It’s no secret that for many people having a tan is equivalent to looking healthier and more attractive.

This makes starting a tanning salon an interesting business for many.

But not everyone is interested in getting a tan, and those who are, usually have different reasons for wanting one.

So, who is the target market for tanning salons? And what are their motivations for wanting to get a tan?

If you’re considering starting a tanning salon, these questions will be at the top of your mind.

While the target market for tanning salons is quite broad, it can be segmented along various lines like demographics and psychographics.

However, in this article, we will analyze this market by understanding the different reasons why people visit a tanning salon.

By understanding your target market’s motivations, you can create a marketing strategy that effectively appeals to their needs and desires and attracts more of them to your tanning salon!

Target Market for Tanning Salons
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Tanning Salon Services

To understand people’s motivations for visiting a tanning salon, we should first review the various services that a tanning salon could offer to its clients.

Here is a list of possible services and products that a tanning salon can offer:

  1. UV tanning beds
  2. Stand-up UV booths
  3. Airbrush tanning
  4. Customized airbrush tans
  5. Manicures and Pedicures
  6. Facial care (Facials, micro-blading, eyelash extension)
  7. Haircare
  8. Sunless tanning products (lotions, sprays, and gels)

Each of these services or products can help attract a different type of clientele. For instance, having UV tanning beds will mostly attract people who want to get a “quick fix” tan before an event or a vacation.

On the other hand, airbrush tanning services are usually chosen by people who want a more natural-looking and long-lasting tan.

A benefit of offering a broad range of services is that you can attract different types of customers who are looking for different things. The more footfall you have in your salon, the greater the opportunities to cross-sell or upsell will be.

Tanning Salons: Opportunities for Cross-selling and Upselling

Customers who come to a tanning salon are excellent candidates for upselling or cross-selling with other services. You could consider offering them manicures or pedicures.

One of the main reasons why people go to a tanning salon is because they want to look better. This means they could be interested in services like facials, micro-blading, or eyelash extensions.

You could also consider offering basic haircare services in your tanning salon as people who want to look their best often take care of their hair as well.

And finally, you could carry products related to tanning and skincare. These could include sunless tanning lotions, sprays, and gels.

You could also consider carrying cosmetic products as there is considerable overlap between people interested in tanning salons and those interested in cosmetics.

The idea is to attract customers to your tanning salon with your core tanning services and then look for opportunities to sell them additional services or products that might fetch higher profit margins.

In fact, cross-selling and upselling are some of the best ways to increase the profitability of a tanning salon.

Now that we have reviewed the various services that a tanning salon can offer, let’s look at some of the motivations people have for wanting to get a tan.

The Target Market for Tanning Salons: Why do people visit tanning salons?

Now that we know what services and products a tanning salon can offer, let’s take a look at the target market for tanning salons and try to understand their motivations for going to one.

Here are some of the most common reasons why people want to get a tan and for which they visit a tanning salon:

  1. To look more attractive
  2. To look healthier
  3. To feel more confident
  4. To look perfect before a special event or occasion
  5. To improve their mood
  6. To get related services in addition to tanning

Let’s dig deeper into each of these reasons.

1. Look more attractive

One of the primary reasons people get a tan at a tanning salon is to look more attractive.

A tan often makes people look slimmer, toned, and healthier. It can also help reduce the appearance of blemishes, scars, and stretch marks.

For many people, getting a tan is a confidence-boosting experience that helps them feel better about their physical appearance.

2. Look healthier

A tan can also make people look healthier. A healthy glow is often associated with good health and vitality.

People who want to look healthy often visit a tanning salon to get a “base tan” before going on vacation. This helps them avoid getting sunburned while still getting some color.

3. Feel more confident

Self-confidence is closely linked to looking attractive and feeling healthier.

People who feel good about their appearance often have higher self-confidence. This can lead to better success in work and personal relationships.

A tan can help people feel better about their physical appearance and give them the confidence to wear clothes that they might otherwise not feel comfortable in. Dressing well, in turn, can also boost self-esteem and make people feel good about themselves.

4. Look perfect for a special event or occasion

People often get a tan before a special event or occasion where they will be in pictures or meeting new people.

A tan can help people look their best for a wedding, graduation, vacation, reunion, job interview, first date, or any other special occasion.

In fact, some tanning salons have special “bridal packages” that help brides-to-be look their best on their big day.

If you’re interested in offering services for special occasions, you could use occasion segmentation to specifically target segments of the market with messages that will resonate with them in the lead-up to their special occasion. For instance, you could run ads on social media targeting those who are engaged and soon to be married.

5. To improve their mood

Getting a tan has also been known to improve people’s moods.

We already know that the sun’s rays boost levels of serotonin, the “feel-good hormone.” This can lead to improved mood, increased energy levels, and improved sleep.

There is a belief that this is, at least partly, due to the exposure to UV in the sun.

In fact, this study published by German scientists showed positive benefits in subjects who underwent controlled exposure to UV.

Ultraviolet (UV) light is also known to help improve mood and relieve symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – a type of depression that occurs during the darker months in the fall and winter. According, to this article by the Mayo Clinic, light therapy could be an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

And so, for many people looking to improve their mood, a tanning salon is sometimes a good option. But please make sure that you and your customers are aware of the dangers of too much UV exposure.

6. Interest in related services in addition to tanning

And finally, some customers may walk into a tanning salon not just for a tan but also for some of the related services that salons offer.

As we’ve seen above, these can include massages, facials, eyebrow work, and eyelash extensions. Some tanning salons are even known to offer teeth whitening.

Some customers will also visit your salon to buy products that they use on a regular basis. The more reasons you can give customers to walk into your tanning salon the better. But, consider offering home delivery to such clients so that you can have regular sales even if a customer doesn’t come to your salon.


As you can see, the target market for tanning salons is broad and there are a variety of reasons why people like getting tans in a salon. While some people might just be looking for a quick and easy tan just before their vacation, others might want a more long-term solution. This is important to keep in mind when marketing your tanning salon services.

At the end of the day, most people get a tan because they feel it makes them look good. They feel they look healthier and more attractive. And this makes them more confident in themselves helps lift their mood. It is common for people to get tans before an important occasion like a wedding or before heading on a holiday in the sun.

If you spend time truly understanding the motivations for your customer’s visits to tanning salons you will be able to design marketing strategies that can attract them to your salon instead of your competitor’s.