use sunbeds, the target market is primarily female. An estimated 18% of women visit tanning salons each year (compared with 6% of men). Over a third of women use a sunbed at least once in their life. On average, you might expect a ratio of 3 female clients for every 1 male.  

People aged 18 to 39 visit tanning salons most frequently. Over half of sunbed users start tanning before the age of 21. Finally, tanning is – perhaps unsurprisingly – most popular among white people.  

Psychographics and Behaviour 

The psychographic and behavioural characteristics of your target market explain why people visit tanning salons. This includes their lifestyle and interests, and how they engage with brands. 

Most people use sunbeds because they like the way they look with tanned skin. They tan to feel more attractive, boost their self-confidence and achieve a healthy-looking “glow”.  

Tanning salon clients tend to value their appearance, and are interested in health, beauty and fitness. They’re also likely to be active on social media and engage with brands and products online. 

How Do You Market a Tanning Salon?  

Marketing your tanning salon is how you’ll spread awareness of your business and attract potential customers. Successful marketing depends upon rock-solid branding and advertising techniques that appeal to the relevant audience. 

Tanning Salon Branding 

When it comes to tanning salons, branding is important. Your name, logo and tagline should be unique, relevant, simple and memorable. They should immediately convey who you are and what you do.  

Sun, tropical and beach-related imagery are particularly popular, along with warm colours such as red, orange and yellow. Minimalistic design and a contemporary sans-serif typeface and will give your business a fresh feel that will appeal to young adults. 

Feminine colours and fonts will work for a target market of primarily women. However, taking this too far may risk alienating potential male patrons. 

Tanning Salon Advertising  

As the target market for tanning salons is on the younger side, it’s a wise idea to focus on online marketing. Some examples include: 

  • Pay-per-click — advertising on relevant websites (e.g. in the beauty industry) and promoting search engine results  
  • Promoting targeted posts on networks such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok  
  • Running competitions on social media encouraging entrants to share your page 
  • Email and SMS marketing  

Email marketing is particularly useful for customer retention. You can send out newsletters, discounts and special offers to tempt past clients back. To save time, tanning salon software can be used to automate the process. 

What Services Should a Tanning Salon Offer? 

The services and products on offer at your tanning salon should also appeal to your target market. Besides sunbeds and tanning booths, your patrons may also be interested in other beauty and wellness treatments, such as: 

  • Spray tanning 
  • Facials 
  • Massages 
  • Manicures and pedicures 
  • Eyelash extensions 
  • Infrared sauna pods  
  • Red light therapy 
  • Teeth whitening 

Your sunbeds and treatments must comply with all relevant safety policies. Tanning salon software, such as ActiveSalon, can help you ensure you’re meeting tanning industry guidelines. 

Tanning Salon Retail Products  

Many tanning salons also stock beauty products to upsell to customers after their session. This a great way to increase your tanning salon’s revenue, provided your stock appeals to your target market. 

Your bestselling products will be tanning-related: tan accelerators, UV eye protection, after-sun creams and moisturising lotions. Other beauty products, such as facial skincare and cosmetics, are also popular among tanning salon patrons. 

You can use tanning salon software to track your sales, takings and stock levels, and determine which products are most profitable.  

Take Your Tanning Salon Business to the Next Level with ActiveSalon  

To make your tanning salon successful long-term, understanding your target market is only the first step. Investing in tanning salon software will help you manage your business, meet your marketing goals and streamline your patrons’ experience.  

ActiveSalon is the UK’s leading software application built specifically for tanning salons. With our comprehensive client record system, you can access your clients’ details all in one place. Customer retention is a breeze with appointment reminders, referral rewards and automated marketing.  

Additionally, ActiveSalon provides full reporting and integrates seamlessly with your cash drawer, T-Max manager and more. To discover even more incredible features, start your free trial today by calling us on 0161 507 1598 or emailing support@activesalon.com 

woman on a sunbed

Contact ActiveSalon today!

Ready to take your tanning salon to the next level? Call us at 0161 507 1598, contact us, or try our free trial by clicking the button below…

More To Explore

Top 7 Vitamin D and Tanning Myths - ActiveSalon

Top 7 Vitamin D and Tanning Myths

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays a major role in the body’s overall health. It helps to regulate calcium and phosphate in the body, contributing to the health of our bones, teeth and muscles. A lack of vitamin

How Can Real-Time Syncing Help Me Run My Tanning Salon Chain?
Tanning Salon Software

How Can Real-Time Syncing Help Me Run My Tanning Salon Chain?

ActiveSalon, the number one tanning salon software (UK), is full of useful features and business management tools. One particularly helpful feature is real-time syncing, which allows for instant data transfer across devices. Whether you run a small independent tanning salon