Even if you’re reopened, don’t put your online store on the backburner.
For most spas, salons and clinics, online retailing has been a huge focus (and in some cases, their saving grace) during the mandatory COVID-19 shutdown period. But even for those back open and booked out for appointments, your e-commerce site shouldn’t be put on the backburner. There are still plenty of clients who will purchase online after visiting you physically, plenty of those who will find you online and perhaps never visit in person, and plenty of clients who are unwilling or unable to visit you just yet until restrictions have been lifted even further.
With that in mind, here’s a checklist that could help you make your online retail store even better:
- Simplify your aesthetics. You already know that first impressions are everything, and the same can be said for an online experience. Text-heavy or cluttered homepages can drive consumers away fairly quickly. Choose a simple aesthetic, and have a friend or family member that isn’t a practitioner test the user experience before going live with your changes.
- Categorise clearly. Online shopping can be overwhelming, particularly when it comes to skincare and tenfold for those who are new to cosmeceuticals. Be sure to have their journey in mind when structuring your online store. If you stock a number of brands, you may want to organise these together. Perhaps your chosen method is categorising by skin type or condition. Whatever it may be, be sure that every product has a home, and clearly label categories so they are easy to find.
3. Link your store with Instagram. This is a fantastic free tool that will allow you to quickly and easily expose your products to your loyal clientele that follow your social channels, who may not know you have an ecommerce platform. These as valuable as they are ‘warm’ connections – they already follow you and have a vested interest in your business. Head to your Instagram Settings, click Business, and Sign Up For Shopping. This service links with Shopify, Facebook Shop, BigCommerce, Magento and WooCommerce.
4. Create a tool that will help customers with their product selection, such as a free skin diagnosis. This can be a simple one, but in doing so, you will give customers some added value and point them in the right direction. We know that today’s consumers are looking for personalised experiences when shopping for products or services, and any questionnaires or skin quizzes will certainly add an element of personalisation to your online store.
5. More and more online stores are adding chatbots to their sites, allowing shoppers to ask questions quickly and efficiently at any time. It is rapidly becoming the new standard for modern day shoppers. This is a very appealing service for consumers, particularly for skincare when questions can be so personal and varied. These come at a cost, so do some research into various providers and see if this is a viable option for you.
6. Tell stories. Successful retailing is all about storytelling, and as a spa or clinic owner, you have so many stories at your disposal. Accompany your products with before and after images or case studies. This is a powerful point of difference from a department store or large retailer – you have the expertise and hands-on experience to be able to say “here are results I have provided for my clients using this product.”
Do you have a unique online shopping experience for your spa or clinic clients? Let us know in the comments below.